Sunday, October 16, 2011

Greener grass?

 running, weekend papers

Going out with an astronomer means regularly being abandoned when he goes to look at stars (though he doesn't do that much these days) or on mini-holidays to attend conferences all over the world. This week, while he was away, I moved into his apartment, which is sort of in the city. It was like staying in a hotel, because he has the biggest bed I have ever seen (I have a double bed and consider that a luxury - I like sleeping diagonally -, but there are HUGE beds out there), and simply by staying somewhere else you break up your routine and see the world in a different way.

I brought my running gear and went running on the prom every morning at around 8am. It was so easy to do. When I am at home, I usually don't go running until mid-morning, if not in the afternoon, as I can't face it first thing in the morning, but staying at Matt's place I bounced out of bed wanting to go for a run. In The Art of Effortless Living, the author gives various examples of sports people and how they can maximise their potential by letting go, being less tense and relaxing into the activity, like having a wave carry you. While I was running on the prom, it occurred to me that it helped to hear actual waves crashing directly beside me. My house is really close to the sea, but the seashore is all rocks and I have to either drive to get to the nearest beach or do a very long run, so I go running on the bog roads instead. On the prom I can run at the edge of the water, with amazing views of sunlight filtering through the clouds onto the surface of the sea. I must do that more often.

It was also nice to be so close to everything for a change and get a break from the car. I even caught myself thinking that maybe being closer to the city would make my life easier. Even though I don't get annoyed when stuck in traffic (I make the most of it by listening to nice programmes, focusing on my breathing and doing, ahem, pelvic floor exercises...) and even almost enjoy my - admittedly short enough- commute (it's driving by the sea, like in car adverts!), once I have made it home I am unlikely and unwilling to go back into town later that day, so I can't be very spontaneous.

But this morning it felt good to get back to my house. We tend to want what we don't have. When I got home, I was reminded of all the reasons I chose to live here, the space and peace and quiet. I am instantly calmer when I leave the city. I love the ruralness of this place.
So now I am home and making my way through the papers from the last three weekends, cutting out interesting stuff. I baked a lemon cake (this cake I made recently minus the berries) and had a slice with my neighbour, who is 77 and doing a computer course and climbing mountains. Moving to this little house was one of the best decisions I have made, and now that cohabitation might be in the not-so-distant future, along with all the excitement that this change will bring, I am squeezing out every last drop of joy out of every minute I have left living on my own, in this corner of the world.

1 comment:

  1. I loved living alone, and think of it so often with so much fondness. It's something not a lot of people do, and I don't know about you, but I am pretty much always met with surprise when I tell people I lived alone for 3 glorious years. I love reading your tales of weekends with papers and the sea - it sounds so fantastically solitary.

    Co-habiting has so much of its own, increidble joy though :-)