The Country Life

What does your ideal home look like?  Is it a chic city flat or a smart suburban home?  Is it a rustic beach house or a cosy home in the country?  I can tell you that the latter describes my dream home to a T.

It’s safe to say I’m not a city person.  I’m not even an outer suburban person.  Basically, anything that involves a lot of houses, vast amounts of people and ready access to shopping centres is not my cup of tea.

Something that is my cup of tea, however, is the area in which I am staying as I write this post.  My parents moved to Beechworth several years ago, so I’m lucky to be able to come up here several times a year and enjoy the lack of suburban-ness (and their company, obviously).  Open fields!  Country op shops!  (They are the absolute best op shops.)  The fancy-pants fudge at the lolly shop!

I grew up on a ten acre farm, which is either HUGE or tiny depending on your background.  It was just right for me.  We loved running to our windows first thing of a Spring morning, checking to see if there were new lambs gambolling around the paddocks.  We had fresh veggies and our own eggs and we even had a pet sheep that we used to ride.  I say “ride” but the reality was that we’d sit on his shaggy back and wait until he took a step to get to a different patch of grass.  I’m pretty sure horses offer a somewhat more thrilling experience of riding.

Growing up in the Yarra Valley also influenced my approach to distance.  I think a half-hour trip to get somewhere means it’s practically next door.  Anything up to two hours away is a perfectly reasonable distance to travel.  Gravel roads are fine – Who cares if your car’s paintwork receives a couple of chips?  It just adds character… – but I do draw the line at single-lane roads on windy mountain sides.

For me, isolation wins over convenience every time.  If I had my way, I’d be living in the photo below.

Grass and House

What you can’t quite see there is that the house is lacking something in the way of doors and windows, which I, along with most people, consider necessary in a dwelling.  So perhaps not that exact photo, but something similar.  Provided there are fields, sheep and a house with character, then I’d be happy.  The only problem is that the Chef and I require jobs if we are to continue eating, etc., and they’re not always easy to come by in the country, otherwise I’d be dragging the Chef and the cats to some rural location and setting up house there, complete with chooks and probably some pigs, if only to appease the Chef.

This is why my ultimate long-term goal is the whole best-selling author business.  I can be a best-selling author anywhere!  In fact, the countryside seems the perfect location for such a career.  I could keep myself away from distractions as long as necessary and allow myself to be inspired by the views and the landscapes around me.  And whenever I felt the need to get out of the house, I could head for a local café and enjoy some fantastic regional produce.  My other creative endeavours needn’t suffer; I recently went to the Spotlight in Wangaratta and discovered it has a far better selection of dress fabrics than my local one.  (I actually bought some gorgeous fabric there and the lady who cut it for me told me to bring it in and show her when I’d made it up into a dress.  Which I would, really, I would… if only it didn’t involve a six hour round trip.)

Basically, any job that involves using words and not having to commute to an office in the city or suburbs would be fine.  I’m not greedy.  All I want is to have the freedom to escape to a country town and have a commute the involves a cuppa-laden amble from the kitchen to a bright and airy study.  Maybe that should be my main plan for 2015: find a way to escape to the country.

I’m heading back home tomorrow and as much as I am looking forward to seeing the Chef and my kitties again, I wish they were waiting for me in a different location.  Somewhere a lot more rural, in a quirky oldish house, preferably with a nice wide verandah for sitting and writing or drinking a nice cuppa while enjoying the view.  If only!

So tell me: are you a country or a city person?  What does your ideal house look like?  Tell me in the comments!

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0 comment

thenoveilst 28th December 2014 - 8:53 pm

Very much a country person. 🙂

Katie Writes Stuff 29th December 2014 - 4:25 pm

Excellent! Another person on my team. 😀

Flit 1st January 2015 - 2:27 pm

I’d move to Tassie in a heart beat if it had good internet and, well, jobs, and it wasn’t so pricey to get back to the mainland. Also, I love my profession too much still to give it up, even if someone ever though my writing was good enough to sell. So I’m better staying where I’m at for now. But I’d love a hobby farm and no commute.
Canberra really is just a big country town, though, so maybe you should move up here as a mid-step? 😀

Katie Writes Stuff 2nd January 2015 - 11:09 am

Oh, Tassie! Yes! That would have to be the ultimate country escape. I love that you could have a house about fifteen minutes from the centre of Hobart and still feel like you’re living the rural dream. One day…

Nice work on the Canberra hint there. Subtle. 😛 Although, actually, I wouldn’t be much further away from my parents there and we might even be able to find work. Hmm.

