When we first came down here I was negligent of the tasks that go with rural living, but over the years I've found myself getting drawn in. I now actually enjoy sweeping leaves. I have a big, heavy duty yard brush and a wicker basket and they're satisfying tools to work with. Until recently I went about saying I didn't choose this lifestyle but all the esoteric authors I'm reading say we choose everything in our lives- down to the minute particulars (including the grim ones)- and I've come to believe they're right.
Mind you, I have no intention of going completely native- and wearing tweed and striding about my acres with a purdy under my arm- as Eric Clapton reportedly does. I haven't read the new biography but I've read the reviews and they give you the most piquant bits. It's noticeable how many rock stars have gone full-on country squire. Bryan Ferry was an early adopter of the lifestyle; I believe he rides to hounds. And Roger Daltry is nowhere happier than on a river bank with his fishing tackle.
While I was sweeping up leaves this morning and washing down plastic door frames with solvent- nasty non-rural stuff- Ailz was tidying the kitchen cupboards. She waved packets of dried seaweed at me, accusingly. "Yes, I said, I still love it. I'd just lost sight of it. I'll have some for lunch." She also found some packets of cashews which are over a year out of date. Nothing wrong with them. I'm eating them now. Also some out of date dates. I'm sure they'll be fine too.