Ack it’s been weeks. And not for any good reason other than ORANGE really F*CKED UP. (Let me just type this so it gets picked up by someone in Orange PR, then we’ll move on. ORANGE IS SHIT. There, that ought to do it.) Instead of transferring our account, they cancelled it. Then tell us it’ll take THREE WEEKS to reconnect us. Then we’ll move to BT.
Anyway, all of that fades into insignificance just a tiny bit against the brilliant background that is Tarporley, Cheshire. It’s a beautiful village with real amenities, like a proper butcher’s, post office, coffee shops and pubs and so on. Trundling round with MCD Jr in the pushchair has been a delight.
But the real joy has been in what lies outside. We only just got the second car last week so I’ve been a bit crazy with cabin-fever. It’s a good thing Tarporley is so bustling because it’s all I’ve seen for three weeks. But, oh, the rest of the county.
We have yet to drive more than 30 minutes in any direction and fail to come up with somewhere to revisit. The A49 alone could keep me occupied for hours… The Hollies Farm Shop (practically my new supermarket), Blakemere craft centre, the North-West’s largest remainder bookstore (…), beautiful pubs, the golf club up the road with spa, the walks foraging for late blackberries. It’s everything we’ve wanted.
Part of the loveliness is the lack of high street chains anywhere. Or at least not in such eye-searing quantities. No matter where you go, be it the village or Nantwich or even Chester, you’re more likely to find an independent before a chain. But if you’re desperate – and to be fair, this weekend we were – Cheshire Oaks in Ellesmere Port is jaw-dropping when it comes to brands. On one side it’s a designer outlet centre that took us fully an hour to walk around – without shopping. On the other there’s a few big high-street names which is a benefit because sometimes you really need a Boots.
And then there’s the house. We’re not quite unpacked. I have gotten so far and then realised I need at least two more bookcases, one more for the nursery, a chest of drawers and some more storage cupboards. So boxes remain, but for the most part we’re up and running. I’m learning to cook on an electric hob again (oh I miss gas), but on the plus side, I have three fridges and two freezers, so y’know, I’m coping.
And the food. Good grief. Down the road from Tiresford who make fabulous yoghurt, or Snugbury’s ice cream, or local meat and game at the butcher’s or farm shop. It’s not only easy to cook local, it’s practically impossible not to. (And not having a supermarket on your doorstep helps enormously). Every corner you turn, someone is selling potatoes or game or vegetables.
So in short, so far, after a brief amount of time, it’s fabulous. And now the cold weather’s setting in and there seems to be snow around the corner, we’ll see how we get on. I might end up screaming for the 249 bus after all. But I rather doubt it.