My current accommodation is very sweet. For London, it is a pretty generous size and it is fully furnished and equipped with everything I need and more.
But there is something that I really appreciate about this sweet little abode. It is relatively hidden. Those walking down this road would not know my little abode even exists. Hiding my front door are two large locked gates that screen off my little hideaway.
In a way it makes me feel safe – not just physically safe, but also emotionally. I feel as if the world outside can no longer find me. That is often a welcome feeling. “Nobody can get me”. Rest, calm.
I have windows, but they look out at areas also locked away from strangers passing by. I cannot see the outside world from any of my windows. I don’t see people making their way to work, school children laughing and shouting, nordic walkers striding towards the park, dog walkers, traffic wardens hovering around street corners, delivery drivers and tradesmen arguing with traffic wardens.
I know that they are all out there, just metres away from me. But I cannot see them, neither can I hear them. None of them can get at me.
In my new job, I am looking out of a window onto a busy high street. People who look stressed are rushing past. Noisy teenagers, who are oblivious as to how intimidating they are, crowd the pavement after school making it almost impossible for others to pass. Joggers and nordic walkers full of determination and ambition.
I see and hear arguments between traffic wardens and vehicle owners who thought they could take a risk. Then there are arguments between bus drivers and passengers usually over a passenger not paying. I can’t always tell exactly what is going on, but most of the passengers who are arguing do not look as if they are struggling financially, the bus driver is trying to be firm, other passengers become involved because they want to get home or to work, or perhaps another destination.
I see it all through the windows at work. Very few seem to notice me. But I notice them. It unnerves me at times, all the hustle and bustle of a London high street, all the noise and rushing and pushing past others.
When I have left work, I too become one of the crowd on a busy London high street until I arrive at the large locked gates and unlock each one, before disappearing through and locking the gates up once I am on the other side. Moments later I am shut away, locked up in my sweet little abode where none of them can get at me.
I do have friends and family over to visit of course, I am not a hermit, but I do like that I have a hide-away that is tucked away from the general view. It is almost like having a secret little cave all to myself, far away from the outside world…which is a rare find in London.