I’m Kate and this is my lifestyle blog about living in the Countryside, juggling kids, work, a horse, a dog and a home renovation whilst we also try to keep on top of the gardens, veg patch and life in general. It’s possible to do it all and at least have a laugh at the same time. There is much to love about the Countryside and life in general and I hope to share it here.
My background is that I was born and raised ‘in the sticks.’ We kept ponies in the garden and hung out at Young Farmers or Pony Club events. I never had a next door neighbour until I went to university and what a shock that was. My parents renovated all our houses and we spent most of our childhood living on building sites and often in caravans. When I was at primary school we renovated a house that we literally had to hack our way to with machetes. There was no access, no water, no electricity. My little sister and I mucked cow manure out of what was to become our kitchen. We were wild and it was brilliant.
After college I spent a year travelling. Doing all the popular adventures gap year kids did in the 90’s: inter railing around Europe, camp America, lots of different jobs from fruit packing to working in a pasty shop. I was travel crazy at that time and usually had two jobs at a time saving up for my next trip. I did a LOT of bar work and waitressing!
After University I moved to Liverpool and started temping, working as a receptionist or in typing pools, anything that came along. I landed my first ‘big job’ a few months later and got myself a cozy bedsit in Manchester. It was the early ‘noughties’ and the golden age of management consultancy. The interview was an intense day of role play and grilling, which was the fashion back then. To my surprise I got through.
I spent a few years as a management consultant which was a great experience, but there was a lot of travel and I was increasingly finding myself longing to stay in one place. I spent months at a time living in hotels and never really settled in cities. I had bought a horse and was desperate to ride. So I moved again and this led into a few years in an investment bank in London. I’m not sure how I blagged my way into that gig! It was another good experience though. After that there was a short stint in a manufacturing company based just outside of London, but regularly working on projects in the middle of nowhere in Russia. I used to ride my horse first thing in the morning, then dash to the office for a quick change and to grab a cab to Heathrow for my flight to Moscow. Definitely what my mother would describe as ‘character building,’ but not something I could sustain long term.
Luckily I finally managed to find a job just around the corner from home. I love being back in the countryside. I spent a lot of years staring out of city hotel rooms overlooking motorway flyovers dreaming of being able to settle down and back into the lifestyle I had grown up with.
We are renovating our home which is a rambling old farmhouse. It’s going to take a long, long time, but is a beautiful project nestled in joyful gardens, which we just about keep on top of. We’ve had a lot to learn and continue to learn. So far it’s been a roller-coaster of tears, triumph, arguments, bliss, windows falling out in the middle of kids parties, rain streaming through the roof, but always progress and appreciation.
I’m now married to a ‘city boy’ who works long hours. My son’s first spoken sentence was ‘daddy where are you?’ We have two young children and my horse and our dog so I am always juggling. This blog is about living in the countryside, dogs, horses, cooking on my Aga, kids and anything else that might crop up as we gallop through life in our little village in the UK. If you are living in the City or any city and are toying with the idea of living ‘in the sticks,’ come join us! Kick on. The mud is great 🙂