When I first moved to Augusta, Georgia, I remember telling people that I had no idea why anyone would live there voluntarily. Fifteen years later, there are friendships, places, and memories that will forever tie me to Augusta.
As an adult I have lived a number of different places, and while I have to admit I have not been enamoured of all of them, but I have learned or experienced something new everywhere. Illinois pointed out that I like to have the basics of life nearby to my dwelling. Trekking across a frozen tundra to buy beer is not my idea of fun. Riga showed me that public transportation is great – and, a huge hassle with little kids. Urbandale put me across the street from a school and a park and with a Dairy Queen within biking distance: it was a good life. The Eastern Iowa Corridor has solidified that I like a bit of literary life available.
I was asked where is a place that I would live, having never visited. My answer: Shropshire.
Shropshire turns up much maligned in British comedy. I don’t know why. Whitchurch looks lovely, as does Shrewsbury. (And, a couple of ex-husbands might suggest that town is, indeed, my hometown.) I like a slower place, which Shropshire seems to offer, but with plenty local things to do within a reasonable distance. It’s on the border with Wales – that sounds neat. And, I like a tourism website that boasts, “Funny thing about Shropshire, despite or maybe because of all its quirks and traits, its hospitality and welcome have always been top drawer.”
Furthermore, Shrewsbury boasts a seemingly outstanding folk festival. Who can resist a review of this past year’s festival that begins, “After an amazing 2015 festival that saw a new main stage marquee, new bars, new toilets and a new dance project, we’re beavering away to put together another fantastic four days for you in 2016.” New toilets AND a new dance project this year – coupled with beavering away on next year’s festival already? I’m in.
Yes, I would live in Shropshire site unseen, music unheard, bars undrunk in, and new toilets unexperienced.