Warning: This isn’t about food. And it may be slightly emotional.
So we’re moving onwards and literally upwards. It has become a case of Move or Become Jobless which is not a particularly lovely tightrope to walk, but we have chosen the former with the hope of busting on out of there in the very near future and damning the consequences, as Norman Douglas would say.
There are very many positive, shiny benefits to moving to Cheshire, our destination. My oldest friend lives up there, will be no more than 20 minutes away, a proximity we haven’t achieved since we were seven. I have other friends of friends in the area, all of whom are probably somewhat aghast at my constant jokes about rain and lack of natural daylight, but whom I hope to get on a firmer footing with. Ma and Pa are but 90 minutes away; again, a proximity not achieved since I was 17 and champing at the bit to get to Durham. And I ache for change.
I have a bit of the wanderlust in me. I can do a few years in a place and then I get the itch and I need a change. I love change. I have a slightly naive tendency to leap in, feet first and hope everything just works out. It invariably does and mostly for the better. London’s good for that – there’s always something new around the corner. When the idea of a move was mooted, some months back, I immediately felt the itch return; the desire to seek out the new, get to know another place, go on another adventure (though I admit it’s hardly trekking the Andes). I get very excited about the thought of new coffee shops, restaurants, pubs – places where somebody might just one day know your name – all together now – and they’re always glad you came; new roads and towns; new PEOPLE.
MCD is, he would hold his hands up, naturally more cautious. His live-by motto: No-one likes change. He sees the obstacles, the pitfalls and takes only calculated, carefully weighed and measured risks; he is my perfect partner. I can see only the positive in such a move; he calculates the negatives and then puts on a life jacket before jumping in. I’m a bit more sink or swim.
But then there are the negatives. Mostly it’s to do with the life we’ve built here in Crystal Palace. I’ve always loved it; its village-y feel, the fact that actually quite a few of the places round here do know me and MCD Jr and it’s been a wonderful, still-freshly-amazing time to be so close to friends who had always lived in South London. I used to loathe being the only one heading home North and alone on the Tube at night. I have loved the nearness of them.
One of the benefits of having a baby is the new friends you meet, the network that gets set up almost without you noticing until you realise that there is rarely a week go by without coffees and baby lunches, playgroups and singing sessions. In fact we’ve just started hitting the 1st birthday parties, which is both incredible and rather pleasing. WE MADE IT, I want to keep exclaiming at them.
And it gave me the chance to properly get to know my sister again. It’s been such a brilliant few years being able to just drop in, hang out, get her to childmind while I work like a dog every now and then… I am not great at expressing emotion but I am going to miss her like gangbusters, as will MCD Jr. It’s going to be that bit lonelier and harder without her there.
I have LOVED my life in London. The last 11 years have been extraordinary and brilliant, life-enhancing in every way. Watching it burn a few weeks ago, however, only confirmed what I know to be true for our family. I want our son to have a go at life as my childhood was – a rural idyll where he might be safe for a few more years. I think everything has a natural lifespan; I don’t hold with Pepys’ old saw at all. I’m older and more tired (God, how very tired!) and I am now full of the things I don’t want to know (our local gang is called the Gipset Taliban. I never wanted to know that). I crave green and space and air.
Cheshire, here we come.
PS: I haven’t stopped blogging. But there may be a bit of a pause until I come over all unnecessary at new food finds.