Wednesday, 18 November 2009

#112 Feeling Green

Fact: Most British beauty editors live & work in London
Fact: Most British beauty editors get sent every product under the sun in the hope of achieving a single aim: perfect skin
Fact: London is the most polluted city in the UK; Londoners are the most stressed of all UK inhabitants; and (sorry, 'another pinch of salt in the wound' alert) Londoners are the unhappiest in their jobs of everyone living in the UK.
Fact: Stress, unhappiness, pollution, lack of exercise etc etc = bad skin. Like, derr. Oh, and weight gain apparently... not to mention heart attacks... and... and... and...

...the prescription for perfect skin seems to have far less to do with peptides and everything to do with peace... fresh air... happiness...

Now, I love London - I really love London. I was born here, grew up here, went to school here, all my friends still live here... but, well, I'm beginning to feel a bit jaded by the lemming-like allure of this big city of mine. It's undeniably fantastic in many many ways (like midnight movies & 24-hour breakfasts//spoilt-for-choice exhibitions/gigs/shows//the best & biggest libraries//thumping clubs & mindblowingly brilliant pubs/bars/restaurants/hotels//huge, sprawling parks & lots of fab things to do in them) and the fact that there's always, always, something really interesting to do, whatever time or day...

But (she coughs), having just spent the last three days in a remote part of the Cotswolds, where the air & water & sky & earth stoked something bizarrely primal in me that also made me lust for all that I don't have on my main-road facing flat in busy South London, I feel that my central city belief system has been shaken.

It just doesn't make sense. The 'GLOW' that is. And it wasn't a denying health-food fasting glow either - it was a huge desserts & steaks & roasts & beers glow, the glow of general contentedness & peacefulness (well, there was no mobile phone or email for an entire 72 hours) - and the relief of feeling left alone & unrushed was unspeakably, profoundly uplifting.

There was nothing much to do with my day other than take long morning walks, soak in the spa pool, and then just before bed, the huge tub, and indulge in lots of the aforementioned sticky dinners...and read & write & dream...

And then, on the way back to the local train station, the cabbie pulled to one side of the country road to allow a tractor to complete its maneouvre. We waited 10...15...20...30 seconds... and nothing. No cursing, blinding, huffing or puffing. The cabbie just looked out across the horizon and hummed a little tune. Eventually the tractor did what it had to do, and pulled to one side, letting us pass. A waved hand and smile, from both to one another, and that was it.

Then the station, where the ticket seller & collector was also the signalman and platform cleaner (oh, and he could conjure a sausage butty if your were hungry & didn't mind waiting a little bit...was there ever a better finale to an awaited train?...)

I cannot imagine how good it must feel to live in a place where the pace of life is not set by the yelling driver behind you, or elbowing 'gent' who spies the last seat on the tube and will walk through fire (and all of YOU) just to snag it.

So, the next time I feel my face burning red from all the indignities of the day, I'll take myself off to that little place, and pour my memento (a bottle of Green & Spring Light Relax Bath Oil from that perfect bathroom), into a running bath and dream of a place where it's okay to daydream.

Imagine that...

4 comments:

Holly said...

It must have been fab to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city! Your skin will be thanking you for the fresh air and relaxation!

Style Mews said...

im exactly the same, I live in both london and surrey, when I'm in london i cant imagine leaving but then I go back to the countryside and you'd have to slaw me away from it, I go down for the day.. it turns into a long weekend!

writing_in_london said...

I love getting away - I do the same thing to Devon when I can. Food, fresh air... love it

MissMtheBeekeeper said...

My parents live in Devon and when I visit them I feel the same way...falling into a calm and peaceful frame of mind that I just don't feel in my beloved capital city.

I did move back to the country for a while in my early twenties and in reality it can be dull and, dare I say it, lonely living away from the buzz of the city. But each time I return to Devon I do feel the desire for that way of life a little bit more. It's great to have the best of both worlds I think, and to be realistic about the charms and the drawbacks of both.