May 11·edited May 11Liked by Francesca Specter

I love this post. As someone who has reached that old age bit I can confirm loneliness exists at all stages and in all states, even in long standing partnerships (they have their ups and downs) and from childhood to grumpy old woman stage.

I was interested in your vision of tiny villages, I have lived in a small village, in London, in a small town and back into a small village. There are lonely people in all these places and I have felt both lonely and part of a community in each. The place where I felt most part of a community was London, but I think that’s because our daughter was born, and started school there, plus I worked locally or not far away. Villages can be just as, if it not more, lonely unless you are prepared to give up bits of ‘you’ and fit in. That’s not grumpy old woman time, but the reality smaller groups of people, fewer activities & transport etc.

Loneliness is nothing to do with place, it’s about ourselves and how we relate to others. Now I live alone and have been through a pandemic physically alone, using technology to keep in touch , I can now deal with loneliness much better and be comfortable alone, even in a small village, I have stopped ‘fitting’ in and I am me. I love my family and friends who are geographically spread, and my time alone, and sometimes feel lonely.

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Loved this! Xxx

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I really enjoyed this one, Francesca. At my loneliest (whilst in a long distance relationship that required all of my meagre salary to be spent on regular flights), I joined GoodGym and took up volunteering in London. Ten years later I'm still friends with some of the people I met there today.

There was a golden time before the pandemic, where all of my close friends lived within a 5-10 minute radius. It was literally incredible. But in more recent years, people have started to move away, and a leap to freelance life - then starting a business - has meant community was harder to find. My solution was to go out and find it. Today, there are so many new people in my life who I hadn't even met a year ago. I walk to work every day, through the park, to an amazing office space full of new colleagues and friends, and have found community in my neighbourhood again through a family run gym. Nature, exercise, proximity, and ritual have all played their part and I'm more connected for it.

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