Wednesday, 6 November 2019

Remoteness.

Friends who were on holiday near Penrith drove over to see me for lunch a few months ago.   They live in a Shropshire town and were rather horrified (I felt) by the remoteness of where I lived here in Wensleydale;  by the winding roads too narrow to get up any speed of forty mph at the most; by the narrowness in places and the lack of passing places - that kind of thing.   I have just been discussing with BB (Codlins and Cream) on our blogs about the remoteness of the Swaledale farm on the new series of 'Our Yorkshire Farm' which began again last evening.   It is indeed quite a remote farm but maybe not quite as remote as it appears in the programme - maybe nearest neighbour a mile away - and that is nothing up here - take the Tan Hill Inn - the highest pub in England I believe - you drive a long way past a house to reach that.   People seem to think nothing of remoteness up here.

Many of our children travel into Leyburn by bus from outlying areas when it gets to Comprehensive Education and even Primary Schools are getting fewer or are amalgamating with the next school along the Dale.   And as for medical treatment - our nearest hospital is about twenty five miles away - or for more serious hospital treatment a good forty miles away.  But of course to offset against this are the benefits of living in such a beautiful part of the country.   I wouldn't swap that for the world. 

The beauty of our Autumn is a good example of this.   This year has been a good one for Autumn colour -  some years are better than others.  Not far from where I live - maybe a mile - there is a row  of Horse Chestnut trees and they have been splendid.   Then it was the Silver Birches and Hazels, now it is the Maples.   The Hazels in particular have this year been laden with hazelnuts - and hundreds fell on to the grass on our estate.   When we lived on the farm (only three fields away from where I live now) we had plenty of hazel trees in our hedgerows but we never saw a hazelnut.   We saw plenty of grey squirrels and they always got there first.   I have never seen a grey squirrel since I moved here and the other day when I was walking with Tess I met a chap with a bag full of hazelnuts gathered as he walked round with his dog.   Wish I had thought of that!

I walked right round the top of the estate with Tess earlier this morning and it was warm and really pleasant but now, looking out of the window as I write this, the rain is falling again and the sky is grey.   One thing you can be sure of up here in the hills is that you certainly get all kinds of weather - often all on the same day.

24 comments:

Heather said...

I would rather live rather remotely than in a large town or city, and although I am very content where I am, it is not exactly rural. As I don't drive it is perfect for me and I can at least see mature trees and a long vista across the river Severn to Wales each time I do my shopping.

jinxxxygirl said...

So nice to hear you talk about where you live Pat... I prefer living remotely.. I have lived in a housing development and in the country in my life. I have lived where my nearest neighbor is a mile away and now i have closer neighbors but town is 20 miles away.. I've never understood people wanting to live right on top of one another.. The fall colors are not beautiful this year here in Arkansas...just not the right weather for them... My yard is full of 100 yr old pine trees and one hickory tree and one dogwood tree... The dogwood did manage to turn pretty this year but the hickory which was splendid last year only turned a sickly looking yellow/brown.. Hugs! deb

the veg artist said...

I live in a small market town, but much of West Wales is as you describe in terms of services. Specialist medical services are becoming an issue as everything gets centralised, but often to 50 or 100 miles away!
The advantage is that it is easy to find peace around here. We have fabulous beaches which are particularly good walking in the winter, when nearly deserted! I would love to be nearer galleries and decent shops sometimes, though. The internet can't provide everything!

Librarian said...

The thing about remoteness is that for people who do not drive, depending on public transport can make life a bit difficult. I, for example, really like O.K.'s village - and that is not even remote - but I would find it hard to get to and from work, do my shopping and so on, if I lived there all the time. I live in a small town of 90,000 residents and can get everywhere on foot, plus there are local trains that take me to and from my clients. Without that, I don't know how I would be able to provide for myself.
Autumn is lovely this year, isn't it!

Rachel Phillips said...

Rural areas are the same all over England.

Derek Faulkner said...

Can't agree there Rachel, there are a lot of variations on what constitutes a rural area, throughout England.

Mary said...

THIS post is why I continue to read blogs!

A real story, beautifully shared and written, full of facts and glimpses of life in the English countryside (which I miss so much despite having left 57 years ago!). Worth getting up for, sitting quietly with a cup of coffee, and just being thankful for another day. A fellow blogger shared a quote recently which touched home - "Your first thought in the morning should be - "Thank You".

