The West Country

‘Oh the West Country’s always been good to me

And I don’t want to leave, but I’ve got itchy feet

And there’s no place I’ll go where I feel as at home

So you will always know I will return.’

(Lyrics from The West Country Song, Gaz Brookfield. Reproduced with permission.)

So, I’ve been thinking about the notion of ‘home’ for a while now. For everyone who has been to university, no doubt you will have had one of those moments when you say “I’m at home”, and whoever you’re talking to has to check whether you mean your family home or your university town. For me, the longer I’ve been away, the more attached I’ve become to my home town. Let’s not kid ourselves, Yeovil is not an idyllic Somerset destination, but it is where I grew up. It’s something I didn’t need to think about much when I lived there but the second you start introducing yourself and answering the “so where are you from?” question, suddenly I became a whole lot prouder of being a Somerset girl. Then, last month, I got my copy of Frank Turner’s album and discovered a song which encapsulates everything I’m feeling when driving to my parents’ house in the country:

Here are the lyrics which speak to me and explain why I play it over and over as loud as possible when driving:

‘There’s something about coming back to your home town again

The place where you grew up and where you found your firmest friends.

And though none of them still live here, and I’ve got nowhere to go

I’m a Wessex boy, and when I’m here I’m home.

There’s something about home towns that you never can escape

The triumphs and the tragedies, the tawdry little fates

The welling of nostalgia, the feeling kind of strange

Because despite all of the little changes, yeah the place still feels the same.’

(Lyrics from Wessex Boy, Frank Turner. Reproduced with permission.)

I just feel an overwhelming sense of calm the moment I cross the border. I can’t think of anything more blissful than a weekend at ‘home’ (it helps that my parents have recently bought a lovely new home in a tiny village, although I’m in denial about the fact that it’s officially across the border into *gasp* Dorset)

I don’t remember feeling this sense of affinity when I was younger. Since leaving for uni, I started to emphasise my country roots. “I’m from the West Country don’t you know”. I don’t have much of an accent, but the odd word slips in and I feel so perfectly at home there. A weekend ago, David and I went on a welly hunt and ended up at Mole Valley Farmers. David was pretty amazed, a shop for FARMERS. Although I’m loving the adventure of living in a city, and am more than ready to work in London and travel to and fro and get busy and things, I always end up at home (it helps that my parents have this little bundle of cuteness, although she is an absolute TERROR:

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2 Responses to The West Country

  1. dilystreacle says:

    Laura, I love this and I feel the same. Those Wessex Boy lyrics are awesome, going to listen to the song in a bit. Don’t tell me you were home last week though!? I was there for a few days and came back last Weds. xx

    • letssetsail says:

      Awww I’m glad you get it too, seems like the concept of ‘home’ gets more complicated the older I get. It’s amazing how well that song encapsulates how I feel about it, hope you like it! Don’t worry, we didn’t miss each other – the ‘last weekend’ bit refers to when I wrote it back in the summer! I’ve no idea when I’ll get back before Christmas now xx

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