Today, we picked up the keys for our new house. We walked around the light, bright empty rooms, imagining how they will look and feel when we move in next weekend. I can’t wait to see them, crammed to bursting with our books and rugs, our paintings and photos, our love and our laughter.
As we were leaving, DorkySon plucked a perfectly ripe fruit from the tree that grows in our new garden.
The movers are here now. I type this against the background chatter of ripped masking tape and heavy cardboard boxes being assembled by rough, experienced hands. Tonight this flat will be empty save for two beds and the three of us. In just under 60 hours the plane will lift off from Heathrow, bound first for Dubai, then on beyond to Melbourne.
We are moving house again. Not a little move, but a big one.
We are moving from the UK to Tasmania.
I can tell you the exact moment that I made my decision.
It was a beautiful sunny day. I was sitting on a bench in a playpark, the sun on my face, drinking a cup of tea and making easy conversation with another mum – someone I’d met all of forty minutes earlier. Her young son was gurgling contentedly on a picnic blanket at her feet, while mine had just jumped off the slide and was running up a small hill towards the swings, when suddenly he stopped and shouted.
‘Mummy! Mummy! Come and look at this! It’s a parrot! Lots of parrots!’
I walked towards him, and sure enough, there were five or six brightly coloured rosellas walking around, squawking and pecking at the grass.
DorkySon was enthralled, and something flicked in my head at that moment.
Yes, I said to myself. Yes. We can do this. We can move to Tasmania.
Last week marked one year exactly since we moved from Edinburgh to Hertfordshire, and I am pretty proud of how we are doing.
DorkySon has settled amazingly well in his new nursery – it has been an absolute delight seeing him grow in confidence, become so much more curious about the world he lives in, and spend the majority of his time as an incredibly happy wee boy. He is a lot of fun to spend time with right now.
Sometimes when I can’t sleep at night, I lie in bed and try to remember the exact layout of houses that I’ve lived in. I’ll imagine myself walking around them, picking out as many small details as I can.
There are four that I can remember with real clarity; the house on Harris where I spent all of my early childhood, my Grandpa’s house in Staffordshire, where I used to spend lots of holidays, the farmhouse in the Borders where I spent most of my teenage years, and the house in Edinburgh that I lived in until a year ago.
There are other places that I can remember a few details of. There was a white cottage on Lewis where I lived with my Mum for a year, and then a townhouse in the Borders where I also spent about year. And of course, there were several flats in Edinburgh where I lived as a student. But the memories of those places are a bit fuzzier. Continue reading →