Thursday, 23 June 2011

Village Life

I live in a village in West Sussex.  It's not a tiny village, but it feels small, and noone is quite sure of the population as any counts take into account other outlying villages which fall under this parish (there are a few).

People here will often tell you you can't live here without a car.  While it is certainly harder to get about, that is far from the truth and I know of worse places to live without a car that are far bigger in both population and spreadage (might have made that word up).  There are buses that go into the bigger towns nearby, there is a train station and there are shops which sell food, drink, a chemist, restaurants, take-aways, cafes, charity shops, a travel agent, a few pubs, lots of hairdressers, shoe shop (which sells only a few styles, but does reheeling and cuts keys), dentist (private, but a dentist nonetheless), doctors surgery, solicitors, physiotherapists, aromatherapists, flower shops, plant shops, funeral services, art dealer, antique shop, electronic entertainment store, estate agents, newsagents, bakeries, a vet, sports shop, library, schools, preschools, churches, petrol station 2 miles outside the village.... everything you could possibly need on a day to day basis.  Yes, the shops are more expensive for food (unless you shop at Waitrose, in which case it might be cheaper, I don't know!), but that's why god invented online shopping!

That turned into a longer spiel than I had expected, I may have underlying issues with people who think you need a car here lol.

Jitterbug and I live here, we have 1 car.  I'll pause for a moment while you absorb that information.

Yes, it is easier to get around with a car - who enjoys public transport that takes ages to get anywhere decent?  The reason it takes ages to get anywhere decent is because you chose to live in a semi-rural location.  It is not, however, a requirement, and if one more person tells me how hard it would be to live here without a car, I may hurt said person.  The world relies on personal transport so much now - I grew up without a car and can still remember getting the bus everywhere, or walking the 3 miles to the train station.  *this* village is not impossible to live in without a car.  'Nuff said.

Anyway, I come from a small town.  We lived about 2 miles from the nearest shops, 3 miles from the train station, so I actually feel like I've moved up in the world (living location wise, and so long as we don't count Hyndland, where I saw a number of celebrities on a regular basis going about their lives, and was in a lovely area not too far from Glasgow city centre living in a very large sandstone flat in a leafy green street).  Since being here, I seem to have become more involved in the village, I care about what happens here and want the best for my children here.  It was with that in mind that I joined the pre-school committee at the start of the year.

I'm going to get some things straight, because I know the type of people who are on committees and I am not one of those people.  School committees are a completely different kettle of fish and I will not join a school committee (mainly because I am less than thrilled at the thought of sending my children to school here, not because it is a bad school, but for reasons I won't go into or the RAGE will come out).  I enjoy being part of the committee, and having a say in what goes on at the pre-school my son attends and which my daughter will attend from September 2012.

Sunday the 19th was the day of the village fayre (or gala-day as I knew it growing up).  As part of  the committee, I helped decorate the float and made a number of decorations at home, so it was with great excitement that I saw the float looking so good on Sunday (Jitterbug had gone on Saturday to assemble it all, so this was my first time seeing it).  Some of the children from the nursery got to go on the float and while they started off a bit grumpy, they all soon got into the excitement and waving at random strangers.  Sadly the only photos of the float I have contain other children so I won't post them, but it looked really good!

Bubba was thrilled to be on there

He soon warmed up!  That's my mum next to him, who they affectionately call Grandad.  

Jitterbug carrying Rose on his back <3

He LOVED the mini-waltzers!
A grand day was had by us all.  Bubba was on top form compared to last year, when we had to leave early due to him loving the trampolines a bit too much.  We made it round the whole thing this year!  The weather was ok, a few showers throughout the day but nothing like the downpours the week previously.

It always amazes me how many people come out to watch the parade of floats.  Its events like this that you can really appreciate village life, and how many people care about this place.

I like where we live.  Yes, it has it's faults.  No, it's not the prettiest.  We didn't stay here when we moved because we wanted lots of shops, we stayed here because it's friendly and it's safe and because I didn't need a car to go and get milk.  The only place I would consider moving to right now is back to Scotland, which I suppose is a massive compliment to this here village :P

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