F and I have been seriously considering a move to the Hebrides. We’re after some remoteness and a change of pace. In asking ourselves whether the idea is crazy or whether we are crazy to consider it we tell ourselves "this is our life."
We’re not unhappy in Bristol. Bristol is the first place I’ve been comfortable calling home since I lived in Virginia a decade ago. But like all homes there’s mould on the bathroom sealant. Our mould is the nagging sense that life would be more powerfully simple in a remote location and that energy is being wasted with anxieties caused by living in a city. These anxieties are predictable, but palpable: Consumerism, quick rage, status anxiety, speed.
F grew up more remotely than I did, but our mutual value of remote places dovetails nonetheless. Although I have been the one giving the city a chance for it’s easy access to culture I don’t make much use of it. Although I like the commute partly to walk amongst people, I spend a lot of time with myself and my family. Galleries popup every week on Bristol corners, I don’t visit. So I am interesting in how I could – if I could – focus this time spent alone and removed.
I tell people that we’re serious and not-serious, which is about right with most things. I asked F last night as we fell into sleep whether she would say yes to a move if I asked straight out, without strings attached and without complication. She said she would. But we’re not moving yet, nor looking, nor talking more about it. I’m in the dining room enjoying the broadband, F and O are watching TV. A’s asleep upstairs. This is our house in our quiet part of the city where the garden backs onto trees. This week, for a number of reasons, we have counted our chickens and found them to be hatched and numerous. A move is serious, and not-serious, waiting for two yes’s spoken at night and in the light of day.