We knew a really nice couple in the village who we became good friends with. But life happens. Our own lives and troubles took over and we slowly drifted apart. To the extent that we hardly ever saw each other. Now it’s mostly a quick wave on dog walks. But it’s reassuring to have someone in the village who I know. Over the last few years the people I could talk to has reduced rapidly. The village is lovely but the isolation is often suffocating.

Today the isolation feels like it’s gone off the scale.

A sign has appeared outside our old friends house. House Sold by Private Sale. My heart sunk when I saw that. Even though our friendship has cooled the thought of them leaving still hurts. More isolated than ever. Now the village is entirely filled with nameless people who smile and occasionally say hello. They are friendly but are not friends. Our lives don’t cross. They haven’t a clue who I am. I’m just that bloke who goes for a run, takes the dog for a walk and appears to be a single parent. He’s probably separated from his wife.

With no pub, or shop or natural village focal point that is unlikely to change. During winter with the poor weather and dark nights you can go weeks without seeing another villager. The house lights are the only indication that it’s not a ghost village. It’s more isolation I could do without. The feeling of being trapped. The isolation is perfect for our son currently. He doesn’t want to leave the house with memories of his mum. Who can blame him. He can control his interaction with the outside world. The house is good for him.

Even if that wasn’t the case – we just can’t afford to move.


Isolation is increasingly a theme for so many in today’s fractured society. I feel it’s icy cold grip. More than ever. It’s another battle I need to take on. At the moment the battles just seem to keep coming.

99 thoughts on “Village life

  1. You have put tears in my eyes . My heart breaks for you . Isolation though what a word.. it’s lonely yes suffocating . I think it’s something we all face in this life in so many ways. The little town I live in has changed so much and I do not know half of the people who live here or just have drifted from one another. And I do not even feel part of my town anymore. Life can change us and everything around us in a blink of an eye. You have a great support of friends on here and I hope I can call you a friend . We all can use as many as we can. Don’t get lost in this isolation. Look around there is people around you. ❤️hugs

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Gary, fight back. Be that friend you long for – to others. You’re such a great bloke. You make us laugh. You make us think. You make us go out and care! When self-pity colours our hours, thinking of what you’ve written gives us that firm shake we need to rise and get a move on. You’ve made us feel like Switzerland is home – I don’t know anyone else who can!!

    There’s someone out there in your village who needs you and the beauty that you are – even if it’s not apparent to either of you. Try and go out of yourself on your walks, on runs, when you pop into the shops – and reach out, even in the tiniest of ways. Even if all you get is rebuffs, fight on.

    When my own life turned upside down 12 years ago, friends and family got upset because I wouldn’t heal fast enough for them and leave grief to rejoin them. One by one, I lost friend after friend because they couldn’t hang around me anymore, waiting for the recovery that didn’t seem to be coming. Although what I faced/face is nowhere as severe as yours, it hurt deeply, especially when my own family turned on me.

    I became angry at what they did to me – and I struck back – by being the friend I needed to others. Even as I battled depression and other hells, I fought myself to give love.

    It wasn’t about getting anything in return. I continued to carry my own sorrows while others wiped their tears and sailed away. I got hurt back in return more often that I can count. But I continued to give love simply because I couldn’t bear another soul suffering the way I was suffering.

    Today, 12 years on, nothing much has changed. And yet, I have. I sense that I am stronger. It no longer hurts as much that my doorbell still doesn’t ring often, bringing that friend who can tickle me the way I make others laugh, who can rage with me as I fight workplace woes, who can share my joys with no trace of envy. Instead, I have found different ways to love others – through my blog, by praying for them, by cooking for those who need a meal.

    Again, I stress that my experience is nothing on the scale of severity as yours is.
    But perhaps, the weapon to fight back against isolation is the same.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I understand totally what you are saying Gary. I live in a town, and this last fortnight has been utter hell as my family turned on me, accused me of things then cut off from me completely. I am trapped in an abusive marriage, wgich explains some of my mire recent posts. I have nearly gone mad, with no friend to turn to at all, and it has been this way since I went blind. I spend nights on the phone to the Samaritans. It shoukd not be this way. I live on a road withe other people on it, but no one ever speaks. And of course I cannot see them first, to speak to them first. The isolations is killing me. So I really really do understand Gary. I feel so hyrt for you that you are in this position. I am really really sorry. You are such a breat guy, and I just hope and pray that things change for you in some way. Menwhile you are obviously loved and cared for here, though I know it is not the same. Keep blogging. I always read but don’t always comment. I have been a zombie lately. Lots of love and hugs to you Gary. Xxxx

    Liked by 1 person

  4. It is always nice to person to person contact. Are there not occasions where you can meet people? My daughter lives in a small place in Germany. They have spring fest and autumn fest and so on and people of the town gather in the town centre. Indians gather to celebrate our festivals. It is easy to say things, you will have to find a solution to your problem. All the best and tale care.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. It’s funny how things change when something big happens. I found after the stroke that people didn’t know what to say, so invariably they said nothing. I’m quite fortunate because I’m n only child from before the internet, so I don’t mind my own company one bit, but a lot of stroke survivors talk about isolation.
    It wouldn’t surprise me one bit if you’d noticed the same. I mean, what the **** is someone supposed to say? They often don’t realise that “good morning” is a pretty good start.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. That splendidly atmospheric photograph is perfect for this post. ‘He’s probably separated from his wife’ really struck a chord with me. As a young man, it was some years after my second marriage that I stopped feeling the need to explain that my first wife had died.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I am so sorry to read this, but know how you feel to some extent. The boating community shattered when they introduced the new mooring fees structure in 2017. People voted with their engines or sold up as we did. The community spirit and friendliness has gone, and an old boy we’ve kept in touch with says he knows nobody, and no-one has time to stop and chat to him as they once did. The bench he used to sit on under the sales board has been removed, so he cannot even sit and watch the world go by now. He doesn’t go down to his boat in the winter months anyway, but the summer has been quiet for him too especially as two of his friends have died and one has moved his boat away. We found having the dog a good ice breaker so maybe this would work for you on a nodding basis which can lead to conversation? You’re not alone though as you have a lot of friends here in the blogosphere. I know it’s not the same as face to face communication, but we care ❤ ❤ ❤

    Liked by 2 people

  8. That photo you have shows that there can be a light that shines through even a Yorkshire strength gloom!

    It may not warm you up all that much but it’s there none-the less! 😉

    If you look for it and can’t see it, then the light is probably You!

