Alone. But not Lonely

They say new cities are lonely.

I might be alone but I’m not lonely.

The Outpost taught me to accommodate myself, it gave me the opportunity to become better acquainted with me, my own Eat Pray Love episode. I’m OK with my own company, enhanced by books, the ether, BBMs from my children, a gloriously, happy, uplifting telephone call from my well-mum, a walk with eternally joyful Pili, a precious weekend at home with Ant because he is back after a week in the bush. He travels, as he did in the Outpost; my two-ness telescopes to just one, distils the Me in all of this.

There is a peculiar peace though. The words are all lining up in my head, pushing and shoving, urgently seeking attention. It’s a mark of happy-me, that the words are looking for a place to be. When life goes awry the words are lost, slide to the side amidst the mess and the blur as I try to pick up the pieces.

This alone-but-not-lonely city is an easy one. My friend G described Zambia as ‘Kenya in a Tupperware’. I laughed when he said it but I didn’t know what he meant. Until I got here. This city feels manageable, tamer, contained after Mombasa’s chaotic, cacophonous, tuk-tuk ridden sprawl. It’s neat layout easily navigable. And the avenues are alight with flamboyant, as if the roads are fire-lined, crimson blossom bleeding to the earth beneath them. And I remember the beautiful tree in my Outpost garden and I smile for it all seems so reachable suddenly. The first banner for this blog. A fullness of circles. It feels a tiny bit like Home.



Hat will be here in the morning, for a glorious two week mid term break, and my smile widens as I put the things she likes to eat into my supermarket trolley in anticipation of her arrival.

Tomorrow I will not be alone.

19 Responses to “Alone. But not Lonely”

  1. joannastevenson Says:

    It’s good to see you back here and uplifting to read this latest post. I’m sure the next two weeks will fly by – enjoy every moment!

    ‘Kenya in a Tupperware’ 🙂 Perfect.

  2. Iota Says:

    Had to google BBMs!

    Solitude and loneliness are two different things.

  3. Kate Says:

    So glad you’re blogging again…I’ve missed you! Wish I’d been there last night too. Have a wonderful time with Hat, and give her my love. xx

  4. Carol Says:

    Have fun with Hat – I’m just jealous as my 1 week half term is over and I have 7 weeks til the christmas hols. Glad you are back blogging – talk soon!

  5. Janelle Says:

    Hurrah! your writing is splendid and evocative, Anthea. Remember me to my hometown . I miss Zambia. X j

  6. MsCaroline Says:

    So good to hear that you’re happy and starting to put down roots in the new city. As Iota says, solitude and loneliness are not the same thing, and you sound peaceful and happy. Enjoy your time with Hat.

  7. Secret Agent Woman Says:

    Hi, I stumbled on here somehow, when I was looking up something about Tanzania – I visited there with my kids several years back. Interesting blog. I know well the feeling of alone but not lonely, and I prefer my life ot be a mix of solitude and company (kids and adult).

  8. Marie Says:

    Oh soul, this post is well-timed. I will likely be asked to go to Zambia soon, and I will likely have a hard time saying no. Flamboyant? Yes, please.

  9. Mama D Says:

    Glad to see a happier post from you…always hard to make a move but it sounds like you are adjusting. Have a wonderful time with your girl!

  10. Addy Says:

    Have a fabulous half-term. I am happy with my own company too. Never enough hours in the day!

  11. Ellie Says:

    Oh, happy for you that Hat has a two week break! Wonderful.

  12. Kit Says:

    Glad you’ve found a first step happy space scattered with scarlet.

  13. doglover Says:

    “When life goes awry the words are lost, slide to the side amidst the mess and the blur as I try to pick up the pieces”. How well described! And when peace descends at last, how nice it is letting the words flow again. And your words flow so well, Reluctant M!

  14. Rob Says:

    Enjoy the half term. I hope you enjoy Zambia as much as I did. It does take a wee while to settle and adjust though so patience and perseverance may be required! And there is a vast and empty country out there for exploring and just waiting to be blogged about.

  15. Elaine - I used to be indecisive Says:

    Fabulous photo of the flamboyant. Hope you had/are having a good half term break with Hat.

  16. johnbakeronline Says:

    What a delightful piece of writing; just what I needed to brighten up an otherwise dull day. Thank you.

  17. Judy Says:

    I had to google BBM’s too BlackBerry Messenger, gosh I am behind the times!

  18. Ann Says:

    I can relate to that

  19. limner1 Says:

    Oh, wow. Such a tree. If it . . . I would sit and just watch it for as long as I could. You are blessed with such a tree.

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