Sunday, September 24, 2006

Scottish Country Living

The little cottage which used to belong to my dear mother in law has just gone on the market, and there has been lots of interest in it. My sister in law is busy showing people round, all of whom say how much they like the place. Many of the potential purchasers have been middle aged or older women, or couples, looking to downsize, and settle in a village. The setting is positively idyllic, and there is a great deal to be said for village life, as you head for an active retirement. I'm not advocating moving miles away from family and friends, to a house in the middle of nowhere. But a cottage in a reasonably peaceful village (or on the picturesque edge of one, like this) can be a good move if you are planning to downsize. For a start, village life can be infinitely more sociable than town life. You will have lots of invitations, and there are all kinds of things going on if you want to get involved in the life of the place. The rhythm of the passing year is more noticeable in the countryside, and each season has its traditional events. But perhaps most of all you will probably find supportive neighbours. It's a truism, but people do tend to look out for each other more in villages. We still have a village shop which acts as a dispenser of information. The postman still says hello, and knows who lives where. There's a well attended church, and a caring minister, as well as a pub that serves good food if you don't feel like cooking - and the nearest town, with a small supermarket, an excellent deli, and rail and bus links to anywhere you might want to go, is a mere 10 minutes drive down the road. Add to that, a low crime rate (You can walk home from a friend's house at midnight without fearing that somebody will mug you) and there's a lot to be said for country living.

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