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 It’s hard to pinpoint the moment I me, Way out in the country...” There’s year due to the pandemic. New
also something about the air being good, the day fine, and streams being a poor man’s wine. Well, who knew that watercourses could flow with Lambrini?
Back home that evening, my beloved and I sat down to plan our escape from London’s commuter belt to somewhere a lot more bucolic. Uppermost on our list of requirements was a space to relax; a place where our minds and bodies wouldn’t feel stretched to the limit like taut rubber bands. Suffolk won hands down.
That was six years ago. Since then hundreds of families have followed in our wake, an exodus that swelled last
chose to change my life. Perhaps it was the umpteenth time I had willingly driven myself into the car park that is the M25. Or
maybe it was being wedged between an unfeasibly large backpack and someone’s armpit in the daily crush of my tube journey.
Whatever, as I gulped for breath, my mind wandered back to a golden oldie I’d heard on the radio that morning, Cliff Richard’s paean to the great outdoors, In the Country. Now its lyrics seemed to be sending me a subliminal message: “When you’re walking in the city, And the people on the sidewalk, Seem to form a solid wall, You’re going to find
statistics reveal that almost 74,000 homeowners quit the capital in 2020 to chase the pastoral idyll. They were driven by factors including the surge in flexible working, fears over the difficulty of socially distancing, the stamp duty cut and the opportunity to get a lot more bang for your buck property-wise. Judging by the sold signs appearing everywhere locally, a fair few have headed this way.
Does the reality of switching from packed streets to greenery as far as the eye can see live up to the hype, though? Judging by my own experience, I think so. For a start I could afford a four- bedroom barn conversion in a quiet ‘

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