Some days I like to see how few people I can talk to. Don’t get me wrong, I love being around people and interacting with them and and talking to them, but I also like the quiet and calm of my own company. It’s when I’m quiet and calm that my constant inner monologue is at its loudest and most creative.
On these quiet and calm days one of my favourite things to do is to go for a walk in the woods and avoid people even more. I’m lucky enough to live near some really ancient woods, so ancient in fact that you can still see a dyke built by the Vikings to keep marauding Romans out of our lands, although these days it’s more of a ditch. Anyway, they’re pretty old. When I’m in the woods I like to imagine that I’m a peasant living in those times, making my way back to my hovel for some ground acorn paste and some pottage after a long day collecting wood and herbs. Or that I’m living in Westeros and I’m travelling south to try to escape the inevitable winter that is coming down from the wall, and that every person I see could potentially be a Lannister or a Bolton or a Frey wanting to kill me (guess what I’ve been reading). When I see really big old trees I love to imagine what sights they must have seen throughout the years; marching Romans, wild storms, lovers trysts.
The game is best if I don’t see anyone else because as soon as I do see someone the bubble is burst and I have to come back to real life and either talk (“Good morning/afternoon”) or smile or something. Very distracting. And even though I’m pushing an all-bells-and-whistles pushchair and wearing modern clothes and shoes and walking a dog whose breed wouldn’t have been around in those days, I can ignore those historical inaccuracies for my game for a while but only if I’m alone.
The next few days are going to be full of me seeing lots of people and doing lots of talking and that’s fine, I’m looking forward to it all. But I’m also already looking forward to being up in the woods again next week and hoping that while I’m there I won’t see another human soul.