Friday, January 10, 2014

Life in the UK: A year on

About a year ago, I said goodbye to my homeland and hopped onto a plane to this island nation.  I'd moved from our life in a big, bustling city to a quiet little rural village.  Dear Hubby and I agreed we would try it for a year at least and then evaluate it.

Well, so far I like it.  And I'm really surprised that I do.

We met 8 years ago.  If he'd told me then that I would one day live in a rural village, I would have run away as fast as I could.  My life was different then.  It revolved around long hours in an office, weekends out on town, shopping, enjoying the urban sights.

Now my life revolves around my family.  With two little ones, my priorities are a safe place in which to bring them up, preferably near a good school.  Living near a big shopping mall and chic eateries has moved to the bottom of my list.

I think about our life in KL sometimes.  Yep we had a nice big home and all the hired help I wanted.  If I had really wanted it, we could have had an army of maids doing all the cleaning and cooking while I led a socialite's life but er... that's really not me, I'm useless at making small talk and sipping wine for too long.  We enjoyed the benefits of Dear Hubby's expat package so life was quite comfortable.  Food was delicious and cheap.

Here, our home is smaller.  Hired help is out of the question as it's so expensive so I have to manage the kids and the house all by myself.  (Do you know that you can't hear the baby screaming his lungs out if you have the vacuum cleaner on?  No, nor did I till we moved here.)  Dear Hubby no longer has his expat benefits.   The cost of living is much, much higher.  We no longer have social nights out and I've long since traded in my heels and cocktail dresses for a sturdy pair of hiking boots and waterproof jacket.  Unlike the EU migrants demonised by the likes of Daily Mail, I do not qualify for any sort of benefit handed out by the state so I'm not here to bleed the state dry.  I actually pay for everything I need.

But here, our village is a safe quiet place.  The local school is very good.  We walk to school, it takes us all of 15 minutes (10 minutes if we hurry) to get there.  Connor's friends all live in the village and we walk to each other's houses for playdates.  I've forgotten what it's like to have road rage and be stuck for hours in a traffic jam.  I think there are more cows and sheep here than there are people and I can hear the cows in the fields behind our house sometimes.  I can smell them too!

I am happy here.

I don't know why I should be when we have less money and more housework!

But when I see my Connor crunching happily in the autumn leaves on the walk to school,  when I wake up in the morning and it's birdsong, not cars honking angrily that greet me, when we pass strangers in the village and everyone smiles and greets you... then I wonder if I really want to go back to KL.  

If we really had to go back to KL, I would not be unwilling to go.  It is home after all, my friends and family are there and good grief, do I ever miss the food!  But I dread going back to the traffic, the stress, the pollution.

If we had to stay here in the UK, in our little corner of Scotland?  Well, there would be very few complaints from me.

We'll see.  For all you know, we might end up in... Siberia!  Hahahahahahahaaa.......


  1. hahaha! such a fun write up! :)

    1. Heh. Ask me again next year. Might be quite a different write up then!