I have just been sipping a white wine on the bench outside my door, contemplating how my move to the countryside has meant that I have exchanged the gentle, slurring noise of the M25 for the rushing urgency of the beck which churns its way along the valley not thirty yards from my front door. And the incredibly insistent hum of what sounds like thousands of bees in the honeysuckle which grows up the wall of our cottage.
Yes, the countryside IS noisy too, but the quality of the noise is full of the breath of an unmechanised life, rather than the calibrated churning of metal and rubber against thick, unyielding tarmac. And it’s somehow more conducive to me having longer, relaxed, wandering thoughts. Capable (for me at any rate) of stirring up the words that at some point may even end up on the page.
And then I happen to see on Facebook (aha! its true! – our splendid isolation does not totally exclude the wonders of the modern age, thank goodness) a review of a book about writing and walking in wild places.
I am very tempted to order it, so that I can look forward to its arrival in the little red van that brings all sorts of bounty from the distant, urban world to my door.
Here is a photo my daughter Amie took last week when she was here with us. I think it encapsulates that mix of wildness and connection with the modern world.
More about that book in a future post