Isolation and remoteness – I thought that they were fairly straightforward concepts until we moved to the hill.

There was the occasion when we gave very clear directions to our place and my friend rang and said – “I thought I was following the directions correctly but I came to a track that nobody would live on, it was very isolated and so I turned around – can you come and collect me in town?” It turned out that our friend had been at the end of our road when they turned back.

Others have questioned why we would chose to live in a place that is so far from anyone else when in fact we have two good neighbours, in two different directions, who live not more than a mile away. In a geographically small area such as Ireland distance and isolation are different concepts than they would be in a larger continent such as Australia or India. It’s all relative…

Some people feel isolated in a room full of people or a city full of life, others don’t feel isolated being by themselves for some time in the middle of nowhere. It has more to do with attitude, emotional states, than it has to do with longitude & latitude or distance.

It can be an attitude or the state of our own mind, however, isolation can also be used in an attempt by someone to make another person feel uncomfortable or unwanted, to manipulate a person in a group situation, however this can be counteracted by others in the group simply including the person instead.

I certainly don’t feel isolated where we live. It is very peaceful. There is very little traffic and we can see and hear the traffic approach from some distance away.

It is peaceful but of course it is not silent. Just as our view is ever changing so too are the sounds that we hear – the birds, frogs and crickets singing, the wind in the trees, rain on the roof, the stream which is almost silent in dry weather or a thunderous roar in otherwise quiet nights after days of rain.

Sometimes it can be positively noisy with spring time cuckoos and on some quiet Sundays with the breeze blowing from the right direction we can make out the sounds of excitement from a distant football pitch or at night the funfair about five miles away.

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