I’ll never forget the reaction from the young saleswoman working in the local River Island when I told her I’d recently moved from Hollywood, California to Somerset, England.
It was peeing with rain outside and my 4-year-old was dancing out there like it was pouring M&M’s, her mouth open catching the drops and shrieking with delight as she got completely and utterly soaked.
After explaining that there actually wasn’t anything wrong with her, and that she just hadn’t really seen proper rain before, we got to chatting about how I’d just relocated my life after 15-years in sunny California to a small village in South Somerset.
She was so shocked at what she’d just heard , she put my jeans in a bag and handed them over without taking a single penny from me.
When I pointed out she’d just given me a freebie she said: “I’m in a complete state of shock. I can’t get my head round it. Why on earth would you make that move?”
It’s a question I’ve found myself facing on an almost daily basis, since my husband and our two children (lets call them H and H, if you knew their names you may think they’d have been better staying in Hollywood) made the transatlantic move to the countryside.
We left the lovely life (friends, family, jobs, house) we had built in the almost always sunny state and started fresh in a small village where the only people we knew were my parents!!
Lunches on Malibu pier, followed by a stroll down Santa Monica’s sandy beach had been replaced with wobbly walks over the pebbly Jurassic coastal line. (“Much more scenic than LA you know,” my parents reminded us every time I emptied a stone out of my infuriated daughters’ shoe).
Soon the novelty of having all the things I’d craved for so long; seasons, woody walks and cozy pubs began to wear off a little and I started seeking out the luxuries and activities I’d enjoyed in LA….surely somewhere HAD to have sushi?
I almost felt like I was having an affair, cheating on Somerset as I sat late at night while my husband snored next to me, checking my friend’s Facebook pages in Los Angeles and googling the likes of “Soulcycle, South Somerset” “Yeovil, Michelin star restaurant” and at one particularly desperate time “mum’s who like wine, Martock”.
But then I realized if I was going to make a success of my new life, I couldn’t continue sneaking around behind the countryside’s back I had to embrace it instead.
It’s true there might not be a Barry’s Bootcamp on every or any street corner. I may have to drive or taxi (we are still working on Uber down in ‘these ere parts’) half an hour to get a decent tuna sashimi and a warm saki, but I’m making it my mission to eek out the best country living has to offer.
Whether it’s fitness, food, family fun or flirting with the idea of a new, fancy over the top and way too expensive hotel that serves the most amazing expresso martinis and has an incredible…..urghhh, I’m digressing. Basically, I’m determined to have a laugh exploring our new surroundings as I make the transition from Hollywood wife to living this country life!