Today, I post from a place of comfort and warmth. I post from Caffe Nero in Haywards Heath. This post is not sponsored, they don’t even know I’m posting but after just having spent half an hour in Costas feeling watched and unwanted I retreated and thought I’d try it in here.
In Costas I asked whether it would be OK to plug in my laptop – now, it’s not like I have many options for this in my life, and I have been a regular in Costas, HH for 18 months ++ – ‘yes but don’t let anyone else see’…. not said in the jolly friendly tone it could’ve been said in. The wifi code, as always now, I had to ask for. I managed my half hour, not even really wanting to browse anything as I did feel rather unwelcome. As soon as my half hour was up I was out of there. I haven’t mentioned that I did in actual fact spend over a tenner on food and drink – not like I was in there on the total scounge, and I even have clean hair today!
Across the road in Caffe Nero. Access, to ‘the cloud’ is unlimited and uncommented upon by the staff, except to remind you that it’s simple to get on and you only have to register the once. My slightly hesitant question “would it be OK for me to plug in somewhere?” met with ‘of course, any of those, those or those tables along there are next to sockets.’ Wow, what a difference.
I am sat here now writing a completely different post to the one I thought I’d be writing and from somewhere different to where I expected. I have to say, the Scillian lemon cheescake is delicious (not even slightly paleo but after the week I’ve had….), the staff are super friendly, they smile – randomly (not in a scary ‘oh my god they’re staring at me’ kind of a way, more of a ‘nice to catch your eye, hope you’re enjoying that peppermint tea’ kind of way). It feels relaxed, the lighting is better. Other people are happily tapping away on laptops, and everyone looks genuinely relaxed. This will now be my place of comfort and warmth whilst blogging.
I think I’d planned an update on the camp situation. I think that’s important too so I’ll begin that now.
Today saw the end of am exhausting week. This week I have raged at our new life, loved our new life, cried at friends/the lack of locally.
You know how the week started so badly, with evil planning issues. I’m not sure of the situation there, I don’t think anything has been resolved but the neighbour who seems to have the biggest issue with ‘everything’ has been an almost constant presence in my life this week. I’m not sure how she has so much time available to her that she is around to watch each and every time the girls and I leave the woods. She watches us emerge, she watches us cross the field, the road; and then she watches me open gates, move the car, close gates and drive off. How on earth is it that mostly she’s there when we return? Well, she is, and then she watches the whole bloody process in reverse. The temptation to go and tell her to bugger off is pretty strong but I know it won’t help our case any. Over the weekend we had campers and I can’t count how many times I saw her but I can tell you that while I was ferrying campers about today (crossing fields with carts of equipment, loading it into cars etc) she passed by 8 times (as in she drove past 16 times), on one occasion, while I was helping a camper load the cart at the gate to the woods, she actually parked up behind a campers car – which had been parked less than 5 minutes – and took photographs. Now, she isn’t actually speaking to me or the children, she isn’t physically approaching us and to be honest I feel pity for her rather than intimidation – most of the time – but it is wearing. I am sick and tired of seeing her there, of hoping no one visits in case she comments on extra cars, on extra traffic. And then of course I feel alone. I feel alone because I’m worried that if we have visitors it will impact on our permission to stay, on the campsites chances of success in their planning battle.
I love the feeling of being in the woods but I do not love the thought of being watched, constantly. I love the nature, I love the sounds, the smells, the feeling of being in the woods. I do not love the excessive mud that we happen to have. I do not love the neighbours. I do not love the trek across the field, particularly as I am watched so often. In truth I don’t mind the trek across the field, it’s definitely improving my fitness levels, it has to be good for my heart (if it doesn’t give out mid hike…) but I do not like wondering who is watching, whether she is taking photographs.
What I really want, is, a woodland somewhere where there are others who feel the same. The same about nature, about trees, about children, parenthood and learning. Or if they don’t feel exactly the same they at least respect my freedom to feel how I do.
In this woodland and our forest adventure we are hurting no one, and no thing. We are careful about our woodland neighbours and we are considerate of our outer neighbours.
And I’ve just realised I’ve missed my bus home…. Caffe Nero closes in an hour and the next bus won’t be here for another hour and 57 minutes…. oops. Ah well, I’ll just hang out somewhere…