Wednesday, 21 October 2009


I still feel icky. Not sure why. Maybe some nasty little virus has snuck into my system and lying it low. Maybe it is psychosomatic. Maybe I just don't want to go back to work. Maybe it is all of these. I have no energy and I feel like a limp lettuce.

It makes me nervous because last time I felt like this, I had Chronic Fatigue. I have been clear for some time, which makes me one of the lucky ones. It scares the bejeesus out of me, the thought of going back where I was. I suspect everytime some bug lays me low, that fear will be there.

I think my dalliance with that nasty bug has always been about my life not being as it should be. I think the further we get from the way we should be living, the more open we are to these nasties. Once in our bodies they make themselves at home.

School didn't make me happy. University (the first time round) didn't make me happy. I am not happy now. So what would make me happy? Is my idea of a perfect life really so perfect? Is it a delusion? What is it I want?

So let's focus on that. That dream. Just for a little while. It sure is a nicer place than my achy head for starters.


I am, when in the best of health, an early riser. So I would get up and leave F and Little Dog happily snoozing for one is not an early riser and the other is not a quick riser. I would go downstairs and brew up a nice cup of herbal tea. I would take it through to another room and leave it to cool.

If it is warm I would go out onto a patio or verandah or deck and practice some tai chi. Say it is Summer and the sun is still low in the sky. I would feel the warmth of the sun on my face as I connect with all that is.

After, I would pause and drink my tea on a chair and watch the birds at the bird table, mostly blue tits. I would hope that a wood pecker would visit. Little Dog hearing that I had finished would appear, all bleary eyed and graciously accept some stroking. Then we would move off for a walk.

I would maybe take a wicker basket with me. Little Dog would lope around sniffing things as we move through the morning with quiet enjoyment. We would go let the chickens out and give them some food and maybe find some eggs for breakfast. Little Dog of course would want to get in and visit.... We would stop and say hello to the pigs and the goats and the cow and sheep and horses and check their water and maybe give them some food although they probably wouldn't need it this time of year so much. If we have some goats or cows producing milk I would have taken a pail and stool with me to milk them.

We would walk down by the river first and pause there before turning back up through the forest garden where I would pause and gather a few berries maybe for breakfast. Then we would go to the veg patch and greenhouse and I would turn on the water and check the plants and maybe pick some herbs for the eggs. Some rosemary maybe.

Finally we would return to the house, I would top up Little dogs food and then hop in the shower before cooking breakfast. The smell would lure F from bed and we would eat together on the verandah. It would still be early

I would then maybe do a couple of hours in the gardens, weeding or hoeing, planting or pruning or maybe some harvesting. Or maybe spend some time in the green house. Whatever needed doing. Maybe the pigs needed moving from one enclosure in the woods to another to give the plants a chance to regrow. F would be pottering to and doing man things probably.

After a few hours work, as it starts to get hot, we would return to the house with some food for lunch. Things for a salad maybe. Maybe I would have some things from a full harvest. Things to spend the afternoon pickling or jarring or jam making.

After lunch I would potter a little in my studio or maybe sit with a book for a bit. I love harvesting fruit. I always have done. I used to climb trees for the plums or sit on a stool picking berries.

What I would do would depend on the seasons. The morning routine of tai chi, dog walk and animal care would be pretty consistent but the rest would vary. More arts and crafts in the winter. More garden graft in the spring and early summer. Much harvesting and preserving in the autumn and late summer.

Some days we would escape and go out. Others I would go to a class. Some evenings friends would come over and we would eat and be merry. Sometimes we might go and find some culture, take a picnic to the Minack and see a play.

Maybe one day there would be children. A baby snoozing in a play pen with a sun screen as I pick berries. A toddler asking constant questions and chasing the goats, before they chase him back. A child going off to school (a school without SATs and pressure) and then returning to climb trees and build dams. A teenager maybe fishing in the river or giggling with girl friends over something on the TV.

Maybe F would go out to work. Maybe I would be a world renowned author, writing in the winter and living off the royalties of a train of books. Maybe I would be an artisan with all sorts for sale on etsy, supplementing an income. Maybe I would be rich and have no worries about money at all. It is the living closer to the land I dream of.


  1. Are women really meant to go outside the home or are we inherently homemakers and in our hearts meant to live close to nature rather than in stuffy, controled, heirarchical work-places that have nothing to do with nature or what is really important and vital? I love your dream and share it with a different scenario and I am thankful every day that I am retired and no longer have to go to work.

    Your insight about why you are not well is probably right on. We always know!

  2. I don't know. I think we should in our younger days but that we should also have the freedom to not do so when we are ready to settle. It is all about choice. This is not freedom, is it?

    I don't know how to free myself though. I have to go to work tomorrow.

  3. Oh what a bliss-full vision...I was right there beside you, pointing out that lovely sprig of lemon balm that would be nice for elevenses...

    I agree with our core, we are the custodians of the hearth and home and all that goes with it. Some of us are able to shed that entirely and be happy with it, others, like us, feel strongly the pull to go back to the land....

    Do take care of yourself....going back to work before you are entirely healthy isn't going to benefit in the long-run - it's that I-should-be-invincible guilt that's sending you back, the idea that we should be superheroes....fold up your cape and stuff it in a drawer somewhere...