Well it’s been a crash course in ruralisation which I’ve loved. Moving to the ‘real’ country at the turn of the year is everything I’d hoped.

The early encounter with our regularly visiting pheasant to the garden seemed to tail off after a few weeks, perhaps when a tractor or/and an oven were involved somewhere.

We’ve not seen the five deer that were evident most days in the field behind for a little while now, but we still hear the local peacock anytime of day, every day.

Our bird feeders get the attention of all the usual wild birds we’d grown to expect in the town, but with the addition of a few others such as a brace of woodpeckers. The sparrows are loving using our vegetable plot as a dust bath, but the sparrow hawk may have reduced their numbers a little.

Even the crows (jack daws? rooks? What’s the difference?) and magpies are a welcome alternative to the gulls that are becoming omnipresent in our towns and cities. And there are loads of  swallows. Or Swifts. Or house martins. What’s the difference there?

Buzzards, kestrel and red kite are always around, while taking the air these summer evenings will present the opportunity to listen to the owls and watch the bats.

And some people wonder why we chose to move here!

And there are other considerations, not always understood by townies. I’m waiting to be stopped in the supermarket by some salesperson trying to sell household fuel packages.

‘Can you do me a dual fuel deal?’ I’m going to ask.

‘Of course’ will come the reply.

‘Good. What can you quote me on heating oil and logs?’ I’ll respond. 

’No, the entire village does NOT have gas, and I use an open fire whenever I can.’

The biggest problem has been finding time to enjoy things. While we used to walk in the countryside most weekends, we’ve now lived in it for seven months and only ventured out into the fields and footpaths on a couple of occasions in all that time.

With a garden that is five times that which we’ve been used to, the hedges and lawn need constant attention, the fences have needed repair after winter wind damage, I’ve constructed another log store and I’m in the process or erecting my second shed this year.

No weekend is complete without a trip or two to the local tip with a car laden to the hilt with garden waste, and the recent stories of outrage in Swindon about the introduction of garden waste bins have produced many a wry smile in Wiltshire.

We started paying for those bins years ago, and we can fill one in half a day’s work. That just leaves another 13 days worth of grass cuttings, hedge trimmings and shrub clippings to deal with, before the next collection.

And with the recent Adver stories about the turmoil queuing for the tip, I recently saw a comment that it seemed inequitable that Purton (in Wiltshire) had a recycling facility that Swindonians (in Swindon) just a couple of miles away couldn’t use.

That’s what happened when Swindon effectively withdrew its membership of the county, kept all its own money and relinquished any responsibility for Wiltshire.

If we don’t pay for yours, we can’t use them.

Swindonians will have to accept it works the other way around.