Country in the city - could we make it work?



“One day in the country is worth a month in the town”

...Or so said Christina Rosetti anyway - and I’m inclined to agree with her: spending time out in the rolling hills and crisp air does have a remarkable way of refreshing the soul.

Wouldn’t it be lovely to wake to the sound of birds tweeting everyday? To collect eggs from your own brood of hens: to set off on your Pashley and pick up a crusty loaf from the local bakery, returning to eat it with some home-made jam by the warmth of the Aga. The rural idyll…. Which unfortunately, my reality couldn’t be farther from.

Apologies, introductions are necessary: I’m Sarah - resident writer at Country Living, who, somewhat ironically, inhabits one of the busiest cities on Earth. My mornings are rather more reminiscent of a scene from 28 Days Later – with thousands of zombie-like commuters all scrambling for a single seat on the tube. While my heart is in the country, I very much reside in London and flick lustily through the magazine, wondering how I can apply the principles of Country Living to my urban life.

I love living in the city, but the countryside will always hold a special place in my heart: I am a dual-citizen. Patriotic about both areas and determined to get the best of both worlds. On this website, I’ll explore the ways we can encapsulate rural life within an urban environment.

No, sadly we can't pick up the sandy Dorset shores or the craggy slopes of the Lake District and move them 300 miles south east, but we can grow our own herbs on window ledges, support British produce at farmer's markets, ride our bikes instead of using the bus, bake our own bread and be neighbourly neighbours.

While I know life in the city will never be all roses and tweeting birds and undulating hills and cups of tea with the vicar, I do believe there’s a better quality of life to be found in this sprawling metropolis. I choose not to accept the notion that because we are urbanites we must relinquish our right to community, green space, chats on the bus and home-made cakes.

I want to have my home-made cake and eat it too. This website aims to help bridge the gap between country and city, encouraging urbanites to live greener, more wholesome and dare I say happier lives. Because at its base, a city is just a really, really, really big village – one giant community. And in the spirit of neighbourliness, I invite you all to join me.

Sarah Barratt