Since moving here at the end of last summer, we seem to have become increasingly cocooned in our own little world.
Life in suburbia involved so much happening around us – people walking past our home, cars driving along our road, casual callers at our door (the latter sometimes being more irritating than welcome) – all of which constantly kept us in touch with the world at large.
We love the peace and quiet of our new home, but it’s true to say we could become increasingly cut off if we don’t make a conscious effort to connect with the outside world on a regular basis. There are no passing cars or people, no one calls except the postman, delivery drivers and invited guests. Even with the general election looming, we’ve not had the usual flurry of canvassers touting for a vote – just one lone, brave individual that seemed to have found us against all odds.
Of course, we do sometimes see dog walkers on the opposite riverbank and boats do pass by from time to time, but we see far more birds than we ever do people, and we find ourselves living in a state of contentment that often means that we don’t leave our home for days on end.
However, over the last fortnight I’ve had not one, but two short breaks away from home that have reminded me of what’s out there. The first was a seaside break with my daughter and young grandson, staying at a holiday complex on the south coast. I was thrilled that our accommodation turned out to be on the edge of the site, with the back windows overlooking a field of sheep – I’ve become so accustomed to the feeling of space! The seaside town itself was quiet, even more so as it was so early in the season, but the lovely weather meant my grandson was able to experience the excitement of building sandcastles and paddling in the sea for the very first time. It may have come as quite a shock to my system had the surroundings been more urban, or teeming crowds had filled the streets! I had a lovely break, but was pleased to be reunited with my rural surroundings on my return.
The second break merely involved one night away from home, but it was a busy 24 hours, that took me out of my little bubble once more. This time it was a trip for just my husband and me, and involved visiting an art gallery, lunching and dining out and a stay in a comfortable room overlooking a lovely harbour. We spent some time wandering around looking at the boats and the sea – as if we never get to see boats and water at all!
What I noticed about both of these breaks was, that as much as I had enjoyed both of them at the time, I didn’t get the feeling of not wanting to come back that I’d experienced when returning to previous homes in the past. It was lovely to go away, but equally as lovely to come home.
So now, here I sit once again, ensconced in my little bubble, enjoying the tranquillity, but making the effort to be aware of the wider world. I chat to folk on Twitter, keep up with the news, will most certainly vote in the forthcoming election and am continuing my campaign to push for a review of Ofsted (more of this and reviews of my stays can be read at www.shoppersjoy.blogspot.co.uk over the coming weeks).
I love to feel peaceful and contented in my bubble, but I must remember not to become disconnected from the real world!