Pat I envy you living where you do. Our city here has grown from a small sleepy southern town - we came here in 1977 - to a huge bustling city of 500,000 - in a county of now over one million! It's continuing to grow daily as it's become 'a place to move to' and they say 67 new inhabitants arrive daily!!! We are surrounded by three major universities and numerous hospitals, some world renowned for their services. Building goes on everywhere, high rise buildings mar the landscape and take away the green spaces, traffic is atrocious, I would love to move out to the country, mountains or coast, to a small town, quieter but with easy access to the city when needed. This won't happen though.

Thank you for your story today - I just had Bob sit down to read it and he agreed that you are blessed to be where you are. . . . that coming from a real 'city boy' and is why I'm stuck here!
Take care, Mary

Mary said...
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wisps of words said...

Like so many things in life, the topic of remoteness, is an individual perception. What is remote to me, would not be, to you. Etc.

You are happy with where you life! That seems to be the most important aspect.

We live "on the edge" of a small city. With woods across the road... And the hospital happens to be just a few minutes away. So we feel it is quite perfect, for us.

Again, one's own perception, is what counts.

Btw, I would never want to live in a big city, with concrete and busy, noisy streets and etc. Brrrrrrrr..... Thankfully, I have never had to do so.

🍁🍂🔥🍂🍁

Susan said...

I live in a remote community, in fact only accessible by sea or air. It is stunningly beautiful and mercifully remains undeveloped apart from a small town and two small villages. Occasionally I miss access to museums, live theatre and other cultural activities but on the whole would not want to live anywhere else. When we can no longer manage our smallholding we will have to move into the town or leave altogether which is a sad thought.

Anne Brew said...

We regularly stay in a remote area of East Yorkshire but it has excellent WiFi so I never feel I’m missing anything and we have the beauty of the North Sea on our doorstep. If WiFi was weak or non existent I’m afraid I would feel very different about staying there.

Anne Brew said...

...make that differently!...

pam nash said...

It's all about what's important to each individual. And, what they think "far" is.

At Home In New Zealand said...

Your autumn colours sound so beautiful. Remoteness is definitely a matter of personal perception. I have spent most of my life living in rural areas and we never thought twice about having to travel to get anywhere. Yet I knew a woman once who thought moving from one side of the city to the other was like moving to another world. Thank goodness we are all different - it makes life so much more interesting!

justjill said...

I was asked recently if I had come on the bus. We are not on a bus route. I like living remotely. Until I have to go for medical treatment. Then its minimum half an hour away anything serious is an hour away. Thank goodness I can drive.

Joan (Devon) said...

We live in a remote area of Devon and only a few minutes by car from the Somerset border. The only conveniences in the village is a doctors surgery and we share the doctors with other close villages, a church, a Spar, a Post Office which also sells groceries, a pub and a garage which doesn't sell petrol. Our local hospital is in Taunton, Somerset which is about 30 minutes away, but it's closer than Exeter or indeed Tiverton.

Every time we move we seem to get more remote and both of us feel that we couldn't live anywhere with lots of traffic or people. The odd time we've been into Exeter since we moved back down here it seems to get busier and busier and we can't wait until we're heading home leaving it all behind us.

Cro Magnon said...

Here it's Walnuts. They simply lie where they drop, and are there for the taking.

thelma said...

I like the idea of remoteness but then as you grow old we need access to doctors,shops etc.
Britain is a beautiful country, small but it has a patchwork quilt of different landscapes.

Sue said...

I found Wensleydale a rather remote place moving there as a teenager. No shops or cinemas. A bit of a culture shock but I learnt to love the dales and country life.

Jules said...

I think it's what you become used to. I begin to feel hemmed in if I don't have easy access to the countryside. X

Jennyff said...

We’ve lived in isolation on occasion and here in Italy we are often alone on the mountain. I have no problems being remote, I’ve always preferred it to being in a city but now we’ve downsized in the UK to an apartment in a small town and I like that too, particularly being able to walk to shops, library, doctor and dentist. I feel fortunate to have grown up and lived a lot of my life in the country, I do love silence.

btcexchange said...
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The Weaver of Grass said...

So interesting reading all your comments - it goes to show how we are all different in our wants and our wishes. But lovely to share them all - so thank you to you all.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Derek I think you have misunderstood exactly what Rachel means by 'rural areas' - I would agree with her that rural areas all over England do suffer these days from lack of facilities - hospitals have centralised (apart from anything else equipment like scanners is so costly that they can't be provided in what used to be called 'cottage hospitals', and specialist staff need to be centralised - posr offices and banks have closed - every rural area has lost many of its facilities.
I would agree with you that what constitutes a rural area in some parts - like the outskirts of London for example - we up here in the Dales would find laughable.