One of the reasons I want to go and live in Stoupa is to learn how to do nothing.
When I talk about doing nothing, I’m not talking about hobbies, like walking the dog, or to the theatre, or art galleries I’m not talking about going hiking, or to films or live gigs, or seeing friends.
I’m talking about doing nothing in the way that one of my favourite comedians Micky Flanagan means, when he talks about doing nothing. Well, he doesn’t actually word it like that – it’s a strong language alert!
(I tried unsuccessfully to find a clip on YouTube for you but you’ll just have to watch his whole “Out Out” tour to find out what I’m talking about, I think it’s when he talks about women that he covers the whole concept of doing nothing).
It’s the kind of doing nothing that you do on holiday, or perhaps it’s just me? Sitting there with a drink in your hand, just chatting. Or reading. Or staring at the sea and thinking.
I do wonder if I’m capable of it. It’s been so many years and my brain still goes at 90 miles an hour most of the time.
When we discuss this on the Own It podcast, Judith talks about enjoying doing nothing and I have NO IDEA what she means. When pressed, she mentions watching films or reading or cooking or just sitting in a chair, looking at the garden, thinking. Doing nothing, for Judith, sounds like a real activity, that has to be made time for and worked at.
You could argue that by that definition I could learn to do nothing in Shoreham just as easily as in Greece, but it’s not the same. There’s not much to do in Shoreham, except sit in a pub, especially out of the house for 90% of the year because of the rubbish weather in the UK most of the time.
I’m hoping that, if I can put some sort of ring fence around my working hours, in Greece it will be brighter than the UK, not raining all the time. That I’ll be tempted to go out of the house more, to put a cardigan on and walk down the hill to one of the tavernas still open looking onto the sea, drink a coffee, read a book, perhaps even swim if it’s still warm enough in October. We’ll see.
I’m looking forward to the easing off of the subtle invisible pressure of all those things I could be doing, with Brighton just down the road and London just a train ride away. All those people to have fun with, to get to know, my potential future friends.
That exciting, sophisticated art and music filled life I could have, but am not ready for yet.
Six months of no expectations (not least from myself), of reflection, reading, swimming, thinking, blogging, building up cushions and reserves of both money and energy.
Then when I have painted a brand new picture of my future, that does not now include a little house in the country somewhere, with dogs and cats and chickens and a garden full of home grown vegetables and even the much discussed foster kids, perhaps then I can come back to the UK.
I have glimmers of a vision of a bright modern open plan flat at the top of a new block in Brighton’s Lanes, a short walking distance from the art galleries, coffee shops and restaurants, from the live music and comedy, but there’s nobody living there in my mind yet.
Especially not the woman I might become, the slightly eccentric one, dressed all in black with a sharp bob and bright red lipstick.
She’s not living anywhere yet but she might just appear in Greece, given time and space.