Saturday, January 18, 2014

Never Judge a Book By Its Cover

When I first moved to Suffolk 21 years ago, and I was trying to find somewhere to live, everybody said things to me like 'avoid so and so it's really rough'  'so and so's not a nice place to live, you can do better than that' and 'you won't like it in so and so, it's not a good area'.  So I avoided so and so area and eventually bought a lovely 17th century grade 2 listed cottage in a tiny village.  No shop, a bus twice a week (on market days) but lots of big houses, a pub and a church (service only once every 4 weeks).  It was nice.  It was pretty.  It was very very quiet, apart from the lorries on the main road. We had a good social life.  We ate round friends houses.  We did a bit of walking and country sports. We had friends round to eat and socialise.  I enjoyed living there but I never really fitted in. I couldn't be me, often I had to pretend to enjoy things (or pretend to understand things!).  I wasn't posh like the other women, and unlike most of them, I worked!


(the plastic box contains surplus veg from my allotment, for sale)

Then, for various reasons, I sold the beautiful cottage to cries from my friends of 'how could you leave it?', 'you'll never find somewhere as pretty/characterful/unique as this again', and then the cries became 'you're moving WHERE?', 'you can't move there it's rough/not nice/a bad area'.  Yes, you've guessed, I was moving to THAT 'so and so' place where everyone had always told me not to live!
(County Park at the 'so and so' place)

And do you know what, the neighbourhood I moved to is the friendliest, happiest place I've lived, EVER.  On the day I moved in people I'd never met (my new neighbours) came round with flowers and cards to welcome me to the street.  People spoke to me in the street from day one. People are friendly in the corner shop.  When I'm gardening in the front garden people I've never seen before stop and chat.  Neighbours give me eggs, make cups of tea for each other when we're all gardening in the summer.  Impromptu lunches, evening drinks just happen.  And just recently I've started going to yoga at the local upper school and everyone is friendly there too.  We chat, we laugh, it's fun. 
(allotments by the Country Park - maybe one day I'll be able to have one again......)

Yes there are parts of this area that are rough, but I don't live in that part (although some of the lovely people at yoga do), I live in the old part, a part I never even knew existed because I'd judged the whole area by what other people said about it.  It's not perfect, (nowhere is, is it?),  but it's lovely and I can be ME and everyone just accepts that.  And I know I learnt a valuable lesson when I  moved here - never judge a book by its cover! 

10 comments:

Jo said...

I think that saying applies to everything in life. There's good and bad everywhere. Hope you manage to get an allotment again, you must really miss it.

Mystic Quilter said...

I loved reading this post of your house moving stories. I always loved the allotments back home in the UK and hope your name comes up for one very quickly!

Celia Hart said...

There are usually nice areas in the places with bad reputations, it's sad some towns/villages get blighted by often outdated opinions of them.
And it's great you now live in a lovely community.

Enjoy the yoga class. I admit my early morning sun salutes haven't happened for a while.

Anna said...

Jo has taken the words out of my mouth :) You are so lucky Su to have moved to somewhere where there is a sense of community. It makes all the difference.

annjennyg said...

A sense of community is a lovely thing. This morning we walked around the small town where we have lived now for 7 years. It is just an ordinary town,not one of the 'best' places to live, but we marvelled at the many beautiful old buildings and enjoyed the sense of community and history it offers. I'm glad you have found somewhere to feel at home and hope you are able to get an allotment soon too!

dottycookie said...

Good for you. It sounds as if you've found exactly the right place to live - and besides, what's right for one person is totally wrong for another!

Gina said...

Also a lesson in doing what feels right for you and not just listening to what everyone else says!

CATHY DANIEL said...

I envy you your lovely community feel - I live somewhere more like your first place, and it takes a lot of hard work to fit in and get to know folks. Happy New Year, by the way! xCathy

Sue Garrett said...

Sounds lovely as these days people are often too reserved and when new people move close by they just tend to hide behind curtains and peer out at them moving in. Then again some people just think you are being oushy if you pop out to say hello.

Annie @ knitsofacto said...

I know bits of Suffolk really well and love them all ... we keep saying we will move there one day. Fascinated to know where you were and are ... just curious if it fits with my estimation of different places. Glad to read that you are really happy where you are now :)