For about an hour this week, I could have been in Wiltshire. I went to Leo’s Harvest Festival at the church next to his school. The children sang hymns and harvest songs, we said a few prayers of thanks and the head of the primary school made a little speech.
As we filed out, I bumped into the (Welsh) headmaster and we had a chat about the hideous rugby world cup semi-final. Then I stepped outside into 40 degree heat and my illusion was shattered.
Rupert teases me about my obsession with Wiltshire. For some reason I have a notion that if we lived there in a large thatched cottage somewhere on the edge of a field, our lives would be perfect. I imagine driving the children to school along a windy road with high hedges either side and wild flowers in the ditches. Dropping them at the school gate and heading off to Waitrose to do the thrice-weekly shop before going home to work on my latest book in a office with central heating instead of air conditioning.
The reality is probably that we would be living next to a water-logged field, impenetrable without a boat for most of the year, that Waitrose would be packed full of people and utterly hideous, and that the roads on the way to school would be jammed with people with road rage and we would be broke from paying endless tax.
But until I try it, I won’t believe it.
Copyright: Helena Frith Powell 2011