“I feel unsettled,” I told my therapist last Thursday as I sank into her plush white sofa at my usual 5 pm weekly time slot. I had started an art class earlier that day at a Holborn studio with a wonderfully mixed bag of students. When things get hectic, the paint gives me a soothing balm that brings calm. This time no.
Our teacher took us outside to produce sketches that would inform a painting we would be working on in the weeks to come. After dreaming my way through three streets of central London, following others as we were led to the “perfect” place, I suddenly realized that I was standing outside the offices of my divorce lawyer. I had come here for a break, not a reminder of what goes on in my daily life.
I left the nerve-wracking studio and arrived at my therapist’s office in a zombie state. “What would provide you with the stabilizers you need?” My therapist asked. “Own my own house,” I replied quickly.
After renting for over a year, I’m desperately looking to put down roots somewhere I can live for at least a decade, or until the kids leave home. Looking for housing alone – starting over at this age – seems wrong. This is not how it was supposed to be; another layer of sadness to add to the divorce diaper cake. It’s been a year and I still can’t find my marks.
It’s a weird feeling, buying a house on your own when the last one you bought was with the love of your life – a house I had assumed I would live in forever. This may partly explain why after therapy I started to fantasize about moving to the country.
The campaign: here is the answer! In the countryside we will ride ponies and take long walks with the dogs and I will paint all day. We will cook casseroles on our Aga cream in the kitchen and sit around a flickering fire in the evening. Ignoring my discovery of the price of cookers and the fact that I have a severe allergy to horses, my fantasy of country nightlife gave me an incredible evening of entertainment. Sitting on my couch with a glass of red, the addicting Rightmove app, and a downloaded copy of Aga’s catalog, I planned my imaginary escape.
I don’t know anything about the English countryside (my rural knowledge is limited to the Cairngorms in Scotland, where I spent many summers as a child); isn’t that all the art ensemble and members of Soho House? I am already surrounded by the art ensemble and members of Soho House, so I avoided the search for an imaginary house in the Cotswolds and instead looked into the deepest and deepest Suffolk. dark. Buying a chalet with outbuildings to transform into an artist’s studio, what a brilliant business idea! But what to wear? Tweed, maybe a Vivienne Westwood skirt suit and chunky Hunter shoes – wait, ditch that: Prada brogues have chunky soles this season.
What about meetings? Should I just wander around the local pub, accessible only through a field of sheep, and dip myself in with a pint of cider, a long stalk of corn stuck in my hair for dramatic effect? I wentogle “dating, countryside, rural” and found a site I had never heard of: Muddy Matches.
Founded by two sisters who work in a Hampshire barn, Muddy matches is a dating site unlike any I have ever seen. The sisters, who come from an agricultural background, clearly saw a gap in the dating market for country people looking to meet other country people – straight, gay, you name it, they do. have covered. I took a good look around (i.e. I became completely engrossed and wasted hours of my life staring at the farmers) and couldn’t believe how great it really was. different – in a good way – compared to other more widely used dating sites.