I QUITE LIKED living on the periphery when I was growing up in Tasmania and I quite like living on the periphery now. Where once the centre towards which I yearned included everywhere beyond the edges of my island state, these days that centre is firmly, and far more simply, London. Now, my peripheral position is the beautiful rural region of the Cotswolds: home to celebrities, politicians, musicians, royals and aristocrats, and stars of the art, film and fashion worlds.
With my artist husband and our two children, I live in an ‘Area of Outstanding Beauty’, in a tiny village owned by one of the great and ancient estates; we are only twenty miles west of Oxford, between Cheltenham in Gloucestershire, Stratford-upon-Avon in Warwickshire and Bath in Somerset. We live in a lush and fertile landscape, rich in pagan burial mounds, Roman roads and ruins, medieval houses, Norman churches, castles, palaces, thatched cottages and Georgian manors, nineteenth century farms and mills, and air bases built in World War II that are now used for missions into Afghanistan and Iraq, because it is impossible to forget that this is a country still at war.
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