It's in your head now, admit it.
Today, I had the afternoon off work. I had a few things I needed to do, such as visit the doctor to find out why everything keeps spinning (it's Vertigo, in case you were wondering and not, as I first suspected, that I've become a Timelord and can feel the actual turning of the Earth, more's the pity).
Venturing into a relatively small town that you've lived in for the past seventeen years gives you a feeling similar to having a wee on a really cold day; it's comfortably warming.
There's plenty to be said against living in a relatively small place for a long period of time. People always either know your business or want to and I do often envy my sister, who lives in London and can seemingly order a takeaway from anywhere at any time. Here, once it's past 10pm, you're pretty much screwed and almost nowhere delivers. We don't have that busy, bustling, exciting atmosphere of a city going on and if I want to go to a decent array of shops, you're talking about a car journey of at least forty minutes (longer if I decide Truro doesn't have a big enough selection and I have to go all the way to Plymouth).
But there's so much to be said in favour of living in a smaller place, too. For all the times I joke about living in "the arse end of nowhere," it's home. And it's home because just popping into town has put the most enormous smile on my face.
For a start, the whole "everyone knows you" thing doesn't have to be remotely negative. I actually love the fact that today, my mum and I went into a local jewellers to pick up a ring Mum had had cleaned and the staff immediately spotted our dog and went: "Rusty! Hello!" Then they hurried off to get him a treat (it's no wonder he's so porky). Afterwards, I popped into a small clothes shop we have in town, since I needed a new handbag (I appear to have bought a case; my new one is seriously huge) and the lady in that shop knew us, too. When I finally went to see the doctor, it was like having a catch-up with someone you've known for ages (who just happens to be able to diagnose you and prescribe you with the appropriate medication for your condition).
We live in a place where almost every time I pop into town, someone I know will say hi. For some people, that's the epitome of Hell, but I think it's really nice. It makes you feel like you're part of a community. From the elderly guy who lives on the hill by my house, to the local GPs who've known me and my ailments since I was 16 years old, there's something rather charming about being in a place where you're known and accepted.
Of course, there are days when I'm not feeling well, or I'm in a foul mood and I don't want to stop and say hello to anyone. And there are times when I think it would be lovely to live somewhere with more going on. Who knows, maybe I'll fall in love with a city boy and be swept off to London, where I'll totally change my mind about being something of a Country Mouse. But, for the time being, I'm rather happy being a Small Town Girl.
Besides, when you've lived somewhere for as long as I've lived here, simple places start to become special to you. There's the bench I was sitting on when I got together with my first ever boyfriend. The seat in the doctors' waiting room that I always choose. The restaurant where I know exactly what I want from the menu before I've even sat down. Little things like that add up to make a place feel like home. And I guess in a way, this post is a bit like a love letter to my hometown.
The shops, the cafes, the people. It's always good to have a moment when you realise that for all the times you've moaned about where you live, you stick around for a reason. And that reason is because deep down, you know you love it, really. And I do.
Wadebridge... Will you be my Valentine?!