A cockerel cut through the silence and woke me up this morning –
And so this is Kent. I hadn’t noticed that London was so noisy until I left it. Now the silence is more audible than the noise was. When I sit by the window, I can hear birds chirping to each other and every slight rustle seems to be amplified. Even the roaring trains that zoom along the side of our house don’t compare to the steady hum of London noise. Before we moved, I wondered it they would keep me awake: the noise has been strangely comforting so far.
I am not sure what to make of country life yet. Every time I walk up our drive, I can feel my face breaking into a smile and when I shut the door, I get the Englishman’s house is his castle thing – but it is also incredibly alien. A bit like being on holiday with no end date. A bit like stepping into a parallel world – yours and yet not yours.
It is funny how the places that we live in seem to have an impact on the relationship that we have with ourselves. In London, there are constant distractions. Feeling a bit fidgety? You have the whole City on your doorstep…. You don’t have to think about things – like supper or meeting people or trains home – until they happen. Life is fast and furious and you just get on with it.
The biggest thing that I am noticing about country life – in the two and a bit days that I have experienced it for – is that you have to be with yourself in a very different way. If that makes sense. That you can’t get lost in a whirlwind of activity or, indeed, define yourself by it. That you don’t have a glittering ocean of bars or restaurants or markets or clubs or theatres to choose from each day so that, pretty much whatever you’re doing will be fun. In a bizarre way, you have to make it happen for yourself more. You have to get used to being with yourself more.
London is a harder place to live in some ways; easier in many others.
And so this is a new adventure that is as much an exploration of me as it is of a whole new country and a whole different lifestyle. It’s probably overdue, if I’m honest, but I’m not sure which one is scarier – or more exciting.