Friday, October 17, 2014

Some thoughts about living in the country

Here are just a few thoughts I've had over the last couple of weeks living in the country:
  • I really like it, even though I'm not country-folk tough
  • I really like it, even if it means I have to leave the house bang on 7.40 to get to work at 8.30
  • If I am even just 5 mins later than that, the 45 minute commute, turns into an hour + (I shit you not)
  • Poringland is the Hotel California of Norfolk villages. You can drive through, but you can never leave. I didn't leave quick enough one morning, I sat for half an hour creeping through this small village
  • Plumbers are popular men around here. The soonest I could get a plumber was four weeks from my call, i.e. middle of November
  • I ended up calling a large company to sort out the boiler issue and my Norwich plumber for the rest
  • People are really friendly, everyone really does know everyone else
  • It's kind of weird, kind of comforting
  • I've seen a lot of wildlife since being here:

  • Dave noticed this little guy munching his way through the hedge. He took no notice of us tapping the windows or anything
  • He is a muntjack, an import from China that escaped. They are about the size of a large dog or a medium sized goat
  • I've never seen one this close before
  • I've seen several pheasants, jays, magpies, crows, pigeons, deer and lots of cows
  • There's a diary up the road

  • This is the milk they sell and that I have taken to drinking

  • These are the cows the milk I drink came from. Aren't they gorgeous? They were so curious when they saw us standing by the gate
  • I am ridiculously excited by the fact that I've seen the beasts my food comes from and the money I put into the machine to get the milk, goes straight to the farmer
  • The farmer, who I've met and who makes an awesome brie (don't know if it can be called a brie if it's made on the Norfolk/Suffolk border, but you get the picture)

  • I used my workout area for the first time today. It's perfect. For the first time I've got enough space to move in and I can keep all my stuff out
  • I watch my exercise DVDs on my laptop to remind me what to do
  • It was really hard going
  • I still feel really tired
  • I still feel really happy I moved here.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Moving on up!

It is done. I have moved. Or rather, it would be more true to say, I have been moved. Frankly, from here on in, that's the only way I'm going to move, unless everything fits into the back of my car. The most stressful thing about the entire experience of moving, was waiting for the removal men. 

I got most of my boxes unpacked the weekend after the move. It has very quickly gone from The Cottage to feeling like home. The rooms are large and airy, with all our things in them, it's so comfy and cosy. I love opening the curtains in the morning. I never know what I'll see. Granted on the days I work in Norwich, I don't see very much at all because it's dark. But this morning there were two hen pheasants perched on my fence looking a bit disgruntled at my interrupting their chat. 

Living out in the Sticks, there's a lot to get used to. The nearest shop is over a mile away. I will have to go even further afield for my larger weekly shops. I've been told there is a Morrisons and Tescos in Beccles, which isn't that far from here. I'm going to have to do a bit of research to see if I can get my hair, nails and eyebrow seen to locally, rather than have to troop up to Norwich just for that. 

The most challenging thing was lack of internet. I'm not bothered about television and haven't missed that at all. No Facebook? OMG! How did I cope?

Actually, the break from my online life was good for me as well. It made me re-think my morning routine and I realised how much time I spent on social media, when I started being far more productive round the house. Nevertheless, I really missed it.

Yesterday, I came home to find my new kit waiting here for me. I expected it to be incredibly complicated to set up. Hell no. The most complicated part of the whole process has been figuring out the best place to put the router. Happily, the xbox can connect wirelessly, so no more cable trailing across the floor and it's not like I'm gaming online so I need to eek out every extra millibyte of speed. 

This morning, I unpacked four more boxes and set up my study. That makes me especially happy, I have to say. I've got the last three boxes of books to go, but they can wait until tomorrow. Right now, I'm enjoying sitting at my desk, staring at the hedge laden with rose-hips and the field beyond it. I may indulge in an afternoon nap. 

