I left London 6 years ago with my 2 elder boys knowing that I did not want to bring them up in the big smoke and wanting them to go to an amazing state school in the country. I grew up in the Highlands of Scotland so being in the country is where I am happiest, and I started thinking about where would be a good place.
I had spent time in Dorset over the years, and had always felt so happy down there. It is an unspoilt, beautiful part of the country were life is very unspoilt, egg boxes being left on the side of the road with honesty boxes etc. I looked at Ofsted and searched for schools that had been awarded outstanding status. I found the school before I started looking for a house.
The school was very impressive and they had a place for my 3 year old who would be starting reception 6 months later so after that place was secured, I looked for a house. I found one; a semi detached cottage in a little village beneath the downs. I knew that I had 2 great girlfriends down there which was enough to keep me going, and I knew that the boys' grandparents lived nearby so that when they were with their Dad there, it would work on a practical level.
The second I moved to the village, I was overwhelmed with such a welcoming response. A lady turned up with a cake saying " Welcome to Charlton" written in icing on the top. People left cards through my door and I was asked to lunch with the Vicars family!
It was all so adorable and made me feel instantly at home and protected.
I haven't looked back. Just 3 weeks after moving, I went up to London to a party, and as I drove back that night and came off the A303 and winded my way down country lanes, I unwound the window and had a feeling of coming home. That was after only 3 weeks.
I actually met someone down here and am now married again, with a further 2 children. I moved into his house, and then we bought a house 2 years ago, back in that same village, Charlton.
I look back and think now that that feeling of 'coming home' must have been because on some subconscious level I knew I would spend the rest of my life down here.
Anyway, that is my story!
Poppy's lovely book is for sale via her website and sells for just £12.99. (We know it's available on Amazon as well but it's hugely helpful for Poppy if you order it via her website directly!) For more details contact Poppy through her website poppyfraser.com