I’ve lived where I live for nearly forty years. I have no desire to keep moving on, up or out.
My cottage is small – so small I couldn’t hang a Hockney if I tried, although we do have pictures and photographs and all sorts of bollox on the walls.
We have a view from the garden which shows the new builds but still holds the space. We have young neighbours who have even younger children. Those young parents are kind and generous and have just chopped down a huge shrub that was taking all the light from our garden.
We’re blessed to have three apple trees, tomatoes and courgettes nicely growing, and we have a party planned for the ‘oosbind who will be 80 at the end of August. We have another neighbour the other side who is more family than family. We swap television series and I love him. All in all we’re not doing too badly.
Now where I live is off the main road and up the hill where it says no through road.
We have neighbours down the hill. People who have been here as long as us. And blow-ins who are just finding their feet.
We have street parties – although I am of no use if Royalty are involved. It’s not that I want Charlie and his mob assassinated it’s just I can’t square all their billions with the countries needs.
In our little ‘publet’ we have artists and teachers and gardeners and retirees. We have judicial heirarchy and retired firemen. We have a Tottenham supporter and a couple who have dogs who go on hunts.
We have lots of trees and a road that you can walk in the middle of because when Mr. Somerset was alive cars and lorries drove into his house. Now we have a road that bypasses such accidents.
We have a pond down the hill which the thoughtful neighbours cleared and restored. Put in a duck house and now there are ducks and ducklings circling their floating wooden house.
We have children and young people all milling around in our neighbourhood. It really is a genuine community of supportive neighbours. When the old git got ill the waves of warmth that sped up the hill was extrordinary.
In one of the houses their lives a natal twin to my husband. She celebrates her birthday on August 23rd, which is just what you want when you need a Reiki massage, not quite Virgo with a little Leo. Now last week I had a Thai massage from a corker of a woman who has dreadlocks wrapped round her head and a house painted in velvety tones. I lay down on a mattress and over two hours I was shaken and bent. I was rolled and rocked. I drunk clear water after two hours of poking and pressure. It was wonderful.
The dreadlocked Diva is still in training so I could afford her. I’m going back this Thursday for more of the same. She said I was dead bendy for a septuagenarian.
You see I’m doing everything I can to get me well again after the shock of the ‘oobinds inconvenient truth.
As well as a dose of Thai I decided on a Reiki session too. Down the hill, through the gate and into the large calm room of my neighbour. I said I would write about her so people could come and see her. She needs more people before she becomes a Reiki Master – mistress. I lay on the massage table and not a finger touched me. I slipped into oblivion and the stress poured down onto her very clean carpet. When I woke she was standing somewhere near me but it felt like a bunch of healers had gathered. Juliette needs more clients. I will get her number for you. She has travelled a lot and she has the composure of a person that has travelled a lot.
I like where I live, if I need a hand digging up the roots of an ailing privet Juliette’s husband and co-pal will come and dig it up. If I want the moth eaten hedge removed in the front garden they are their with a wheelbarrow and the wife of the co-pal who will whip out her secateurs and prune the wisteria.
Getting older and living here will be a challenge. We’re two miles from the shops, it’s uphill and our little cottage has three flights of stairs. I already go up on all fours but what will I do when the hips creak and the knees moan. So far I’ve manged to keep myself well oiled, after all I did 10.000 steps today, but what’s going to happen when I have to go down to the cellar to do the laundry.
Getting old is not for cissies – according Bette Davis – but getting old is inevitable – I want to make a podcast called THE KNACKERS YARD, me and a Scottish hero were working on it then the old git got poorly and everything was shelved. The Northerner is recovering so it’s time to call my Scottish fixer.
Because I’ve lived here for such a long time and I have no desire to gallivant or ocean hop, I’ve no desire to pack my things and give them away. Or stack my books or reshuffle my CD’s. Getting older is making sure I can touch my toes and read the small print. And living where I do if the small print gets unreadable I’ll call on a neighbour to bring up a magnifying glass and help me out.
I recently asked a little boy how old he thought I was. He put his chin in his hand and thought. He studied me and thought some more.
’95’ he said.
The little bastard!