Town Mouse or Country Mouse?

Since moving from the Dublin suburbs to Co Kerry I’ve experienced only two types of reaction from people. The first is to tell me that I’m quite simply mad to leave behind all the conveniences, people and services of the East for the wild, sparsely populated and remote West. The second is to tell me how lucky I am to be ‘living the dream’. Now that we have been here for over two years it’s clear to me that the reality is somewhere in between.
We came here for a different way of life. A slower pace of life. We wanted to get away from motorways and traffic queues. From soulless shopping centres and concrete jungles. We wanted Little P to have the freedom to run on empty beaches, to be surrounded by nature and breathe clean fresh air.  We have all of that, we love it and she is thriving on it. But, there is a but.
We are far away from the centre of things and I often worry that she may want that when she is older. Maybe we will want it when we are older too. I occasionally find myself missing certain things about my old suburban life. I miss being close to the big national events that almost always happen in Dublin. I miss services like high speed broadband, varied employment options and the proximity to big cultural institutions. Sometimes I just miss feeling close to the centre of the action, close to where all the big decisions are made.
The gap between Dublin and the rest of the country can seem enormous when you live outside Dublin. Both media and government can appear to be very ‘Dublin-centric’ and that certainly adds to my feelings of living on the periphery. Even the attitudes of friends and family have changed since we moved. I’ve heard all the ‘jokes’ by now. ‘You’re a real culchie now…..’, ‘We won’t be able to understand Little P with that accent…’, ‘Do you actually have cinemas down there?…..’ etc etc!
So will my feelings of discontent gradually fade and disappear or will they just grow stronger and eventually become impossible to ignore? I know that at the moment my love for and my connection to the new home we have made is much stronger than any feelings of restlessness. But that could change. Perhaps some of us need different things from our homes at different life stages. Perhaps, like the idea of only one true love for a lifetime, the idea of one perfect home for life is only a romantic notion.
In her later years my Nana, who lived in a quiet cul de sac, would often say how she wished she could see people passing by her window. Her secluded and private home was the perfect place to raise a family. But when she grew older and her home became less busy inside she longed to see human activity and busyness outside her windows.
So, maybe the blog I’ll be writing in twenty years time will be from an appartement, a tower block or a condo. Or maybe I’ll still be here just a lot more windswept and a little wiser than I am now.

Author: wildatlanticmum

West coast of Ireland is my new home. Mum to a very bossy toddler. Sea swimmer, nature lover, part-time doodler & social media novice.

4 thoughts on “Town Mouse or Country Mouse?”

  1. I’m doing a talk tomorrow night on the differences on life for town and country women in the 1960s – a lot of it boiled down to electricity and piped water. It’s kinda funny that nowadays the differences are broadband and access to cultural events and yes, even though I’m only an hour from the Red Cow roundabout, sometimes I wish I was nearer for those things too and then I spend a day in Dublin and am glad I live in the sticks. My daughter (13) says she would hate to live in a city so she hasn’t reach the age yet of wanting all of those things.


    1. Absolutely! How times change😉I’m very heartened to hear that about your daughter. I choose to have Little P in the country because I feel it’s a better lifestyle for children I just hope she feels the same!


  2. Really enjoyed this – and could identify with a lot of it. Overall, I’m definitely a country mouse but love topping up on everything urban too – especially food, cool coffee shops, art, music. But in Ireland, you’re never too far away from a bit of culture – you may need to drive a bit more, but there’s so much on. My mother always says cities are for the young – so maybe P will want to move when she’s a little older. When you’re not from Dublin you often find yourself spending years there in first jobs in order to gain experience – i did it, many of my friends did also, and it’s a great learning experience. Your lines re your Nana broke my heart – but perhaps she would have felt just as removed on a busier street. Old age is harsh. Keep your thoughts coming – they’re so thought provoking!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes I think distances are so short between city and country in Ireland now you could quite feasibly have the best of both worlds. Think it’s very true about cities being for the young – maybe Little P will get a fabulous apartment in New York when she grows up and I can have loads of holidays there!!


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