Wow, so we’ve been ‘here’ for over a year now.

I apologise for the inverted commas but ‘here’ is still illusive to me. As family we have become accustomed to nomadic style of living over the last 12 months. After living in the same apartment for over 20 years, I am now a free spirit who can no longer tethered these likes of bricks and mortar or any one land. Doing this family with small children, is a challenge, but perhaps not in way you would first imagine. As white middle class educated woman, are certain expectations adhere to; living as some sort of migrant wanderer probably does not really sit well with most yummy mummies sipping over-priced coffee in Planet Organic on Westbourne Grove. “So irresponsible”. “No stability for children”.

Because what I left behind in beautiful W2, was not just smog and these expenses, but a way of thinking. I had become very anxious, extremely anxious actually. I put it down to normal metropolis living – overcrowding, pollution, general ill-health. But beyond that, lay something much more insidious. And it took quite journey to recognise it and accept it.

Despite, or perhaps because London is such open, culturally mixed, diverse city, there seems to unspoken pressure to ‘assimilate’ and by default alienate those not. It’s kinda tribal in essence.

Ultimately are competing for resources… schools, money, space… air! So underneath the facade, is a brooding, seething tension. We cover this nicely with pleasantries, smiles, invitations to coffee. (Coffee is now verb by way).

And I, in my naivety, would mistake these invitations as a means to connect and share, while often my compatriots were merely gathering information about the enemy. Before you knew it, strange things would happen. Overnight, children were whisked away to schools that fed into the ‘right’ secondaries. These friends of my own children; they had shared classes together since the ages of 2! No warning, just happened. There could be no warning, because there are limited spaces for children in schools… had been foretold, perhaps would have stollen said place, from right under their noses. Cut-throat style. breitling replica wathces

I began to recognise a deep feeling of alienation, still unconscious, but lingering in the pit of my stomach… and it grew. cheap breitling watches

Before too long I was literally having trouble eating food. I had developed phobias and fear, rooting from a complete lack of trust in the labels. “Just because it says it’s from a happy farm in the UK, doesn’t mean it is!” – We know this true. Nothing, nobody can be trusted at face value. Using words that suggest one thing but really don’t mean anything, is called ‘advertising’ and that’s bottom line. I yearned for connection, human, spiritual and earthly.

After countless doctor visits and counselling session, trying ‘clean eating’ etc… I fell upon something, where finally the golden penny dropped.  Whilst convincing myself I had either ‘crohn’s disease’ or possibly ‘leaky gut’ I had invested in some crazy diet kindle book… I was busy taking down notes of all the things I could no longer eat (wheat, beans, dairy… fruit, food generally) when I read the chapter on micro biodomes – the bacteria in our guts that keep us alive… and sane.

I knew about pro-biotics (and the challenges of finding ethical, non-dairy versions). But I had been blind to their little friends the soil microbes, without whom they cannot function in gut.

So there it was in black and white (or in case backlit on a screen) to dirty!

Yes, it all made sense. I was missing mother earth. A lot.
That was the essential connection I craved and needed to rebuild.
My body had been expressing, what my mind could not accept. I had become physically ill, because I was feeling so psychologically unsafe.
Upon this realisation, it was literally a matter of months before we shoved as many of our belongings as we could into the boot of the car and upped for an unpredictable, carefree life in tourist accommodation in Italy.

To be fair, we didn’t exactly plan to live out of suitcases indefinitely, but you might have noticed that 2016 was a global cluster-f***?
Brexit, has put doubt into the future of the EU and thus our status here… the orange beast and his cronies from across the ocean have put doubt into whether there will even be ‘a future’.
So really, living in the present, day to day is all that is left.
Ironically when the Tsunami wave of crazy hits the shore, they say you’re better off in a boat than on dry land. Being flexible is a good thing.

What I will say, is that without a doubt, if I had had to live through 2016 where I was in London, I do not think I would have made it. (I honestly, think I narrowly escaped with my life). So the fact that I am ‘here’, ‘now’ is pretty awesome.  Italy is a crazy chaotic place in some ways, and our current living situation matches that same description, but right now its my kinda crazy! Everyday I drive through hills, I see sky, I hear birds singing. There are sometimes thunderstorms, the electricity cuts out. Life feels real.