Most of the time, I like living in a town. Although I get bouts of anxiety that mean I stay indoors more, I’m a people person at heart and I love being near things. Husband would, if money were no object, probably love to buy a few hundred acres somewhere, or even an island, and live happily away from the general population, but even when we talk about our plans for emigration, I still envisage myself living at least near a town.

Just recently, however, the overwhelming noise of suburbia has really started to weigh heavily on me. I think it’s a combination of not having been on holiday for a few years and next door having an extension built, but I feel like I’m always at the mercy of someone else’s noise.

Our neighbours are great, but they do love using their garden from the crack of dawn. They have a young son who has a lot of energy, so I can’t blame them for wanting him to be as active as possible, but 7am seems a little too early when you live in a highly populated area, to me. For the last few months, there’s been noise as soon as I wake up (or, more appropriately, waking me up) and it doesn’t stop until I go to bed again. Even needing to have a fan on at night because of the heat is making me feel bristly because of the noise.

Last week, on a whim, Husband and I went for a drive with Sausage, my MIL and Husband’s cousin. We drove out to a little place called Creeksea, a tiny town on the banks of the River Crouch; we weren’t there for long as the weather had started to look rather fierce, but we stayed long enough to wander along the banks, looking at the boats. On the drive there and back, I noticed how nice it was to be able to look across the landscape and not have your view obscured by row after row of houses, it was mostly just agricultural land or small tributaries of the river.

River Crouch

I felt kind of refreshed when we got home that day, like being away from suburbia had given me a chance to breathe, given my eardrums a rest, even if it was just for a few minutes. It’s Sausage’s birthday tomorrow, so we’ve got a busy few days ahead of us, but once it’s all over I think we might drive out to the country and give ourselves space to breathe again. Space to just be, without anything else seeping in.