The Story So Far
For just over 44 years I’ve lived in one house in Kensington, initially with both my parents then mostly just my sick mother then just my ageing father. For the previous 6 years we lived round the corner, in the house on whose doorstep I was born a world away in 1965. It’s been a long and difficult time involving, almost from day one, putting them first, last and in between, and shelving all my desires and needs. The time for children has come and gone as has the time where husbands may have been welcome. The university education was achieved but the chance to build on an archaeology degree is somewhat limited when you can’t leave your mother alone for 2 minutes. The attempt at running a business was squashed by vile neighbours. So, mostly I have ‘coped’, though you may want to insert a ‘not’ in front of that. Courses have been completed, in psychology, smallholding, NLP, weaving, permaculture, sociology, anthropology, Ancient Rome, and so many more. “Gosh, you know so much,” they say, “Well you probably would too, if you weren’t busy having a life” say I. The internet literally saved my life, suddenly my horizons became huge, if digital, then Facebook came along and I began to have a social life, to contact old friends I hadn’t seen for 20 years, to make new friends with similar interests to mine, not my dad’s, and I started to Live. Actually, I started to Exist. A wholly digital life, the real me, a place my non-digital dad couldn’t go.
So, 2 years ago my dad died, leaving me with some money, a load of antiques, a series of nasty shocks, and a huge house in Kensington worth… How much??? A year to recover some semblance of health and a year to market and sell the house have culminated in a frantic week of removers, storage and chaos, and a cute little rented former-pub in a country village. For the last three days I have been sleeping here but commuting back to London.
The New Beginning
Today is the first full day just here. Just me, the dogs, a million birds on telegraph poles and a total absence of connectivity. I am suffering digital withdrawal, but enjoying the experience. The pigeons and thrushes are serenading the morning; the dogs have had their first gallop round the huge garden and are now lying on the floor suspiciously eyeing the lovely new comfy beds, except the biggest one who is of course squeezed into the smallest bed; tea has been made and the last Terry Pratchett book awaits.
Later on, we shall go for a walk and this will post automatically when we wander past a phone signal. I may just be developing an offline life too…