I have been away for a week visiting relatives in sunny Derbyshire. OK, it really isn't very sunny, but it is fairly picturesque in the moments when the cloud cover breaks and the sun illuminates the peaks. Unfortunately I forgot to take my camera, so I can't show you. It is well worth a visit if ever you pass that way.
A week away from the city calms and clarifies the mind beautifully. As a child I used to wander for hours in the countryside if I had a decision to make or was feeling out of sorts. I never realised until last week how much I missed the opportunity to roam free, physically and mentally, for just a few hours.
Which leads me to the decision I made whilst we were away and my mind was peacefully rambling. I am not an urban girl, I never will be. Sure I can cope, but I don't thrive. Too much noise, too much commotion, too much competition - and for want of a better word, too much fronting. So when we move, as the darling OH is also not overly enamoured with city living, we will be leaving the city. This will be in a few years when he has finished his nursing training, but I have made peace with that and will throw myself into enjoying to the full all the pluses of living in the most densely populated city in the UK (awesome 'Indian' restaurants and takeaways, for one) and of course, spending time with all of the lovely people here that we call our friends and neighbours.
We are still undecided just how rural we will go. At the moment I am keen on the outskirts of a town. Being landlocked in Derbyshire, followed by a stopover in the equally pretty-but-landlocked Oxfordshire, also taught me that reservoirs and lakes and streams are no substitute for the open sea and a beach nearby - and therefore we will not be heading too far inland anytime soon.
But knowing where our eventual patch of the earth will not be is a step in the right direction, don't you think?