Wednesday, January 17, 2007

two ways to navel gaze
1. I’m getting older and strange things are happening. I’ve noticed that my bikini line is rising! I have begun to fear that one day the effects of gravity and age-related hirsutism will combine to ensure that my nipples and pubic hair meet in an equator of despair. I feel quite bleak about this and have been yanking my bra straps in an attempt to at least slow one half of the equation.
2. Although my moogie, a loving husband, an affectionate pupster, a fantastic book and a self-delivered stern talking to have managed to put me in a far more positive frame of mind today, I’m still left with the same basic dilemma: I no longer want to live this way. TA wonders out loud if my stated goals — a Hugh FW-flavoured Good Life with a sideline in organic B&B with patchwork, children, dogs, books and an aga to add up to a bohemian country life — are just idealised escapism. He thinks I don’t mean it; that I’d hate the reality of cold, dark, wet mornings spent moving pig arcs (the Archers is research, I tell you), planting beans and chasing chickens. I too worry – what about the poverty, the insecurity, the lack of city amenities?
But then I think, we’re poor now, we’re insecure now and I, for one, make very little use of those city amenities. So I’m still thinking about it. Today I had a bit of an epiphany. Why Wales? Well, Wales seems cheaper than most of England and, although Scotland can be still cheaper, I can’t face going North. So my epiphany was: what about Europe? What about buying a small farm or smallholding abroad? Three minutes later, thanks to Google, and I was looking over the details of a cottage and land on a Greek island for less than a London car park place, much less. Now, I don’t think a tiny cottage will do for what I have in mind, but it has got me thinking. In the year we’ve had the Sett the property market has continued to go crazy and, as a result, we are about 15k better off, at least on paper. And I could grow olive, almonds, oranges, lemons and aubergines and raise goats in Greece.
Now, the big anchor holding me here remains TA. But perhaps he’d feel better about moving to Greece, Turkey, Bulgaria or somewhere than Wales?
Am I crazy? Or rather, just how crazy am I?

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