Wednesday, 4 April 2018

a few days in the country









Whenever there's a bank holiday or school holiday, we embark on a 2 hour drive to a small village just outside of Reading to spend a few days in a cottage where civilisation is scarce. It has been something we have been doing as a family ever since I was born. When my dad first arrived to the UK from Morocco in the late 80s, his first job was as a butler for a wealthy family. Now almost 30 years later, we still have access to the huge plot of land and it has become a sacred trip away for me. It's a place to strip back the way we live and just enjoy the bare minimum.

The house is essentially a massive library with walls lined with books. It has been a goal of mine to read every book available in the cottage. The TV doesn't work nor does reliable service operate there either. The views from all the rooms are rolling hills and vast expanses of greenery and whilst it was grey and most of the foliage was a bit bare after the unbelievably long winter we've had, it was still the best sight to see first thing in the morning. When you're in such an environment, one where even if you squinted as hard as you possible could and still remain unsuccessful in finding someone else around, it does give you an eerie sense of (weirdly) satisfying isolation. That it's just you in a field of green. No one else. If anything happened to you, no one would know.

In the summer, when I last visited, the heated pool was open, the hammock was set up between two blossom trees and the apple orchards were in full bloom and the tennis court was in action. To describe it as bliss would be an understatement. Strolling through the beaten path to the pool, the late August sun beating on your back whilst clutching three or four books and a disposable camera was a morning pleasure that I eagerly looked forward to and serves as a record of better days in my mind.

Walking around the property is more than enough but just outside of the gates, there's a variety of paths to go through. We ended up hiking around 8km one morning, going along the pathways whilst my dad told stories about how he used any downtime as a way to hike and clear his mind before getting back to busy shifts serving expensive foods and alcohol to very posh dinner guests. I always find my mind wandering and thinking what I would be like if I had grown up in such an environment. The nearest town is a 30 minute drive and the main demographic of the area is middle-aged white people. I would definitely be a very different person if I had grown up in a small town in the middle of nowhere as opposed to London. 100%.

I had such a calming time there and am already thinking about the next time I visit, ideally in the late summer time. I hope these photos brought you the same calmness and tranquility they bring me.

Dalal

14 comments:

  1. These photos are so pretty- I couldn't imagine growing up somewhere so isolated but it must feel so great to go there especially when life keeps getting so stressful. I already feel jealous of you going in summer and being able to go in the pool and chill in a hammock x
    constantlylibby.blogspot.co.uk

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    1. Thanks Libby. Neither could I but I can definitely see it's perks as a massive stress reliever. I'm so ready for summer to roll around

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  2. The photos and your writing are so calming - I’d love to have a little country house in the middle of nowhere, just to get away from urban life every once and a while

    Fran | www.franciscarockey.co.uk

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    1. Thank you Fran! It's definitely something that I would consider, maybe somewhere to retire in (ha, not in this economy though) but definitely not the place to live your most "active" years in.

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  3. Okay so this is straight up GOALS. These type of mini break holidays are the BEST and this sounds so calming and beautiful and like it can cure anything tbh lol. Thanks for sharing this <3 <3 <3

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    1. I'm so grateful that we have a space like this available (almost) at our disposal. They really are, just being away from your home city even if it's not abroad can feel like you're hundreds of miles away . I'm glad you enjoyed it <3

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  4. This sounds like such a nice getaway and its so cool that you're still able to go there! Sometimes its nice to get away from the hustle and bustle of towns/cities and just switch off from the world.

    Lucy | Forever September

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    1. It was very needed- I definitely agree with the switching off.

      Dalal

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  5. Such beautiful photos!!

    Andrea//

    https://justohana.blogspot.com.es

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  6. These photos are so lovely! A quite getaway in the country sounds like a good needed break from the busy everyday we all live now x

    Sophie's Spot

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  7. Ahhh got to love the countryside. It maintains such a calm and tranquil ambience, unlike cities. Reading this article was very peaceful too!! A fantastic read.

    Experience Invest Reviews

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    1. I agree with you completely. Thanks for reading :)

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