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When I was small I wanted to be a gypsy. Long before I ever heard of Maggie Tulliver, I sympathised with her desire to run away and be one of them. My sister’s scornful remarks about the gypsies being dirty as they had no bathrooms really broke my heart. Because I combine a strong desire to be wild and free with a really freakish want for cleanliness.

All older now, I have reached the natural culmination of all this contradiction. I travel. All over the place. Sometimes to the same place. Repeatedly. And what I look for mostly are these:

1. Proximity to the natural world. A physical and essential closeness with nature beyond the surroundings. Plastic bottled water? Teabags dumped in plastic garbage bags? Big no-no.

2. Simple and delicious food – like I imagined the gypsies to be eating. Natural ingredients. Fruits. That sort of thing.

3. Exercise – surely all that roaming around would make one healthy?

4. Cleanliness – the great differentiator from actually running away from the world! No wasteful bathtubs but clean rooms and baths with buckets do just fine!

So whenever I find such places, I plan to give them a shout out. On a new blog that no one reads? Well I’ve got to start somewhere. Oh and since no one reads this, I might do a general rant now and then.

Here’s to all that!

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