    Rise and Shine. 🙂

    (It’s OK to just shine on your son for a time! If you need some shining back from others you could use that fantastic imagination when you feel the time is right.)

    BTW – I think i’ve won my bet?

    OCT 31 Brexit? I don’ fink soooo! 😉

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Is it possible Britain can have a general election before Christmas??

        Don’t they have to have certain time restrictions and set times for announcement and preparation times?

        The ‘news’ here says it’s a possibility but i don’t see how?

        I heard the EU agreed to another 3 month extension (Really! Just what would be the point??)

        It sounds like Labor are a party divided against it’s ‘leader’ (small ‘l’) and frankly i believe that commentator may have seriously libelled the People’s Front of Judea mate!

        Liked by 1 person

  9. I cannot fathom a village without at least a pub! I often wonder what life in isolated was like before cars and the internet. But then I suppose people lived with their extended families and were related to everyone within a certain radius. I can’t drive so literally couldn’t survive where you are.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. It has been going well – going a bit faster and wishing I could go a bit further but my foot flares up. Couldn’t really run today. It is HELL week at the gym. The workouts are intense. Yesterday was 200 swings, 200 weighted squats, 200 weighted deadbugs and 100 getups. I hobbled through my run this morning. Was a bit thankful the kids had a trip to the dentist because I couldn’t squat a thing today. How is yours going?

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Sorry that made me smile. The dentist being a saviour. And I hate getups. I hate the Physio who has said I can slowly return to them. I so wish your foot wouldn’t flare up, running is so part of you. I can run which is cool. Just have to avoid going too fast, force myself to use the new running position (makes me look like someone has dropped an ice cube down my back) and have no run days. x

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Oh my, I hate getups too. I have injured my knees so many times that I hate to do anything that is forcing one to be the lone weight bearer. So I only do the getup to the half kneeling position and then I come back down. I wish they would just let me skip them and do the alternate exercise. Once I pushed the weight with them and totally messed up my left shoulder for a week. Stupid getups. That is great you can run again! Although varying your position is TOUGH. I hated that. x

        Liked by 1 person

  10. I live in a small city in an apartment building, but I feel isolated here too. I do have family very close, but they are busy. Finances are also isolating, circumstances different, but feelings are the same. There is a USAF base nearby so the sounds of helicopters and planes keep me company. Sounds of traffic on the interstate highways, etc., but you can be in a crowd and feel this way. I wish you the best.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. I am sorry you are going through this. I live in a city, but often feel isolated. Most of the time solitude is something I welcome and embrace, at other times I feel terribly alone. Such was the case when my husband was in hospital, before he landed in the big city where I found companionship in the family of other patients. Mother Theresa called loneliness an epidemic in the west. Part of that is due to our individualism and partly because of the constant moving around leading to situations where we do not know a soul. I have also lived in rural areas where isolation was due to the distance between homes. I have found great comfort through my blogging community where many of us seem to live in isolation and solitude. Hang in there and know you are in the thoughts and prayers of many, as is your son, including mine.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Getting back here, now I have a moment to say, chin up, hang in there and hang tough. I think rural areas seem lovely but they can be lonely places. I guess anywhere can be a lonely place even cities because it’s where you are inside. You have many friends here. Yep, it’s not a right there friend but you have them, and I feel you have it in you to be a friend to people. You’re interesting, you’re funny–I know you don’t feel like it half the time, prob more, but you are. You strike me as a generous hearted person and you do different things with your boy and make them seem fabulous. I hope you can find plan B. There has to B one for you. And remember you have created your own community here, and it’s one where people aren’t afraid to share their thoughts and feelings too.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I haven’t but I will. I also think a lot of it depends on whether you are a loner by nature or not. But you mind now what I say. Winter is anyway kind of depressing time if you let it be .Always think of the spring my friend.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yeah. Sometimes it’s a get through slog. Cold, Dark mornings and afternoons. Etc. A thought to do anything, or go anywhere. Okay . Yes there’s cosy times by a nice fire with a nice drink in hand etc but a lot of it is bring on the Spring, so think of that.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Love it. Just been getting my tickets…. for a return to Tilos. Quiet and cold this time of year. Will do some walking… Cost is horrendous….But then have lumped on a number of other places… Seriously I am minded of how you stayed in a tent in your room once cos you could not afford to go on the camping trip. The world is your oyster here….

        Liked by 1 person

      4. It is. Will need a new tent as the last one got seriously chewed by the dog. So it might have to be a pretend tent – but they are so much fun. So pleased your going there. You will have such a good time. Are you going soon?


  13. I’m still thrown your village has no pub. Wisconsin villages of only 200 people still have bars! We’re rather infamous for our bar-to-person ratio. 🙂
    Still, though physical connection is hard, at least you can connect here. I know it’s not the same, but ANY interaction is better than none. Hugs to you from Wisconsin! xxxxxxx

    Liked by 1 person

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