Living in the less fragrant yet picturesque county of Shropshire, the people of the towns and villages within it share similarities that are semi specific to this small yet bustling state. Here are some pointers to demonstrate just how us rurals live.
1. Struggling to explain where you are from
Northerners call us southerners, southerners call us northern, midlanders call us welsh and we’ve been referred to as everything in between. Meeting new people, the question dreaded most by anyone living in Shropshire is “so where have you come from?”. This is never a short conversation as it tends to involve words along the lines of “just south of Liverpool and manchester by the same distance but on the border of wales and about an hour away from Birmingham”. Although people are starting to recognise the name from Shrewsbury’s short but sweet success in the football, they are still completely oblivious to where on earth we are pinned on the map.
2. Acting as if Charles Darwin is one of your great grandparents
Being such a rural place, not much has come from Shrewsbury, we’ve had the famed Greg Davies who is apparently everyone in North Shropshire’s next door neighbour (or Dad’s school friend) and Joe Hart who saw fame reaching the premier league back in his time with Man City. But it’s with Charles Darwin who grabs the heart of everyone. It’s not long before you’re chatting to a stranger about how you were born in the same ward at The Royal Shrewsbury Hospital as the evolutionist or you’re talking about the time he dined with your ancestors one christmas day.
3. The constant smell of manure
No matter how fresh you wake up, how much body spray and perfume you drown yourself in, if you’re from the ‘outback’ of the county you’re sure to smell like the London streets of the 19th century. With farms on every corner housing hundreds of livestock and spreading their muck on fields during the summer months after harvesting, its a stench that will always defeats us when the dreaded time comes around. While it’s a time we want our windows open to invite the fresh summer air into our homes, unfortunately for us Salopians its not quite as accomodating as we tend to hope.
4. Traffic continuously being caused by tractors
While the farmers that dominate our county are providing us with the freshest meat and organic goods that we devour on a daily basis, the biggest pet hate amongst many of us is the delays on the road caused by these agriculturalists and their too-wide-for-the-road tractors. Whether we are running late or decided to take the scenic route with plenty of time to spare, it is inevitable that you will cross paths with one within your first few minutes on the road (literally). As the roads get windier and the queue grows longer, you can soon wave goodbye to your hope of conducting a swift overtake.
5. There’s no water like home
As a student, moving away from home can be difficult and there is a lot that you will/do miss. Taking photos of our family to remind us of a familiar face or our favourite teddy bear to comfort us as we suffer from homesickness seems obligatory. One thing you will miss most however (especially being from Shropshire) is the water that streams from our once under appreciated taps. Before moving away i was convinced that Shropshire water tasting like no other was a myth, however i was wrong. So thank you Severn Trent Water for providing us with the most delightful, thirst quenching drink to ever touch our lips, i miss you.