(This post was originally written for the September edition of Hawkesbury Parish News, my local community’s newsletter)
Twenty-three years ago, when I was negotiating to buy my house in Hawkesbury Upton, there were four significant facts that I’m glad I didn’t know at the time, because they’d have made the process much more stressful. But with hindsight it seems remiss of the estate agent not to have told me:
- there is an excellent village primary school
- the village is in the catchment area for an equally good secondary school, with admission pretty much guaranteed for anyone who lives here
- the extraordinary annual village show – the undisputed highlight of the village year – would make me proud to call Hawkesbury Upton my home
- climate change and the subsequent increased rainfall would make me very glad indeed to have a house on high ground
All four of these factors have given me cause for celebration this year, when my daughter left the primary school with a glowing report, gained a place at KLB, and was picked as Carnival Queen’s Attendant for the Show – and on numerous occasions throughout the year we’ve watched copious rainwater flowing away from our house, downhill, down the middle of our road.
But as September begins, I’m mindful of two more facts omitted from the estate agent’s blurb that I was left to learn from my new neighbours:
- the day of the village show is the last day of summer
- when it’s jacket weather in Chipping Sodbury, it’s overcoat weather in Hawkesbury Upton
Perhaps that estate agent was smarter than I gave him credit for. Now where did I leave my overcoat?