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HELP! People who have moved to the country from London I need your advice (long, sorry)...

(433 Posts)
CountessDracula Wed 16-Mar-05 13:25:58

Am having a mare

We live in London currently in a lovely house in v nice area (which we are just finishing doing up) with lots of friends, great primary schools, dd just settled in brilliant nursery, easy journey to work etc...

AND NOW....dh has been offered an excellent job in Winchester. I grew up there and am tbh not overly keen on going back, though if I look at it objectively I can see the benefits (near parents, bigger house with garden 10 x size of current one, no planes, traffic etc, dh will have much chiller lifestyle, we will get to do country things (whatever those are, stumbling around in shite IME))

BUT... I love living in London. I have lived here for 20 years, I love it. When I go to the country I go bonkers. Everything is so slow and annoying. The shops are crap. The food is awful and even nice restaurants give you bloody baby corn and mange tout with everything. Culture is non-existant (I love theatre, opera, gigs etc and go a lot). I will miss all my friends. Plus I will have to commute 4 days a week and it would add at least 40 mins each way onto my journey, but not sure I would really mind that as could sleep in the morning and work in the evening (or drink v&t lol!) I would still see dd in the evenings.

My question is, once I am there, would I chill out and stop being such an arsehole about all this or am I doomed to a life of dissatisfaction and woe? I don't want to go if so!

Other downsides - the schools are nowhere near as good, would have to pay for private in all probablility. There is nothing to do as a teenager but get pissed and take drugs. There is NO WAITROSE (ok that is my main problem I admit )

I really really want to do this for dh. He reckons he has no prospects in London. This firm tried to get him twice already and he turned them down (about 3 years ago). They are, for them, offering him the earth. He will take a paycut but will have much better prospects and life. I want to make him happy but I don't want to make myself miserable in the process.

WHAT DO I DO?

Willow2 Wed 16-Mar-05 13:30:29

I think you will be miserable.

anorak Wed 16-Mar-05 13:31:58

What a tough choice to have to make!

It's no good going if you are just going to be a moaning misery forever after. And if you hate it as much as you think you will you won't be able to help it.

The question is, do you think that at this stage in your life you may have changed enough to enjoy living there? People sometimes do.

If not I would say don't go.

CountessDracula Wed 16-Mar-05 13:32:02

oh thanks (maybe I should move just to get away from you!!)

LittleRedRidingHood Wed 16-Mar-05 13:32:53

We too are about to move to our own rural idyll CD - Having ourselves always unwillingly lived in cities

Given that if you continue your city job you will have to commute in four days a week - and the fact that you obviously love London I reckon you should stay where you are!!

I really dont agree that everything in the country side is slow and annoying, crap shops, awful food, non existent culture and no where near as good schools

Really sorry CD but if that is your attitude - stay in London - I certainly wouldnt welcome you as a neighbour of mine

CountessDracula Wed 16-Mar-05 13:32:55

(anorak, that was directed at Willow2!)

Gwenick Wed 16-Mar-05 13:33:28

but on the plus side winchester isn't 'too' far from Southampton - so you'd still be able to pop down there and have 'city life' sometimes. ?

nutcracker Wed 16-Mar-05 13:33:37

I think No too, sounds like you would hate it too much.

anorak Wed 16-Mar-05 13:34:12

No, I prefer to believe you read and answered my post in 4 seconds and then had a go at me!

Janh Wed 16-Mar-05 13:36:23

I have a very cultured friend who lives in Winchester - I think she might disagree with you about some of that! Her kids did go to independent school - in Southampton - however the younger insisted on going to local 6th form (Peter something?), got As and is at Oxford. We have visited and thought it was lovely...shall I ask her for a write-up from her pov?

Fimbo Wed 16-Mar-05 13:36:32

Having lived in a "happening" place to moving to one thats not (courtesy of dh's job) - imo you would be miserable.

Caligula Wed 16-Mar-05 13:37:40

Can you get him to commute? Is that too unrealistic?

Or can you keep your place in London and give it a trial?

