Town Mouse and Country Mouse

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The Blog is back from a brief rain-soaked staycation in the West Country. For the Blog’s non-UK readers, I should explain that this is the far south-western tip of England, famed for its golden beaches, surf, rolling green hills covered in patchwork fields, luscious dairy produce, Plymouth (see USA, etc) and good weather.


We townies swapped our London house for our country friends’ Devon farmhouse in the Axe Valley, so while they were enjoying exhibitions, theatre, catching up with old friends, restaurants and M&S prepared meals, we were collecting prizes for blackcurrant jam and home-crocheted clothing (as proxies) at the Village Fair, eating clotted cream teas and pub lunches (Otter Ale for the menfolk), watching rabbits on the lawn and herons overhead, and walking the Cobb in Lyme Regis (like Meryl Streep in the French Lieutenant’s Woman).



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There’s not much evidence of the petrochemical industry’s footprint in Devon but I did take this snap of round polyethylene-jacketed hay bales, and spent a happy half- hour in our country friends’ polytunnels watering their flowers and helping their horticultural business thrive.


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 And beach shops are a wonderland of coloured plastics.




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(photo: Iboogaloo)


For readers who are not familiar with the traditional English children’s story of Town Mouse and Country Mouse, it is the tale of a country mouse who comes to stay with his cousin in London. Everything is bigger and better. There is sumptuous food, comfortable accommodation and a life of ease, but eventually the country mouse is attacked by a cat and realises that he was better off in the country. It’s another dodgy moral tale for our children: don’t try to better yourself, be content with your lot, ambition is dangerous.


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