Wednesday, 12 September 2012

This Sought-After Village

According to Wikipedia, an English rural village has a church, a pub or inn, shops and a blacksmith. Well, we no longer have a blacksmith, but we do pretty well for the other facilities thank you very much.  We have a lovely church, with recently-added floodlighting to deter the lead thieves.  We have two pubs in our village, in addition to a sports and social club with bar.  We have a butcher/deli and a newsagent/sub-post-office (there have been some nervous times in the last few years whenever the C word is mentioned), although our corner shop has recently closed. In addition to these, we have a primary school, a small garden centre, two hairdressers (at least) and a travelling chiropodist. We even have a bus service!

All of which contributes to estate agents being able to advertise properties here as being in a 'very popular village'.  It sounds lovely.  It is lovely!  But it also means that the market being what it is, properties in our village, as well as being few and far between, are rather expensive.  A quick check on zoopla today reveals that the current cheapest property is £245,000.  And that's for a two-bedroomed house.  For families who have lived here for a while, whose children are now hoping to become home-owners in their own right, our village is not really an option, so they have to move right away from our little rural idyll.  I find myself wondering how long it will be before our village school closes and reopens as a pensioners' day centre.  Which would doubtless count as another attraction as far as the estate agents are concerned.

One of our lovely pubs

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Mission Statement. Just not that formal.

I just couldn't resist it! The lure of the keyboard, the glare of the screen, the opportunity to share my drivel with other people....  A new blog. A proper one this time, not a fictional one, though if you want fiction, I have left my fictional blog up, I'm just not updating it anymore.

My intentions? To blog about life in the village, life as viewed from the bus into Oxford (or from alternative transport to elsewhere) and a general commentary on the literary life amateur-style.  If I ever start to make money from it, I may have to come back and edit this mission statement. Other views/comments will be added as I think of them.

There may occasionally be pictures. I am not a professional photographer so the quality may be variable, but they might add some variety to the page.

For today, however, I simply wish to say the view from this village is one of sunny disposition, coming as it does on a day when many of the children have gone back to school and therefore the sun is shining.  Oxford looked glorious in the sunshine despite St Giles Fair having finished only yesterday, Cornmarket was not too crowded and it was warm enough to drive back with the roof of the car down.  Shame I was returning from the hairdresser...

For those of you with literary interests, there are a few competitions with closing dates in the near future: the Costa Short Story competition closes on Friday as does the Pighog Moss Rich Poetry prize.  If those are a little soon, you could also consider trying to win a two-week stay at the Writers' Retreat in Spain via this poetry/prose competition, closing at the end of the month.  I have done minimal writing of late as the builders are *still* winter-proofing my office but at least it now has stairs in it.

Let me know what your view is like and if there are any good competitions out there that need a little more publicity!