A friend asked a few days ago if I fancied going for a drink after work sometime. Yep, but actually no, that’s not going to be something I can do. In about 3 days I won’t have any way to get home (zero tolerance drink/drive laws in Scotland) plus there are animals waiting to be sorted. Increasingly quickly a new life is coming.
Very shortly I’ll be living my rural life on my own and it’s slightly daunting. Not least I have come to see over the last few weeks that I need to be stronger and fitter than I am. That sounds dramatic – I’m pretty sure I’ll survive the winter – but there are jobs to do and I will need to do all of them. I’ve started yoga again and am back in a swimming pool on a regular basis. I’m spending a lot of time on breathing, becoming more flexible, and working out how to go the distance.
14 years ago I swapped my Southside garret in Edinburgh for a slower life in the countryside. After 10 years living in the centre of Edinburgh I was looking forward to the change – more space, a garden, and an end to navigating communal living and tenement stairs. I’ve become more independent since then, more self-reliant. I grow some of my own food, I learned some basic butchery skills, I make preserves of all kinds.
However, I did all of this with someone else to share the work. Other jobs, like stocking the woodshed, or heavy work in the garden, or mechanical failures were things I had help with. Fresh coffee magically brewed itself too. For a while at least now I’ll have to start learning some new skills again.
I think the first trick might be to keep breathing…