Musings on Semi-Rural Life




Recently I experienced one of the noisiest afternoons I have known since moving to Pembrokeshire. Of course, at the time, I didn’t know why the helicopter was hovering over my home and sweeping the area where I live.

I do now of course.

I know it was searching for someone who was missing, so I am not complaining, but it reminded me of my days in Bristol when helicopters often seemed to be hovering over the area where I lived. On those occasions, it was usually at night and invariably in search of people up to no good that the police were keen to apprehend. We all knew that it was likely to be drug-related and that it would not be a good idea to go outside and have a better look… just in case one wound up in a hostage situation.

I don’t remember being particularly scared. It was all part of living in a big, lively city. Being burgled was more of a shock.

The first time was just after I moved into my new home in Easton and had only half unpacked. That was an address where my car was rifled through at least weekly until the lads had nothing left to steal.

The second time I was burgled was while in bed in the early hours of the morning. That was scary, particularly as the burglars put on all the lights, opened all the doors and made so much noise it would have been impossible to ignore them.

How different is life in the north of Pembrokeshire. I can honestly say I have never felt unsafe in my little paper house, though I am aware that this could change, as more people discover this corner of the world.

A friend of mine is thinking of moving back to England largely to have better access to airports for family reasons, but in his search for the right location he is saying how busy everywhere looks, even the more rural areas.

It isn’t even that there isn’t much going on here. I don’t think I have been aware of so much to do anywhere else I have lived. I know this might have something to do with my working full-time then and most things seemed expensive, but I love the ‘home grown’ nature of people getting together and making things happen here.

My son and his partner live on a narrowboat in London… yes, it is possible… and they take it in turns to want to move to somewhere like the Bath area. London is expensive and crowded but they also love professional theatre, music, art and other activities plus shopping and takeaways. Something I no longer miss.

I meet a lot of ‘incomers’ – I have been here about seven years now, so I am definitely still one – and most are happy to have made the move to a quieter life. But not everyone feels that way. A friend told me that it took a few years to settle. She missed the busyness of her old life and her growing grandchildren. She eventually found a deep love for the gorgeous countryside and the open spaces. However, she is thinking of going back to be part of a bigger world with the kind of social life she hasn’t found in the north of Pembrokeshire.


Small things seem much bigger in a rural area. I have noticed people making a big fuss over some things that wouldn’t really warrant attention in the city. Just look at some of the local social media sites.

People know each other’s business here. That can be charming, like the time a stranger stopped me in the post office to tell me she knew I had taken on Mrs So and So’s cat who had been living at the shelter since the lady had died.

It can be annoying, like the time someone told me they could have bought my house, but they had found something ‘much better’.

One thing I know is that people might complain about you here behind your back, but when you fall in a pit, most will rally to dig you out.

Did I feel that in the city? I don’t think I did, but I am also at a different stage of my life. Once I would have preferred the bright lights and the excitement of city life to the sense of community, with its side order of nosiness. Now I want the endless sky and the sea and the relative peace of semi-rural living.

How about you?




Kitty Parsons

Kitty has forgotten how long she has been here now but she loves Pembrokeshire for its beauty and it's people. She spends her time searching out stories for, swimming in the sea , drawing and painting as Snorkelfish and eating cake. She says " has been an opportunity to celebrate this beautiful county and its people. Keep the stories coming. We love to hear from you."

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