I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned a few times already that I moved back in with my parents during lockdown, and I’m incredibly grateful I was able to do that. Before that I was living in a house share with four other people in Gloucester city centre, and being able to retreat to my parents’ house in the South Wales countryside meant I got to spend lockdown in an area where there are plenty of places to go walking and I could sit and read in the garden.
I mentioned in my 2021 goals that I want to move out again this year, but to do that I’m also on the lookout for a new job because I’ve been on the same salary for about five years now and I’d like to be able to afford to rent my own place instead of moving into another house share. Publishing salaries are kind of bullshit.
As I near my 30th birthday this October (I’m still in denial about it, to be honest) I’ve been having more and more daydreams about what it might be like to not even rent my own flat, but to have enough money to be able to buy my own house. Preferably a nice little cottage in the countryside somewhere, where I can be my truest hobbit self, but I won’t be able to afford that for a little while yet. So, in the mean time, I got thinking about some of the places in books I wouldn’t mind moving to, if they were a possibility.
Not surprisingly, it’s not a huge list – as someone who reads a lot of fantasy, there are plenty of places that sound far too dangerous for someone like me to live in – but there are one or two places where I think I’d be quite happy…
The Shire from The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien
If I lived in Middle Earth I would 100% be a hobbit. I’m a country girl at heart and I love the way the Shire is portrayed in the films – I love the late summer vibes, with those long days spent in the garden followed by an evening at a cosy, local pub – so I’d be quite happy there. I want to live in a little house with a round door and eat lots of bread and cheese.
Hotel Deucalion from Nevermoor by Jessica Townsend
I adore the Hotel Deucalion and the idea of staying in a room that changes the more it gets to know you, and depending on what mood you’re in, sounds delightful. Hopefully Jupiter North won’t mind that I can’t afford to live there and will take pity on me.
Aeaea from Circe by Madeline Miller
I miss the Mediterranean and staying on my very own secluded Greek island sounds heavenly right now. I want to lie in the sun, listen to the sea and relax. And if I happen to fall into witchcraft and turn sailors into pigs in the process, who’s going to stop me?
Misselthwaite Manor from The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
As a Yorkshire lass myself, I’ve always had a soft spot for this spooky manor, its grounds and its secret garden. Even though most work is in the city these days I’m always going to be a country girl, and I love the idea of living somewhere surrounded by moorland and fresh air.
Willow Creek from Well Met by Jen DeLuca
I desperately want to go to a Renaissance Faire and rock out to some bardcore, and I’d have the chance to do that every year if I lived in Willow Creek. I’d happily spend my summers as a tavern wench.