I am once again craving solitude, aspiring for hermiting, and wanting to disappear to a land far from London. Off in the deepest reaches of Suffolk, beyond towering buildings and sprawling suburbia, lie some quiet, green, unkept acres. My family farm, now mostly sold to a holiday let entrepreneur, is hidden amongst a patchwork of fields, a labyrinth of hedgerows. Our land rented to farmers for the meantime, it continually calls to me, bringing me home and making my hermiting thoughts dream of becoming a recluse in a beautiful land.
Grove farm buildings (to right of land) are all now sold in addition to front meadow. However the barn just hidden by the tree on the left is a possible planning permission spot.
Christmas is nearly upon us. Snow is on the ground, the chickens cluck in the early freezing morning. I wake, in my London abode and, though I may not remain gloomy, my mind is clouded by a call from the homeland. Its difficult to think of anything else, just the bliss of walking dogs across the crisp, frosty grass. Awaking to the sounds of hens, cows calling in the pasture, their breath white and spiralling through the air. A wood is waiting to be planted, the roe deer and pheasants territory expanding. The bucking March hares in the Hill field wait with anticipation for spring, for boundless energy, for the new generation to appear. There is so much to do, yet London smog sucks me in.
My Dad bales hay in his youth
The first battle is done. The owners of the existing buildings now have piped water instead of the century old well. My writing career expands, taking me on a path of self sufficiency from anywhere in the world and as long as an internet company could supply me to the middle of nowhere I could work. I want to plant a reed sewage bed. To erect a small wind turbine. To lay out a vegetable plot which will sustain not only me, but my family and visitors with food. Sheep to shear for Leone’s knitting, cows to milk, a host of chicken species to sustain my obsession. An open fire to roast my toes on in the cold winter nights, a veranda to sit out on in summer nights watching the fire flies and gently swaying trees. Guest rooms for friends, bedazzled and stress coiled, to come and relax, unwind, find utter peace and quiet.
My Grandad takes a ride on Twink
Its there, waiting for me, asking me to come back and take my heritage, build a life, be a hermit at peace. The Gay Gardening could easily continue, though it would probably become more Gay Farming than simply gardening. My numbness to society will pass, it always does and I’ll return eager, happy and energetic for the world. But an increased reoccurance of this craving only means one thing, its gradually taking a hold and unless I follow this path, things may remain dismal and grey forever.