Wednesday, 28 September 2011


There is I am learning, a vast difference  between loneliness and solitude.

As I have said many times before, I am very lonely (all together Ahhhhhh!).  While I am doing my best to find ways of addressing the problem, it by no means is meant to imply that I welcome with open arms all invasions of privacy.

This has been brought home to me quite sharply just this afternoon.

Being still beset with cold bugs and not my usual clear thinking bright and sparkling self (ahem), I left a library book on the bus this morning on my way to brass cleaning morning at St. M's.

I tried ringing the depot, no reply.  Left it a few hours and tried again (left message on answering machine).
No response.  Was just moving bins etc back into the garage out of the much too hot sun when a neighbour saw me and having been unwise enough to ask how I was, received the full story, poor girl.

She immediately offered to run  me round to the depot - about a mile away- did so and brought me back.
Would not come in for a drink (tea or other) and brushed aside my thanks as though it were nothing.

Such kindness and offered in the most non-invasive way.  Lovely!

Ten minutes later the phone rang.  After the usual guff about only taking a few seconds etc. she, for it was a she, got down to the nitty-gritty  of trying to sell me solar heating.  She ignored all my protestations about having no intention of taking on that sort of expense at my stage of life and thundered on and on and on.
When she was finally forced to breath I said "no" and put the phone down.

As I did so the doorbell rang.  A fresh-faced young man wanted to sign me up to support a childrens' charity for the deaf.  Having explained that I already give to the RNID on a regular basis and was not able or interested in taking on even more charities than I am currently involved with, he said, as though there could be no arguing with such a statement, "but this is for children".

I was polite but finally managed to say no and closed the door - quite gently - when what I wanted to do was scream "go away and leave me in peace".

Loneliness is not nice, solitude however, is quite another thing.


  1. Sorry to hear about your loneliness, Ray, but I am glad you are brave enough to share it with your readers. Being intruded upon is indeed different from having company - keep being positive about both and how you deal with them.

  2. Bless you Freda. will continue to try.

  3. I could not agree more. I often find myself to be lonely when in a crowd of people especially (and this is happening more & more) when I feel I have nothing in common with any of them and am unable to think of a way to connect with them.
    Solitude, I love. I agree whole heartedly with Freda it is a brave thing to admit to loneliness. I think it is also a strong person who seeks solitude, ones own company is sometimes hard!
    You are clearly both brave & strong.

  4. I fear you see more in me than is there Shona.
    Lonely I certainly am, and it is getting worse, but that's for another day.
    Solitude for me is just being allowed to be myself and not one of the herd all the time.
    I totally agree that loneliness is often at its worst when in the midst of a noisy happy crowd with whom you have nothing in common.
    It seems there are many of us.