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Maria Greenwood of Wessex FM on why she stayed in Dorset despite the lure of the big city

PUBLISHED: 11:42 26 February 2014 | UPDATED: 11:42 26 February 2014

Maria Greenwood

Maria Greenwood

Archant

There’s a new love in my life: Marmalade. It’s a new relationship. I’m still at the stage of the excited anticipation of wanting to see it. I wasn’t looking for this new found affection and I don’t know if it will last, but at the moment we’re enjoying spending time together.

Marmalade might be a new love in my life, but I have an old flame which has a special place in my heart, and that’s Dorset. I was born in Dorchester 37 years ago, in the old hospital, which is now a block of flats.

The biggest move in my life came ten years ago when I travelled a staggering seven miles over the ridgeway to live in Weymouth. Many of my friends left the county in search of new adventures and jobs but I have stayed in Dorset. And that’s been a conscious decision. To me, living here is about a certain quality of life. I love being near the sea. Weymouth beach is stunning in the summer and there’s nothing better than sitting and people-watching at a pub along the harbour with a glass of something cold

Another thing I love about Dorset is the vibrant local music scene. I’ve beensinging with my band, Hustle, for five years now. My Unplugged show on

Wessex FM gives talented local bands aplatform to get their music heard.

Live music lovers are spoilt for choice at the weekend. You can see anything from disco to heavy rock. For Christmas I got a Ukulele and if you’re wondering where I’d ever get to play it live, don’t fret. A pub at Portesham now hosts regular Monday night ukulele sessions. Only in Dorset!

And then there’s the shopping. We have some amazing independent retailers. Big cities might offer a greater choice but I like the personal touch. When you can walk into a shop, have a chat with the owner and pick up something unique, and often actually made in Dorset (although the shoe and handbag shop next to my office isn’t too good for the bank balance).

Last year Wessex FM held its first ever local business awards and had a staggering 350 entries. What’s even more impressive about their success is that they’ve had a tough time. Their passion and drive is seeing them through. But they can’t do it alone - they need our support.

Local businesses are the lifeblood of the high street (which means I should buy more shoes and handbags at the shop next door, right?).

And finally, another reason I love Dorset, aside from family and friends, is my job. From interviewing bands to reading the news, no two days are the same.

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