I live what I believe to be the enviable life, working in London and living in Devon! Of course, not all may agree with this assessment of my present situation, and if I was in my 20's or 30's I would understand entirely. It is not really recommended if you have young children either, for you would miss out on sharing the joys and sorrows of their precious childhood.
However, I fall in neither of the two groups, being both older and hopefully wiser and unencumbered with young children. I grew up a city girl, and my earliest memories are of cold, grey Birmingham under a carpet of white snow. My father was an Indian doctor working in the NHS who returned to Kolkata, India when I was 11 years old. I have loved the hustle and bustle of big cities ever since.
Moving to London in the late nineties opened my eyes to one of the most amazing cities of the world: a multi-cultural hub of activity with throngs of frenzied people still hoping to find the streets scattered with gold-dust, an industrial heart beating amidst sprawling parks and placid lakes. I spent two years exploring the city, drinking in the stylish coffee shops and eating sandwiches on park benches in squares tucked away amidst bustling traffic.
Another memorable city I lived in was Glasgow. Not stately like Edinburgh and not sophisticated like London, but full of lively, friendly and proud Scots. I remember one occasion when I was wandering around Glasgow city centre with an A to Z in my hand and a puzzled expression on my face I was approached not once but twice by Glaswegians eager to offer directions.
After a fairly nomadic existence I finally came to roost in the Southwest. Taunton was a strange and not entirely unpleasant shock to the senses after having lived the city life for so many years. With the exception of the historic waterfront, I found Plymouth ugly and uncouth but I did warm to Exeter with its graceful cathedral, beautiful riverside walks and breath-taking views of the surrounding hills. I have lived in Exeter for 11 years and consider it my home.
This brings me back, full circle, to the concept of working in London and living in Devon. More of that later, but in short, it is the ideal panacea for one who loves the city high-life yet also yearns the tranquility and simplicity of country living.