I finally got round to returning my dad’s car which we had borrowed over Christmas, so I spent 24 hours in the village I grew up in.
The wonders of remote working meant that I could beat the rush hour traffic on the way down yesterday, ensuring I was around in good time for an impromptu Tuesday night dinner with my school friend Trisha. I then worked from my dad’s today and made use of the railway link bus to make my journey back to London this evening easy.
I’ve no idea when this welcome sign was doctored, but it’s made me laugh since I first spotted it online and on each (occasional) visit I keep meaning to photograph it. This morning I finally did.
As a teen I was desperate to move away. Small village life was not for me, even though back then I didn’t l know where I did want to live. After university, my big plans for a career in radio didn’t pan out, so I returned to live with my dad for about 18 months before the threat of losing my driving licence meant I had to live somewhere with better public transport.
After 18 months in London I once again found myself moving back home after being made redundant, having a difficult year in a shared house and unsure whether London was the right place for me. I lasted six weeks – the commute to London, where I was temping, killed me! I’ve lived in London ever since, despite.
In many ways I can understand why people would want to live in Chinnor though. It’s a nice village, with a good community feel, though it’s grown so much in recent years that it’s not the small village I lived in back in the 1990s. I always loved heading off on walks up on the ridgeway and now there’s a whole new area to explore for walking around the old kiln lakes, that used to be the cement works.
Despite the growth and many new estates that have slowly appeared, one thing has reduced dramatically. It used to have eight pubs but now there are only three. I guess that’s a sign of the times as the local pub doesn’t appear to be important to many people these days.
I can definitely think of worse places to grow up, and I do have fond memories of my childhood and the freedom we had growing up in more innocent times than kids growing up now get to experience. There wasn’t much to do but we made our own entertainment. I was right though, village life wasn’t for me. I’m a city girl these days and couldn’t imagine living somewhere so quiet. Maybe one day that’ll change, but not any time soon.
That small village of your childhood vied with Kidlington for being the biggest village in Oxfordshire! A good place to grow up. Country girl to city lover, wonderful although you are a true Londoner, just not in your memory.
London is in your blood as it is in mine, visiting you is coming home.