Amy Fox

Writer. Editor. Feminist knitting designer.

Gun shops and tractors: 10 things to do in the countryside

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I live in the countryside. There’s really not that much to do. When you’re used to attending lectures and seminars, reading two novels a week, writing essays, helping to run a fortnightly student newspaper, and fighting crime (maybe not that last one) it can be a bit jarring to return home for the summer to absolutely nothing.

So, if you ever find yourself stuck in the countryside with nothing to do, remember that I’m here for you! And I have just a whole heap of suggestions.

1. Walk through some fields. Get lost. Ask a lady training horses how to get home. She will look at you with mild pity for not being able to locate your own village by identifying the church spires, or seeing which side of a tree the moss grows on. Don’t feel too bad about it.

“Public footpath” is not enough to keep you from getting lost.

2. Turn yourself into a pretentious nature photographer. It will remind you that, although nothing ever happens, living next to some fields can also be quite nice.

I’m so artsy.

3. Make friends with some cows. Or at least have them stare at you until you begin to wonder if they’re plotting something.

Is this a look of invitation or threat?

4. Put flowers in your hair, climb a tree, and pretend that you are Rue from The Hunger Games.

Is this Rue?

Or is THIS Rue?

(Note: Seriously though, the time and effort that went into that one joke was astronomical.)

5. Get chased by a tractor. This is actually my friend Em-J’s story from her upbringing in rural Yorkshire, where she spent much of her time freerunning in other people’s fields until farmers chased her away. When told she would be featured on this list, she said: “I’ve also hidden from farmers by tunneling through crops and clambering over high fences.” Little scamp.

6. Visit your local gun shop.

Doesn’t everybody have one?

7. Find the funniest thing for sale in your local corner shop. We were torn between four different types of tractor magazine, or three different types of carp magazine. So hard to choose!

My favourite is Ford & Fordson Tractors, who sure have found a niche.

Or …

I want Crafty Carper to be my friend. Total Carp kind of freaks me out.

8. Join a Viking re-enactor group and learn how to make a shield out of wood and pig skin.

See that kid getting his throat cut? That’s my little brother!

9. Read all the books you can find, good or bad. When you study literature all the time, it is amazing how much fun it can be to just read whatever you like and not have to worry about what to say.

10. Start a blog about how you can’t find anything to do in the countryside.

You’re welcome.

So. Much. Effort.

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