Leaving the Big Smoke for the Good Life

I have always wanted to live in the country.

For many and varied reasons, I never achieved that dream but it stayed with me, until today when I finally acted on it.

To me, there was never any contest between the fresh air and the green fields, the trees and the wildlife and the concrete jungle of the city.

Some of the reasons are that I failed to pay attention to my real passions in life. I can blame my career choice as being burdensome and unfulfilling or I can blame being caught on a treadmill.

It doesn’t matter what the excuse or reason is, I had the choice myself ultimately.

I have realised that you cannot map out your future, you just have to save up some money and take a chance – see what happens – tell people about your dreams and see what happens.


I had the incredible good fortune to have a wonderful friend who offered me her mother’s house in the country while they waited for probate to sell it. She offered me the chance to sample country life for six months because I had had the courage to share my dream with her.

I signed up for an organic horticulture course and loved every bit of it, creating a garden diary and working in an inner city garden in my spare time.

I spent every weekend coming down over the summer, preparing for the big move when I would leave my job in Dublin.  We worked on the house and garden, digging out weeds, planting, writing lists and painting furniture. Roisin made inventories of all the furniture and contents and we walked and dreamed about our ideal house. It turned out that we shared a similar dream – hers to have a studio and to grow her own food. Roisin is an accomplished artist and successful grower already.

The sun shone and I cooked and enjoyed the peace while Roisin made inventories of the thousands of books her mother had left.

The weeks flew by and the day for my leaving work – end of September drew closer. Then I was asked to stay until the end of October – it seemed like a never ending month and while I was buoyed up with the idea of leaving, the work became more difficult than ever, knowing I would be walking away from it in the near future.

The Friday came when I could actually leave. It happened that I had to be in court all day. I packed the car early in the morning so I would not have to go home again. The day dragged on for ever and I had my last coffee with my stalwart barrister with whom I had done countless cases over the years.

I returned to the office and collected my last few things and said my last goodbyes – it was the Halloween party in the office and everyone was staying late.

I imagined myself gliding down the road in and glorious exit out the M50. It was not quite like that – fog had settled in on the road and it was very difficult. The traffic was truly awful and I felt a bit cheated.


Eventually I stepped out of the car at my new home looking out on the sea – the sky was clear and the stars twinkled clearly against the true blackness of night. I inhaled the night air and knew I was exactly where I wanted to be.


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