Daily Mail writer, Shona Sibary, claimed Devon is a ‘cultural wasteland’ where the winters are ‘pretty hideous’, the people are ‘miserable whingers’ and ‘it smells’, in her latest column.
The Surrey mum detailed her experiences living in Devon after choosing to move to the county with her family from Surrey – and has now decided to pen in excess of 2,000 words on her pursuit to get back to ‘civilisation’.
The Surrey mum explains how she decided to move to Devon following a holiday in back 2012 (good idea? You decide!) and bought a £270,000 five-bed Victorian house in Bideford, North Devon.
However, she claims Devon ripped her family apart, and she is now living back in Surrey with just two of her four children, with one child still living with an old neighbour in Devon and another with her husband in Dubai.
Writing for the national newspaper, she described the ‘hell of rural living’ in Devon: “…being yelled at by farmers for walking my dog on a public footpath that just happens to circumnavigate their stinky cows; having to light 20 scented candles every morning in a futile bid to obscure the smell of muck spreading; the mud and the rain — endless, relentless rain.”
Sibary says the warning signs were there, and she should have spotted them before upping sticks and relocating to Devon thanks to Bideford High Street’s ‘shop selling legal highs and a tattoo parlour. Oh yes, and every cash-point distributed £5 notes’.
After moving here, she soon realised there was ‘no John Lewis in our nearest ‘big’ town’. She says: “I learnt to live in my wellies, hold my breath from the car to the house (there was a slurry heap about 50 yards from the front door) and push the wing mirrors in when I parked at night because the cows had a habit of escaping and stampeding down our driveway.”
Sibary says her children also hated living in Devon, recounting the time that daughter Flo returned home from her first day of school: “I remember after her first, disastrous day at her new school, she came home wailing that not one person in her Year 10 class had ever heard of the restaurant Wagamama.”
Sibary describes Bideford as: “…an economically deprived seaside town in the back end of nowhere…” and says a life in Devon is: “…an unremittingly bleak one.”
She adds: “…far too many places by the sea in England are rundown and pervaded by such a lack of ambition and hope it is utterly depressing.”
But Sibary saves her main criticism for Devon people, writing: “Sure, they smile and seem charming when they’re flogging you ice cream in the summer, but when you have to live cheek by jowl with them through the desolate winter months, when everybody else has headed back ‘up country’, you learn pretty damn quickly that they don’t want your sort hanging around at all.
“Honestly, I have never met a more miserable, whinging bunch of people in my life.”
She adds: “I couldn’t cross the road outside my house without someone yelling obscenities at me from their car window because I hadn’t used the zebra crossing.
“A bit rich, considering that just a few days previously in full daylight I had driven past a man taking down his trousers and peeing against the wall of Poundland.”
Sibary moved back to Surrey in 2016 and said: “…there is hope beyond Honiton.”
Why not read the full article at mailonline?