Friday, September 23, 2016

A Bigger Village

After spending 4 years in a small, remote village, it has been interesting and actually rather pleasant to explore the benefits of a market town. Monmouth, the town where I live now, has a population of about 9,000 people as opposed to the Cumbrian village of St Bees where I used to live, which has a population of two thousand. It's amazing how much difference 7,000 people make! St Bees has four pubs, a restaurant, a village post office shop, a small library, and a café. Monmouth has a high street with dozens of shops, including several high street chains, coffee shops, and independent boutiques. It has a cinema, a theatre, several doctors' surgeries, a museum, a large library, a weekly market, a town hall...

Church Street in Monmouth

Well, I could go on and on but I won't. You get the picture! The funny thing is, Monmouth sometimes feels as much of a village as St Bees did. I generally see at least one person I know when I go into town, which is especially amazing considering how few people I know so far. I can walk into the countryside in less than ten minutes, which is especially handy when you have a dog.

Vauxhall Fields with a view of Monmouth

Of course there are some downsides. At night the town centre can feel... not dangerous, precisely, but less than savoury on occasion. There is traffic and traffic noise. And while I see people I know, there are a lot of people I don't know. You generally don't greet people you don't know on the street, something that was commonplace in St Bees (My husband seems yet to realize this). All in all, though, the size of a market town feels nice to me. Busy but not too busy. Neither too small nor too big. We'll see how I continue to adjust...


  1. Good morning from north Florida! I had been newly acquainted with your books and fell in love with the descriptions of Cumbria. Someone suggested I try your books since I'm an addict about that area ( my g grandparents were from Wetheral).
    To my delight, I then discovered you have a blog I am, your newest ardent fan!

  2. Hi Tina! Glad you stopped by. I love Cumbria, even though I don't live there anymore. Have you visited recently?

  3. Kate, no I have not had the pleasure. I have been to Devon and the southern counties but haven't ventured north yet. One day..