I'm being a bit uncharitable here and in fact most of them don't wear "Per Una" (an upmarket range of clothing from Marks & Spencer for ladies), but the fact remains, some people just seem to drain the "gubbins" out of me (like the Dementors in Harry Potter).
It is all about givers and takers and that highly overrated quality "niceness". There are so many so very nice people who think they are givers. They go out of their way to ask how I am with that ghastly phrase "how are you feeling?". This is truly the "dementors kiss", they think they are giving of their love and affection but they seem to want to feed on my emotions, it doesn't matter how I answer that question, I am left drained by the fact it was asked. Through engaging with them, and being in their company I really feel it is me who is doing the giving. Yes, they may hurt for what has happend to me, but they seem to want to increase that feeling inside of them by feeding off me. I love them, I can't change them, but oh boy, they are exhausting.
So for now, though it be a significant number of miles from anything Roman (my diesel bill is huge), I feel the need to stay among these people of Wessex where I have made my home: high Tory, low Church. There is a different sort of giving here and it is so very English. My neighbours give out of a sense of duty and care, a sense that it is the right thing to do. They keep an eye out for me, leave me with little presents of surplus produce from their gardens, a cheery wave, a firm handshake, invite me in for a cup of coffee, with a total lack of interest in what I'm up to but so keen I'm showing an interest in what is happening in the village. They care, but they stay out of my emotions, they give at little cost to themselves and it is so hugely appreciated by me. They take nothing off me (except the rent) and I feel ever so privileged to be among them.
Englishness is a good thing (for the English), but it seems to be dying out, it is a bit like living in a "designated rare-breed area", are honour, duty, respect and civility really such difficult qualities to pass on these days? They are certainly very precious.