Flit 3rd January 2015 - 8:35 am

Work… Yes…. Maybe wait another six months as more jobs are being cut than created here.
But seriously, you can get a house in Bungendore or Sutton or another little village and still be reasonably close (40mins usually) to proper shops and cinemas. Just an idea… (Which I’ll keep suggesting in my subtle way)

Katie Writes Stuff 3rd January 2015 - 10:07 pm

Bungendore was definitely a super cute little town. And the countryside is gorgeous. And the Chef honestly doesn’t care where we lives as long as a) I’m there, and, b) there’s good internet (hopefully in that order). You do make a very good case for it all…

Dianne 1st January 2015 - 10:09 pm

I grew up on Central Vic & spend most weekends in the bush. Have to make do with a vege patch, chickens and watching the local native birds nest in our front yard now! and had to give up on the dream of owning my own horse some time back…

Katie Writes Stuff 2nd January 2015 - 11:06 am

A horse was all I wanted when I was little! In the end, I had to make do with the aforementioned sheep and writing myself a fictional horse. It wasn’t quite the same…

Perhaps if a whole bunch of us ran away to the country, we’d generate such a need for new jobs that it would all work out in the end?

Arctic Firefox 2nd January 2015 - 9:05 pm

Great topic! My ideal would probably be a small coastal city with a population of about 200,000. In Victoria, this would mean Geelong, but I’ve never warmed to the place that much, unfortunately.

Australia-wide, it would be Hobart as well! However, I’d prefer to live in the inner-city — given that this is all theoretical, a place in Battery Point would be lovely! 😛

Katie Writes Stuff 2nd January 2015 - 10:08 pm

Hobart and Launceston definitely win the award for being rural yet close to city amenities. I would head there in a heartbeat if it was at all feasible. Battery Point would be an amazing place to live – the history! I might just head over to and have a bit of a daydream after this…

Yes, Geelong doesn’t quite have the same appeal, although I do have a bizarre fondness for the place.

ameliabeare 7th January 2015 - 6:30 pm

I grew up in a few places, which makes it hard to say exactly where I would call home based on childhood alone. Our little island in the Whitsundays? A beat-up ol’ 1954 Bedford bus doing laps of the east coast and interior? An even more beat-up, but not quite as old, Kombi doing laps between the Whitsundays and Tasmania? Finally Tasmania?

Or skip the country completely and return to the dark and chill of Scandinavia, with streets older than Australia has been Australia? Yes, I think that. Give me a reason to rug up around the beautiful Nordic peoples and hope they don’t notice my short and plump self as a dimple in their crowd. They’re too nice to care anyway. Also, COLD! Yes please cold is good yes so good.

Katie Writes Stuff 7th January 2015 - 8:56 pm

Please talk some more about the cold! I’m almost feeling it… imagining my nose going numb from the chill, no longer feeling as though I’m going to melt from the stupid heat… Lovely!

There’s certainly been a lot of island living in your life, which sounds pretty good to me. After all of that rattling around the country, you’d either be completely enamoured of roadtripping or absolutely over it!

Bonita Vear (@bjvear) 22nd January 2015 - 4:11 pm

Canberra wins at all the country town feels. Seriously, everyone knows everyone here, and you have loads of places you can live that are right smack up against bush. And you know, I have a horse because it’s a great place for equestrians too!

That being said, I’d never go to any other city, Canberra is as ‘city-like’ as I’d like to go. But I also don’t think I could do a house in the middle of nowhere either. Friends and family are so important to us, that the isolation would be a big issue. ❤

bonita of Lavender & Twill

Katie Writes Stuff 22nd January 2015 - 7:14 pm

That “everyone knows everyone” thing is so true – whenever I’m visiting my friends in Canberra, it seems they can’t go anywhere without running into someone they know. Or hiding from them behind a handy pot plant… Plus, it’s nice to know you’re half an hour away from leaving the city behind at any given point. You know, Canberra is certainly growing on me as an option!

Being in a place where people can visit is definitely important. I’d be happy to live on the very edge of nowhere, rather than in the middle of it.


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