I Live in a Windmill

And I have to make peace with the wind

Ruth Livingstone
Human Parts
Published in
4 min readNov 2, 2020
Photo: George W Johnson / Getty Images

When Covid-19 hit, I was living in a city in the north of England. It was a great city, with lively bars and clubs and restaurants, along with wonderful music venues, museums, and galleries. But during shutdown, everything closed. And a city with everything closed becomes a concrete prison.

During that prolonged Covid-19 shutdown, my yearning for open spaces was almost unbearable, and I started looking for alternatives.

After an internet search, I found this windmill for sale in rural Wales, took a virtual video tour, and knew I wanted it. Travel was banned, and the purchase had to wait until the shutdown was lifted enough for estate agents to reopen. One quick (and slightly illegal) visit confirmed my decision. Then the interminable buying process began. Many months later, during which my city went back in a second shutdown, I finally completed the legal proceedings, and the mill became mine.

I moved in on a prophetic date: the 11th of September—9/11.

This place is my escape, my refuge, and my special place. I feel lucky to have found it. But some things are difficult when your residence is a windmill.

You are certainly closer to the weather.

For example, right now, while sitting here and typing this, I can hear the wind thrashing at my windows and the rain slicing sideways across the glass. Water tumbles down the panes and looks for entry. It seeps through any nick and gap it can find, sending liquid fingers under the glass and forming pools on my windowsills before sliding off and downward onto carpets, furniture, and electrical fittings.

The water flowing across the sills took me by surprise at first. I have since learned to keep a supply of towels handy and lay them out along the wood as a precaution when a rainstorm first hits.

Windmills are, of course, deliberately placed in windy situations. My mill stopped…



Ruth Livingstone
Human Parts

I was an NHS GP for 25 years. Studied creative writing at Birkbeck University. Now walking around the British coastline in very slow stages.