TBH, I would have stayed in London if I could have afforded a house there. Once you're out, you're never going to be able to get back. I don't miss it, but OTOH I wasn't surrounded by good schools and I didn't go in for the culture thing anyway - I could never afford them. If there is something major on in London that I want to see, I'll make the effort to go into London anyway, which from Winchester is just about do-able.

But it sounds like you really don't want to go.

handlemecarefully Wed 16-Mar-05 13:37:59

Well I haven't moved from London to the countryside, but spent a lot of time in London some years ago when I had a fiance who lived there...

Honestly, it's lovely around here - don't worry (I work in Winchester, and live between Southampton and Salisbury)...perhaps you have a skewed memory from your youth. I know I loathe where I was brought up (mind you, it was Peterborough)

Granted the shops are not as good as London, but West Quay in So'ton is really quite good, and you are just 1 hour by train from London if you want that something a bit different in terms of shopping.

Waitrose is in Romsey just 15 minutes drive away from Winchester as you know....It's a new Waitrose about 18 months old to replace the crappy old one in Romsey town centre.

There are some classy restaurants around actually - perhaps not in Winchester itself but in the vicinity. I'll ask dh to remind of the names of them. I am sure that some of them have michelin stars or 'rosettes' or whatever it is (have unwittingly exposed myself as country bumpkin as I clearly don't know the language)

Can't comment on the state schools re whether they are good or not, because we will be going private.

Re lack of culture....ummmm, well there are good theatres in So'ton etc. Okay you might not get the fringe stuff that you have in London, but it's not all Cats and Les Miserables.

For entertaining little Vampire, you have the coast (Bournemouth) just a short drive away, Paulton's Park in Ower, Marwell Zoo, The New Forest Owl and Otter Centre, Long Down Farm, Hillier Gardens etc etc

Is it really sooo bad?

TwinSetAndPearls Wed 16-Mar-05 13:38:54

This is really hard. I left London for vaet different reasons to move to Lancashire and I ahted it at first, I think I sulked for about a year but now I love it because I have allowed myself to. Infact now that we are making plans to move away I am dragging my feet! But it may have been easier for me as there was no way I could stop in London whereas you seem to have more of an element of choice. I also moved when dd was tiny so there was no moving of schools to consider.

Have you discussed this with dp? Does he know how unhappy you would be? If you have parents nearby could they not ahve the kids once a month so you can have a weekend in London doing all the things you siad you wold miss.

I have to admit that if I could afford to live in London and have the standard of life you describe wild horses could not drag me away!

northerner Wed 16-Mar-05 13:39:55

Oh CD what a dilemma. Let me tell you about my SIl's experience - it might help you. Dh's brother and his wife relocated to be near to us in Harrogate about 5 months ago. BIL is from here so he was desperate to get back, however SIL has lived in London since she was 3, and her lifestyle sounded pretty much like yours. She had a huge circle of friends and a very busy social life and she loved dinig out at The Ivy etc and going shopping in the city. They had toyed with the idea of moving up north for years, to the point where it was causing them big problems. So she relented, and here they are.

She has days where she hates it here, she struggled to make new friends at first (only because she thought I have lots of friends - why do I need to start all over again)But she has suprised herself and settled down to a more sedate lifestyle. Walks in the dales etc. I keep hearing BIL say to her 'see - you don't get this in London'

Funny thing is she too moaned about our lack of a Waitrose - but one opened here a month ago! The biggest impact on their lifestyle is the size of property they have compared to what they had in London.

It's still early days, and she does still miss London as I'm sure you would, but I think it has to be worth a shot, esp as your dh wants it so badly.

northerner Wed 16-Mar-05 13:39:58

Oh CD what a dilemma. Let me tell you about my SIl's experience - it might help you. Dh's brother and his wife relocated to be near to us in Harrogate about 5 months ago. BIL is from here so he was desperate to get back, however SIL has lived in London since she was 3, and her lifestyle sounded pretty much like yours. She had a huge circle of friends and a very busy social life and she loved dinig out at The Ivy etc and going shopping in the city. They had toyed with the idea of moving up north for years, to the point where it was causing them big problems. So she relented, and here they are.

