I am quite touched by the concern for my wellbeing expressed in the comments to last night’s post. Thinking about it today, I realise I have not had an extended break from town for a long time. I had planned to go to Crete in November, but that was cancelled and I ended up with my new and lovely kitchen. So I am wondering if my feeling on return to the Smoke was simply a realisation that I need to be away for a while.
After all, I love what London offers. I love the theatre the museums, the diversity. When I am in the country for extended periods I am often appalled by people’s expressed opinions on all manner of things. I live in a liberal (small l) world here in London; in the country I regularly encounter people who not only read the Daily Mail but believe what it says. I shouldn’t last a month.
So I think Julia got it right; to have a mix, a balanced mix is what is important. And this last year my mix has not been sufficiently balanced. That isn’t to say that part of me doesn’t yearn to move back to the country; I think if you have grown up among green fields and open countryside it will always exert a pull. But not a sufficent pull to commute on crowded trains and have the working day extended by hours of travel. I tried that once and was exhausted. It wasn’t just the time involved, it was the whole package. If the traffic is bad now I am sufficiently central to walk to my work.
Making time to be out of town, whether that means economising so I can keep das Boot now I don’t have Mother or Aunt, or heading out for country walks, I don’t know, But recognising that it is an significant, no more than significant, essential, part of my life, is an important step.
I emailed Cousin tonight and said I should like to visit her in July. She’s only now back from a month in Australia where her youngest has just got married.
Of course my own trip to Oz is now less than six months away. My friend Vicki emailed me to ask what plans I have, and really I don’t yet have any. So that is something else to think about and look forward to. I should love to meet up with Aleysha and her cats of The Scroobious Pip, but she has gone off the radar, so how possible that is I don’t know.
Maybe one day I shall leave London. Maybe I shan’t. But whatever I do, I know that both city and country have shaped me and I am lucky to experience both.