That's the one thing I haven't enjoyed about the experience - the weariness. I'm bone tired. I've got dark marks under my eyes and I've got that lovely grey tinge to my complexion at the moment. I am just so tired. Having said that, I'm sleeping better. And as the days pass and I enjoy the routine at work and come back to my new abode, I feel lighter. Much lighter.

I'm so glad I did this. It was such a good thing to do. I'm so incredibly lucky to have the friendship and support from Z, who's been such a star. Boy came home last weekend. He seems far more comfortable here. He couldn't wait to take Z's dog out for a walk and explore. I'm really looking forward to him coming home for the festive season. It's going to be so much fun. 

All in all, I'm doing okay. Less strung out, chilling out more. In fact...I think it's time for a quick nap...

Wednesday, October 01, 2014

Existential Angst/Mid-life Crisis

Yes, it's true. I am having a mid-life crisis. I have come to hard realisation of two important things:

1. Life is Meaningless. We are born, we are taxed and then we die. Therefore, the only meaning in Life is that which we create.
2. While I every major thing I have every wanted has been denied to me, I have actually had a pretty awesome time considering.

These two truths along with some other things, have meant that since August I've been wrestling with both the Big and the Little Pictures.

The flat where I thought I'd die in, over the last 8 weeks became my prison. I hate being here, I can't abide being in Norwich anymore. I've lived here since 1996. In fact, I'm moving out pretty much 18 years to the day. I am having a Don McLean moment.

This midlife crises leaves no relationship, no belief or activity unquestioned. This process hasn't even come close to finishing yet. I'd go so far as to say, I've only just begun.

Tomorrow, I move. I am being packed up and I am running away to the country. I've been offered sanctuary by the most lovely Z. It's only for as long as it takes her to sort through her own stuff and then I'll have to move again. Where to after, I can't say. I can't say, because I don't know. I honestly don't know.

To deal with the first issue. What is the meaning I want to create in my Life? 

I'm going to do an Introduction to Counselling course in the New Year and after that, I will have more options. Or not.

I've started a course at the Norwich Buddhist Centre. I haven't been a pagan magical practitioner for a good few years now. Not because I don't believe magic doesn't work, but because I believe it does. I no longer believe I have any answers to Life's dilemmas/questions. I would rather take each step as it comes and trust the outcome is as it needs to be. 

Which kind of leads on to #2. The times I didn't get what I so very dearly wanted and craved were hard. Really hard. But I learnt some very valuable lessons. And pretty much, without exception, although I wanted a different outcome, in hindsight it was such a good thing. Relationships that I wanted to succeed and failed spectacularly, even though I tried so hard - they would have destroyed my soul. Work situations that would have crushed me in the long term, despite the excellent potential for enormous salaries and career progress.

The little I've learnt about Buddhism matches up to my experiences so far. I will never be Christian again and I am no longer a magical practitioner, but my belief in spirituality remains unshaken. I've had too many weird things happen to me, to believe otherwise. 

But I digress; tomorrow I move.

Tomorrow, I pack up and leave the flat where I've lived on and off over 16 years. It was supposed to be our haven and it hasn't been. It's not big enough for me to live in the way I need to. 

I've been laughing with friends today about the fact that in my 20s I did a BA in Development Studies, in my 30s I did a BA in Creative Writing, now in my 40s I'm looking for more learning. I think I will do a counselling course, though what flavour, I don't know yet. Or indeed, I might do something completely different. Who knows? If someone up there does, they haven't made me privy to that info. 

In a couple of weeks, Boy is coming home for the weekend. He's going to hold my hand as I have my first tattoo done to mark the occasion. I'm really looking forward to it.

Ultimately, I could have continued to pretend that everything was alright. I'm sure I could have had a stab at ignoring how I feel. Instead, I've decided to embrace this. Whatever "this" turns out to be. Wherever "this" takes me, at least I know I will have stood up and met the challenge head on.  

Waiting for Paint to Dry

Yesterday evening, I thought I'd finished the triptych. I kicked back, drank a glass of raspberry beer and contemplated my work. As I co...