The call of the sea, or even a city, can often be too great to ignore

It’s easy, says Laura Barton, for new arrivals to cluster together (I moved to the coast for a better life – now I’m back in London where I belong, 28 十二月). For most of my life I have lived in rural areas and commuted to London. When I get home I shake off the city and get back to real life. This means chatting over the fence to my neighbour, with whom I have nothing in common, but he’s my neighbour. He doesn’t have regimented tulips (though he does mow his lawn three times a week), but if he did then I would admire the damned things. Then when I go for a coffee with the neighbours who are our friends, I indulge in some gentle mocking of the lawn-mowing.

Our hamlet has suddenly become popular, and we welcome our new neighbours if we ever see them on our walks – if they come out from behind the electric gates they put up. They may be just our sort of people, but we’ll never know. Our community will carry on around them, talking to each other, in real life and on social media groups, because that’s how communities work. We don’t pick and choose – we rub along together regardless.
Dee Ward
Old Romney, 肯特郡

You need a discerning eye and a contemplative soul to enjoy coastal life. Since the first lockdown I have paced almost every morning along the beach, the pier and the hills close by. Each day brings new variety to my photo collection of my walks. The sea has a wonderful translucence in still weather, and an invigorating turbulence during gales. The tide sets a different scene every day. The sky has infinite patterns according to mist, fog descending, fog clearing and, 当然, clouds that linger or scud. Stand on the glassy-wet beach when the tide is out, and you can see sunrises under your feet as well as stretching above your head.
Yvonne Williams
Ryde, Isle of Wight

What a perfect description of the joys of life in London by Laura Barton. My husband and I chose to move here seven years ago when our changing work patterns meant that we could suddenly live wherever we chose. We got as close to the centre as we could, swapping a large house and garden in a coastal city for a small Victorian terrace; we sold both cars and now rely on the highs (and occasional lows) of Transport for London. Some friends thought we were mad but we love it – especially now that we are retired and can make the most of what this amazing city has to offer.
Rita Sammons
伦敦

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