The very literal cost of isolation

I'm pretty independent. I have friends but don't often feel the need to see them. I message more than talk and always avoid meetings at work, when I do need them, my camera is always off. Sociable at times, a loner at others, generally happier alone.

Never lonely.

A small community is different - the sudden change of not being constantly surrounded by people the moment you step out of the door has made me enjoy walking and nature a lot more than I did previously. But with that came a surprising sense of isolation. There are fewer people in this entire village than were on one side of my street just a few weeks ago.

Living alone in a small village can be even more tricky. It hasn't been long, but now and again you might suddenly notice that you haven't seen another person in a few days. So you go for a walk through the village, rather than into woods or the hills, maybe you say a cheery hello to someone. It scratches a small itch, but the itch doesn't go away completely.

There's aren't enough people, and certainly not enough friends in the local vicinity just to call someone up to go out for a walk or a quick coffee. There aren't many places in walking distance that you can go for a coffee, and even then, most of those close outside of the summer months.

There is however a pub within walking distance (I may have moved somewhere remote... but it's still Britain!). They serve surprisingly good coffee, and, of course, there are people there. So in an attempt to not end up a weird, hairy and unshowered recluse I headed out to the pub to get a coffee and have a conversation with someone that didn't involve the internet.

Conversations can be expensive. Two coffees later and a loaf of bread and a few sundries that I didn't really need, I was down £14. Not a huge amount, but not sustainable either, maybe I'll have to find another way to socialise, that doesn't require spending so much money. Friday evenings, when people generally head to the pub will be even worse.

Maybe I just need to shake the stigma of having to always have a drink in hand (whether soft or something stronger) - and accept that fact that a village pub is as much about community as it is about turning a profit for the owners.

All I'm sure of is that I have to make an effort, or it is all too easy to not go out, and not see any other people for days on end. No one wants to end up being that person, do they?

Maybe we really are social creatures after all?

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