Country Retreat. – By @LawrenceESlater
By Lawrence Slater
I spent the first 18 years of my life in the Midlands. I was born in Nottingham and first lived in Woodthorpe a suburb of the city. When I was very young my family moved to a small village called Farnsfield in Nottinghamshire, the nearest town being Southwell where I went to school. At the age of 12, we moved again. About an hour’s drive away, to a beautiful house in a small village called Londonthorpe. This is 3 miles outside a town called Grantham on the border of Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire. The village is probably actually classed as a hamlet as it has a church and about 30 houses but nothing else. No pub or shop and a bus going to the town twice a week on Tuesday and Thursday at 11 am! It has a park with a football pitch and goal posts, this is where I spent a lot of my time growing up. Playing heads and volleys with the other kids that also lived in the village. There was probably only about 15 of us in total.
When I was a teenager I wished we lived in the city. I was envious of the kids that grew up in cities, with everything right at their doorsteps. I was into the same things as other city kids djing, clothes, graffiti, and football which to me never seemed to quite fit with country living. But what should I have been into? Tractors and combine harvesters? Chilling with cows and sheep? No, thanks.
Nottingham city center was a 30 mins train journey away. I went to college there and spent a lot of time there. When I was 17 I passed my driving test and was lucky enough for my parents to have a spare car I could have, this did give me a lot of freedom.
I did still have a lot of fun and a lot of friends but I always thought it would be more fun growing up in a city, so as soon as I could I moved to London.
My parents still live in the same home, it is beautiful from the outside and newly renovated inside. It is around 250 years old and was originally built for the staff that worked in Belton House, a national trust owned stately home down the road. I only visit a couple times a year but when I do I find it so refreshing.
From the house, I can walk through a hilly field, hop a stream and with 5 minutes I’m into the woods. This is especially fun with my city dog, Lacey. Every 10 minutes or so you might see a family out having a walk or someone else walking the dog but generally your alone surrounded by nature. There are wild deer in the woods which you run across the track in front of you if you are lucky. It is perfect, such a nice change from the city. It is peaceful and relaxing. (It’s obviously great to see my parents too)
Looking back, I like the fact that I did spend the first section of my life in the countryside. I’m happy I’ve been able to experience both city and country living and feel lucky I have the option of a weekend country retreat whenever I need it.