She has days where she hates it here, she struggled to make new friends at first (only because she thought I have lots of friends - why do I need to start all over again)But she has suprised herself and settled down to a more sedate lifestyle. Walks in the dales etc. I keep hearing BIL say to her 'see - you don't get this in London'

Funny thing is she too moaned about our lack of a Waitrose - but one opened here a month ago! The biggest impact on their lifestyle is the size of property they have compared to what they had in London.

It's still early days, and she does still miss London as I'm sure you would, but I think it has to be worth a shot, esp as your dh wants it so badly.

handlemecarefully Wed 16-Mar-05 13:41:03

And then there is the New Forest just a short drive from Winchester....

CountessDracula Wed 16-Mar-05 13:42:04

Oh I was just generalising, I am not so stupid as to think that everything in the country is crap!!! Littleredridinghood, obviously if you unwillingly live in cities and love the country then we are going to have differing views!

Not worried about the commuting so can take that out of the equation really.

I do realise that Winchester is only 53mins from London on the train, and the fact that my parents are around would mean we could still go up for things. (Gwenwick, sorry but Soton doesn't do it for me either!)

The schools, I am talking about Winchester schools, not all country schools. I went to a good private school in Winch that dd could go to, but at secondary level it is almost £4k a TERM!!!
Peter Symonds is good too, but is a 6th form and dd is only 2.5!

It's mainly that I have everything so sorted here at last. I just feel mis at the thought of uprooting. What if I don't like it? I did like growing up there though so maybe I should stop being selfish and think of dd and dh and put my feelings aside, I'm sure once I got there it would be fine. The dog would love it too.

alicatsg Wed 16-Mar-05 13:43:37

I moved to deepest surrey recently and had similar worries but its been fine - mainly cos I work in Soho so get my London fix that way.

However I would see if DH can't commute. Driving or train is an option, he's going against traffic so will have a relatively nice commute and its less disruptive for the family. I'd certainly try it that way till he's tried the job and KNOWS its what he wants.
I did that when I got a job in Bracknell that I thought would be perfect. 3 months later I couldn't stand it anymore and came back to London to work. no matter how great it seems there's always a chance it won't work out.

Lonelymum Wed 16-Mar-05 13:43:59

Ooh CD I can't answer your questions as I think only you know yourself and your reactions and what is important to you, but I wanted to say I grew up in Winchester too. I wonder if we know each other? I would give my eye teeth to move to Winchester personally, but, as I say, only you know yourself.

soapbox Wed 16-Mar-05 13:45:09

CD - do let out your London house and rent in Winchester for 6 months (at least) and just see how it goes.

At least then you can honestly say you've tried it!

If not working then DH can commute?? Get a runaround car that he leaves at Winchester station in the evening then trains to London, then car at Winchester station for him to get to work in the morning????

northerner Wed 16-Mar-05 13:45:11

LOL at eye teeth lonelymum - should it not be hind teeth?!

geekgrrl Wed 16-Mar-05 13:45:30

I too am surprised that you think the schools will be so bad compared to the one you have now. We live in the country (Yorks. Dales) and the small village schools here are all excellent. We're spoilt for choice! Surely you must be able to find a good primary school near Winchester. Have a look at http://www.ofsted.gov.uk
Having lived in London myself I must admit that I do miss the cultural offering, being able to walk everywhere and having things to do 24 hours a day...
Love the peace and quiet, having land for chickens, and being surrounded by breathtaking scenery all day long.
It sounds like really need to adjust your attitude or not move at all to be honest. If you go into it thinking it's all awful it will be.

alicatsg Wed 16-Mar-05 13:45:46

Me too LonelyMum! Was in Winchester from 77-88 (I think)

Lonelymum Wed 16-Mar-05 13:45:47

Come to think of it, I went to a state school and I can guess which private school you went to, so probably we don't know each other. RELAX!

There is (or used to be) a Waitrose in Romsey. Could you live more that way?

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