Over at the fab Whispering Stories today, talking about five essential things to know when moving to the countryside

Five essential things to know when moving to the countryside

Moving to the countryside can be a bit of shock to the system. Anna in The Little Cottage in the Country leaves the bright lights of London and heads to the rural idyll of Trumpsey Blazey. She faces village life and all its eccentricities. So if you’re thinking of doing the same, remember these five pointers.

Buy wellies. Yes, I know what you’re thinking: I have to wear plastic rubber on my pedicured feet? What about the forty-odd pairs of red-soled sparkle that I own? Well, you will have the odd occasion when your Louboutins (let’s face it, they give you blisters anyway and you had to remortgage your house in order to buy them) will come in handy but, day to day, trust me it’s all about the wellies. You’re probably thinking of those green, shapeless waders but actually life in the country has got very bling: they now come in all sizes and you can even get them in pink with a flower motif. Also, let’s not forget that every A-D celeb that goes to Glastonbury wear wellies. Soon they will proudly sit by your front door: a symbol of how country you really are. *Just be careful when you’re emailing or texting friends about your wellies, AutoCorrect can play havoc…

Next, you need a tweed or wax jacket. OK, not essential, like wellies, but a great way to fit in. Yes, you’ve got your very clever roll-up mac but we don’t do clever in the countryside, we do STATEMENT. This means that when you don your tweed or wax jacket, you are literally screaming I am totally working the country look and you will want to know who I am. Now, I have to point out that said tweed or wax jacket cannot look new. It has to give the appearance of an item of clothing that’s been in your family for generations, then slept in by the dog and perhaps even rolled in by the horse. You get my drift? In the country, you buy the jacket and then aim for the been-through-hedge-backward look. I know, don’t ask.

Thirdly, you need to know how to use your Aga. It is like a rite of passage. Hopefully, your house will come with an Aga. The joyous mountain of metal that belts out heat no matter whether it’s -5 degrees or 35 degrees. Your neighbours will visit and congregate around said Aga. There is a lot of bum-warming that goes on whilst drinking gallons of tea. If you’re thinking I must get the Aga cleaned up: don’t! Oh no. A bit like the wellies, and the jacket, your neighbours will admire its ‘used’ look. Don’t forget to take photos of self in front of Aga. Think Mary Berry.

The cake tin is next on my list. Ensure you always have some sort of sweet delight in the house for anyone who pops over. Of course, if you are a superb baker this goes without saying. If you are, in fact, like me then go to the shop, remove cakes from packaging and put in said cake tin. Trust me, no one knows and of course, you baked them in your Aga.

Finally, ensure you have a log store with gloriously seasoned wood. I once had the longest lecture known to man given to me on the merits of seasoned wood. Yes, I know, half an hour of my life I’ll never get back. Anyway, when you think country, you think roaring fire, you think warming your toes at the end of long walks. Bliss.


Published by Lottie Phillips & Louise Stone

Bestselling women's fiction & thriller writer with HarperCollins.

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