Since studying in Liverpool I have begun to identify myself as this ‘country bumpkin’. While I’m not 100% farmer it’s become part of my identify [my severe fear of cows would make me a awful farmer – just for the record]. I used to think growing up and living in Norfolk was boring and I never really appreciated what was here. It was the countryside. The less thought of English countryside. When you think of the countryside you think of the south or the Lake District. Norfolk maybe the largest county in England, but it’s one people forget about. It’s quiet, flat and full of fields.
I’ve lived in the same village all my life. Even though I am still very young, I have seen changes in my community. The only facilities left in my village is a small village shop, a primary school, village hall, and a pub. Once it used to have seven pubs, a post office and a fish and chip shop. Despite being fragments of my childhood memories, they made me part of who I am.
When we got my dog 12 years ago, we used to get a free battered sausage from the married couple who ran the fish and chip shop. My twin sister and I used to sit on the windowsill while we waited for our order. They were only minor parts of my childhood, but the warmth of them will stay with me forever. It’s the little things in life that make you content. A few years ago that memory faded with the demolition of the old chippy as it had been left to go derelict and started to lean into the road causing a health risk. Now there is an empty gap, where a once thriving little business used to be.
These days it takes a 10 to 15 minute drive to get anything and go anywhere. I used to get the bus to high school, it was a ten minute journey. The journey consisted of sharp bends and pot holes. It was one of those roads that didn’t get gritted during the winter months, which made it dangerous for buses. On the plus side, we were able to get away with days off school, because it was too icy, whereas in a city you wouldn’t necessarily get away with that. The only bus that comes through the village runs from 7am to 6pm, at the bottom of the village, once an hour. It takes 20 minutes to walk to the bus stop from my house, since the bus route changed. Public transport is becoming even more difficult, so cars have become the primarily source of getting about. If I didn’t have my car I would feel so cut off from everything in the countryside.
The village shows were always fun, it felt like half the village would turn out to the performances and were huge in their prime. My parents and their friends were heavily involved, with my Dad taking on the role as the director, if you were to give him a title. I can walk through my village and see people who I’ve known all my life and we always say hello. You know where everyone lives and you generally know everyone’s business (if you know the right people). The best way to explain where I live is by comparing it to the TV program Midsommer Murders, without the murders. That’s the best way to understand my little bubble of a world. It’s small and insignificant to most, but I love it.
Living in a city, you begin to miss and appreciate what you have at home. I always thought the countryside was boring and just lame. But I’ve miss seeing the stars at night, rather than an orange glow caused light pollination. I miss the sound of nothingness at 4am, not someones car alarm or drunks yelling in the street. I miss walking through a field of golden crops and travelling down country roads. I miss my family and the beautiful landscape from my bedroom window. All these little things, become big things when away from your comfort zone. Despite living in Liverpool for the past two years, I will never get used to the convenience and all the hustle and bustle of the city.
I’m proud to be from Norfolk. I’m proud for people to think I’m a six-fingered farmer and that I’m the product of incest. Norfolk is a hidden gem, which I will always treasure.