The Sunday Times column: You can take the country girl out of London, but you can’t take…


We waddled along the canal path in blind-black, using my iPhone as a torch. The heels of my All Saints boots were sucking in the mud. My hand was shivering around a wine glass. And I thought: maybe it’s true, I’m no longer as country as I was. “Still, look how beautiful the moon is!” I called at T, who was extracting a suede loafer from a cowpat. He shouted back: “Why the bloody hell did we ever leave London?”

My friend T and I went to the country because our mate Matthew, who lives there, needed a cat-sitter. As usual, I had an ulterior motive. Within a week, three people accused me of being some kind of Londonista, clueless about rural life. I was going to prove them wrong. So Matthew hid his cottage key under a log (which doesn’t happen often in east London), and we set off to his ramshackle Somerset thatch.

Actually, the accusers are wrong. I know all about country living, I tell T as we leave. I grew up in Sussex, Somerset and rural Wales via Georgia (USA). I didn’t even make it to London until I was 24. I’m practically Heidi in a leather jacket. Or Tess of the D’Urbervilles in a hoodie.

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