Every time I express my desire to live in the middle of nowhere, people keep telling me that I won't be able to hack it. They say that I'm born & bred city, that I will miss the availability of "stuff". To an extent, I think that's true. There are undoubtedly conveniences associated with late-night (24h) shopping, a vast selection of delivery food and takeaways for those days(weeks?) that I just can't face cooking.
Since neither Rachel or I drive, we'd be pretty reliant on public transport (not a lot of that in the middle of nowhere) delivery services and (Duhn-Duhn DUHHHHHHH!) walking. Apparently this walking stuff is something that's somewhat passed out of fashion amongst normal folk with cars and also not something that an unfit overweight fellow like me would be comfortable doing.
As it turns out, I've been in Wokingham this week. Not the middle of nowhere, to be fair, but very much less stuff around than I'm used to in London. I'm staying in a lovely mansion-type hotel a little out towards the countryside. Consequently, the nearest shops (and food) are a couple of miles away. There is a very nice looking hotel restaurant, but the prices are somewhat silly and although the company is paying, I'd prefer not to run up a big expensives tab. So, I've been doing some walking.
Yesterday I decided to avoid a cab fare and walk from the conference venue back to my hotel. It was a lovely day and I really enjoyed walking in the pleasant surroundings and sunshine. As it turns out, the route was a bit longer than expected - more than 4 miles, the route I took (and 3.5 by the most expedient car route). Still, jolly nice (although I chose taxi this morning!)
Today, I returned to my hotel and decided that I needed food (and diet coke). Although I briefly toyed with the idea of more delivery food (having eaten pizza the night before) I eventually decided to walk to food. Food was less far than the conference centre, but I had to bring it back too. Another nice evening, so I pootled along the country roads to the BeeGees. I enjoyed exploring a few different roads and eventually found a takeaway chinese. I observed that almost everything in Wokingham was closed (it was a real struggle to find drinks, after the chinese surprisingly informed me that they didn't do drinks). Still, the chinese fcod that I have is tasty and decent quality. I ended up doing about another 4 miles (2 each way) to get my food and I don't feel at all bad for it.
Anyway, the point is, I suppose, that I don't feel remotely unhappy about having to go and get things and the walking feels pretty healthy. I feel the same way when we're on the island with Rachel's parents too, so I think that perhaps the real issue isn't the walk or the distance or the availability of conveniences.
I think it's actually to do with time. Whenever I need to go and get things in this manner, I really don't have any time pressure. I can putter along at my own pace (which incidentally is pretty quick - roughly 4.5miles/hour) and not be worried about how long it will take. If I want to smell the roses, I can. JOYFUL REVELATION!
It's also worth mentioning (in conclusion) that the experience is vastly nicer with Rachel. Although she bellyaches on occasion, having a lovely walk with my mate is even more calming and relaxing than going on my own. I think we'll do fine, if we ever pull our fingers out and move into isolation.
- Music:BeeGees - One Night Only