Country Living

There are a lot of advantages to country living.

It is blissfully quiet and peaceful.

We have a lot of fun with our children and grandchildren in the fields behind our garden, and we have a beautiful open view. Sometimes there are cows or sheep in the field, sometimes there are swans or ducks on the pond that has formed in the field. Even the winter, when there is snow on the hills, can be very beautiful.

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But, oh my goodness, there are disadvantages to living in the country too.

I say we live in the country, and we do, but, it is not the ‘middle of nowhere.’ We are only two and a half miles from the nearest small town of South Queensferry, only about fifteen miles from the centre of Edinburgh. Yet, as far as commodities like electricity, water and internet access go, we could be living in a lost civilisation.

We are frequently without electricity for short periods or, sometimes, long periods of time. A few years ago we were without power for seventeen days. Trying, to say the least.

We seem to be at the end of a pipeline, water wise, and our water gets turned off at irregular intervals while repairs and maintenance are carried out — somewhere — not always even in our village.

As for the Internet!

Well, according to the engineers we have consulted, we are too far from the exchange and too far from the mast, which also explains why our mobile phone signal is also poor. The lines cannot sustain faster broadband so, at best, out internet is slow. At worst, it is dead.

But all is not lost! We received a letter from West Lothian Council telling us, in bold type:

Super-fast Broadband will come to your village after All!

The lesson is to NEVER give up…

and then they proceeded to outline the agreement they have made with the provider that our area, including our village, will have

Fiber optic Broadband services — that will work for everyone —

and that it will be delivered to our village in, wait for it……. 2017.

Talk about anti-climax.

At least three years till we can be sure of sending an email on time, posting a blogpost when I choose rather than when the Internet is up and running, picking up comments and replying right away, carrying out a transaction, or uploading a video without the connection failing partway through.

Ah, well! As we were.

~~~

In light of the above rant, it might sound strange, but our writers’ group is heading off on Saturday for a week in a cottage that really is in the middle of nowhere, with NO Internet or mobile signal at all.

We were in our special little cottage retreat last September and loved it, so we are going back for more. A week of writing and talking about writing with no distraction or disturbance. YES!

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I doubt if we’ll be sitting out on the patio at this time of year, unless we wrap up in coats, hats and duvets, but we will definitely be writing.

Jane assures us she has packed plenty of treats of the chocolate variety.

The farmer assures us he has stocked up the woodshed with plenty of logs for the open fire. Plus there is excellent central heating.

We plan to meet a couple more writing buddies for lunch and writing discussion on the way up the road, then we’re off into the wilds of Angus to our writing retreat.

So, it may be some time till you hear from me, but, don’t worry, I’ll be just fine!

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15 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Michelle Stanley
    Feb 18, 2014 @ 16:29:36

    Wonderful writing which was pleasant to read. Despite the lack of electricity, etc, we can still find comfort doing activities and enjoying the company of others. As there is only one power plant in Jamaica, we are often at the mercy of this company, and go through regular periods without electricity, so know exactly what you wrote about.

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  2. luckyoldman
    Feb 18, 2014 @ 17:09:28

    The fields behind your home look like views I have experienced while riding Scottrail. I think that’s one word. Oh well.
    Enjoy Yourself.

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  3. authorleannedyck
    Feb 18, 2014 @ 18:50:03

    I live on a remote island off British Columbia’s mainland. Silence. Peace. Mainly. But at home there is laundry, dishes, cooking, baking–housework, of all kinds. Away: meals, cleaning, everything is done for me. All I need do is take care of my basic needs and write. Heaven. Yes, I long to do what you are doing. Enjoy.

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  4. glenperk
    Feb 18, 2014 @ 22:03:34

    Okay, I’ll never complain about my internet again. I live in a small town, fifty miles from anywhere, and I do better than you. That being said, I would trade in Internet for a fantastic mountain cabin. Enjoy your time away.

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  5. cicampbell2013
    Feb 18, 2014 @ 22:26:57

    Thank you for reading, friends. I love to hear about how things are where you live, so thanks for your comments.

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  6. gramma ginnie
    Feb 18, 2014 @ 23:53:40

    Moved a couple years ago from City Edinburgh (nice for a city) to small village of Dollar Scotland UK in the Ochil Hillfoots (In USA called Foothills!). MY preference is certainly for countryside. I enjoy the slower pace of life, scenery (especially when warm weather), fresh air & animals. Has some disadvantages, but blessings outweigh them. Enjoy your writers retreat & chocolates!

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  7. jorobinson176
    Feb 19, 2014 @ 08:19:38

    Wow! It’s horrible going without power and water, and seventeen days! Good for you being positive and not grumpy – I get very grumpy. 😀 Have a wonderful retreat Christine! xx

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  8. Vashti Quiroz-Vega
    Feb 20, 2014 @ 04:43:16

    Enjoy your getaway Christine! It sounds (reads) divine. Unlike the last time, I hope your muse will be along for the ride. Happy writing!

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  9. Teagan Kearney
    Feb 20, 2014 @ 23:13:29

    Your positive outlook shines through in your writing, Christine. Educating your daughter sounds like a great experience for both of you. Really enjoyed reading this post and hope you have lots of fun and writing and chocolate on your retreat!

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  10. vend
    Mar 15, 2014 @ 23:32:46

    Valuable info. Fortunate me I found your web site unintentionally, and I’m surprised why this accident didn’t took place earlier! I bookmarked it.

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