Despite being born in the city of Bristol, I am very much a country girl. We moved, shortly after I was born, to Wakefield and then three years later after my brother was born, to a small village called North Somercotes in Lincolnshire. As a family, we lived and ran a small village newsagents for ten years and I attended both a village primary school and village secondary school. Back then, there was no mobile phones and internet, so I’ve no idea what signal or coverage would have been like. Phoneboxes were incredibly common and I remember that my full telephone number (landline) was only seven digits long, including the area code. Gas came in tanks, either tall reds ones or large landscape white ones – those are both very strong childhood memories.
I’m in my thirties now – almost my fourties and I have watched life change a lot. In my teens the internet came about and so did mobile phones. The internet was pay per month and per minute for dial-up, while mobiles were chunky and only offered text and call time minutes. We moved from a small village like North Somercotes, to a town called Louth and eventually from Louth, we moved to the city of Lincoln (or at least a village near by). Since leaving home at 19, I’ve lived in a variety of towns and villages and even Lincoln city itself once, but I’m most at home in the countryside – with windy roads, poor signal phone signal and a good distance to travel to decent shops. That said, I’ve definitely been on holiday to places that felt even more remote and I often think we take for granted what we have on a day to day basis.
I was challenged by Flogas, to discuss what I would miss if I had to live in a really remote area – completely out in the sticks. As I child I would joke that North Somercotes was out in the sticks, and compared to many places I’m sure it would feel that way to many people. However it really wasn’t and probably if I went back now, it would just seem like any other quiet village. I’m sad to say though, that the first thing I would miss (or would have an issue if it was lacking) would be my mobile phone signal. I check social media sites and my browser, more times than I can possibly count in a day. When I got on holiday, especially abroad, and signal/internet/data is lacking, I’m always a bit lost without the use of my phone. After that and related to that, would be my internet. Our family often jokes that we could forgo running water and heating, even a roof over our heads, so long as we could connect to someone’s wifi.
My partner Chris is pretty handy but I have to admit we’d all probably be a bit lost if it came to changing a gas canister. I once lived in a house that had oil to run its heating and that needed a lorry to come and top it up every time it was low – I ran out twice in the time I lived there – once over a very cold Christmas and I can’t say I’d be in a hurry to repeat that. The girls and I also love our baths and if running water wasn’t available, that would be an issue for us too. Admittedly we don’t bathe every day, but there is four of us who would need to bath at least 2-3 times a week.
While I definitely don’t think I would be lost, living out in the sticks (as I said, I’ve lived quite rurally), my kids and even my partner (he’s from Luton) would probably struggle. Also I think I’ve got a little too used to luxuries that are now classed as necessities, to want to give all that up.
What would you miss the most if you were stuck out in the sticks?