I've moved to a new workplace. I think I'm going to like it:
When I was younger, standing on windswept suburban platforms, watching trains full of exhausted people make their way back to the less fashionable parts of London, I used to dream of escaping to the countryside.
But instead, I moved to a small, affluent London suburb that had been picked up and dropped in the middle of the Sussex Downs at some unspecified point in the past. The dinner parties with people from Stoke Newington continued unabated, but without the absurdly long bus rides (or the nocturnal cab journeys, driven by someone who had only just arrived in Britain) between places that were only a few miles apart.
It was the perfect solution. I could see the countryside in the distance, but wasn't obliged to engage with it in any way.
However, during the last few months I have spent a lot of time on farms and have grown to love the silence and remoteness. Ridiculously, I didn't know how much countryside there was. My journeys along arterial main roads hadn't exposed me to the vast interior of the Weald, where it is still possible to escape from light pollution and the distant roar of traffic.
I love the fact that I can be sitting in an office, connected to the internet, but all I can hear is the sound of sheep, cows and birds.
Last week I was sitting at my desk, answering some emails, when a sheep came up to my window and stared at me for three minutes. I tried waving and flapping my arms around to get a reaction, but it continued to look me calmly in the eye, with a uniquely ovine insouciance. In the end, I was rescued by the distraction of some gamboling lambs.
I'm sure that my rural idyll will seem less appealing in December, but at the moment I feel as if all of those hours spent at Clapham Junction and countless bus stops, have finally been rewarded.