I’ve been trying to come up with a succinct way of describing how it is I actually live. Initially to stave off any more time-wasters in the soul-mate search. But now I think it was more part of a waking-up process, from a very deep long sleep, three years and probably more.
Yesterday it suddenly became apparent. I was in Nelson’s bar, himself was mysteriously absent, so Gabi was standing in instead, and she doesn’t know my preferences yet, so she asked what I’d like. Café solo, I replied. To which followed: how much water/ what size cup/ sugar or sweetner? This is all perfectly normal here, folk take bar-time and their beverages very seriously and the bar staff respect that. I repeated that I would like a café solo (which is an espresso), and just the coffee please, nothing else added.
The silence that fell in the room at that was profound (the making lots of noise 24/7 is very big here too). Coffee without water? Without sweetner? Who is this man?
And that’s it, in a nutshell. My life, what I now choose to drink, eat, and how I spend my time, have (over a period of time) been stripped back to the bare essentials, and the reason for that is because I want to be able to experience their pure untainted taste to the full. No longer do I want everything done conventionally, where it is artificially flavoured or processed and you get addicted to feeling physically and emotionally sated by the end of each day, mainly because so much of the everyday is geared around money and the need to earn plenty.
Consequently my life has evolved to escape that. For food I shop now only once a week, mainly for fresh fruit and vegetables, staples, plus the few household necessities I can escape using, and food for the cats. It takes an average of fifteen minutes and hopefully won’t come to more than £24 in total.
I don’t eat out, by choice (unless someone else is paying). And when I cook (which is not something anyone else should ever have to suffer) no longer use seasonings or flavourings. It tastes just as bad without, so I would prefer at least to try and taste the seasonal differences, rather than have it all overwhelmed by the ubiquitous combination of salt/ sugar/ or vinegar.
Time is pretty much my own to use how I choose. In theory I need to earn enough to balance out what I spend. For this, five hours of teaching per week is sufficient. I haven’t managed to find enough students to manage that yet (so still rely of the generous support of friends) but am always working on ways to achieve it.
I don’t have (or wish for) a tv or internet access, so there’s no temptation to let things slide and others entertain/ brainwash me, I am quite capable of doing that myself.
Nor do I have any desire to buy into any other kind of vicarious experience, so don’t travel or indulge in lifestyles.
In short what I have sounds like a pretty bleak existence, but it isn’t at all. The thing that made life special with Maureen (for 35 years) is that we approached each day with the aim of having as much fun as possible and be creative, using only what we had to hand. That way life costs nothing and every day becomes an adventure. I’d forgotten all about how it used to be, numbed by Maureen’s illness then death, but now I want to start enjoying life like that again. Watch this space for developments.