Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Moving On

Moving On                                                                                                                            

As my husband and I get ready to move, hopefully, for the last time it got me thinking about all the other moves we've made and how we have come to be where we are today.

My sister has enjoyed moving many times, not staying in the same house more than two years at a time, whereas when we've had to move I have definitely not wanted to. Comfortable in my home, its shell holding our memories, It becomes part of me, who I am. But, no matter how much I've tried to avoid it, circumstances have dictated that we have had to move more times than I would have liked.

Unable to afford to live where my husband’s family lived in Bucks, we bought our first home, a “Coronation Street” style terraced in Northampton, with its front door opening straight onto the path. It had a courtyard, walled, back garden and a bathroom that you got to by going through the kitchen. None of this was a problem to us at the time as we had been staying with my husband’s family, after briefly renting a couple rooms in Balham, London, and although they were good to us and our eldest son was born there, no matter how much you try, two women in the kitchen causes friction. However, I did learn a lot from my mother in law and for that I will be forever grateful to her.  
We were sad to be moving so far away, but nevertheless realised we had to start out on our own. Being on our own with no family around wasn’t easy and making friends proved difficult for me. There were a few people we got to know but none too closely. We decorated the house and put in a new bathroom but knew we would be there for only a short time.
A year later our daughter was born and although we’d settled well as far as jobs and knowing the area were concerned,  we were ambitious, saving like mad to get something better,  which turned out to be a large three bedroomed property, a few miles away in Kingsthorpe. 
 Our big detached house didn’t seem like home to us, more of a box with people and things randomly placed inside. I worked in a bar just to get away from it. We were never happy and continually searched for a way out, eventually deciding to emigrate to South Africa.  It was the mid seventies and companies were enticing skilled workmen with prospects of a better life in South Africa. It seemed to us the answer we were looking for. With an excellent, well paid Job, a large house and servants all lined up, we were ready to go, but riots in Johannesburg and the thought of having to have servants put us off. Yes, OK, we got cold feet. Well, it was hell of a long way away and I already felt lonely. We had put all our hopes in this new start. So, what to do next? Having already got buyers for our house it now seemed as if we were living in an empty shell. With our dreams shattered we concluded that maybe the time was right to move closer to family.

Moving back meant downsizing, but we didn't mind. We found a small house, similar to our first and made plans. We began to look forward again. Unfortunately, our joy was short lived as at the last minute, the people we were buying from pulled out and rather than lose our sale, my husband’s parents offered us accommodation while we started our search again. It wasn't an ideal solution but it’s the only one that made any sense. And, I knew that I could make it work more effectively the second time round. 
Well, ten months later, with a lot more money saved - my husband had two jobs and I went out at night cleaning offices – we eventually found house number three. Mid terrace, but in a beautiful residential road, with a front garden and an upstairs bathroom, we fell in love with it immediately and had a very contented time there.  
Although we were happy, there was no plan to stay as, again, our aim was to move up, which we did a few years later, after the birth of our third child, another daughter.

The next six children were born while we lived in this next house – a three bedroomed detached with a garage in a better road with even more room and bigger gardens – just a stone’s throw from where we were.  We built an extension, with two extra rooms upstairs and an extra room downstairs, to accommodate the larger family and I was happy. Many memories of family life were created in here. It was a home full to bursting with activity, with people of all ages coming and going. There were many times when a visitor or two, usually friends of the children, would unexpectedly stay for dinner and it seemed that I had a magic cooking pot that would feed an army should it turn up. There was a continual buzz of life that attracted many to come and share in the fun.
With the children going to local schools and our Church just down the road we made many friends that have remained to this day. However, as time went on the big house with its heavy mortgage became a bit of a millstone round our necks which prompted our move down to Kent. 

This was the most difficult move of all for me as I was very content where we were. I have discovered that I don’t like uprooting and this change was hard. My heart wasn’t in it. Try as I might I could not be cheerful. It was with great reluctance that I came to this house. I gave in so that we could have a better and easier life, a life where we weren't always fighting to make ends meet, which is how we felt previously.
We have lived here now for thirteen years. For the first seven years I could not settle and I hankered after the life we’d left behind. Eventually though I did start to feel at home can say now that it has been a great move for us. I have grown to love Herne Bay and the home that we have made, what with the Art Studio and the view of the sea. 
I have loved living here – at least for the last six years. I am sad to be moving on, but right from the beginning we said that this was going to be our pension. And now with three of us rattling around a five bedroomed house It is the right time to downsize and I love the new house already. We can only hope that it all goes through without any major hiccups.


  1. I really enjoyed reading this, Marian, and I wish you all the very best for life in your 'forever' home.x

    1. Thank you Jacula. Could you say what you enjoyed about it? I never know what kind of impact my writing has on others.

  2. I'm not sure if I can pinpoint it exactly, Marian. Just the gentle way you told us your memories, good and bad.

  3. I wasn't sure how it would come across, Jacula, as I didn't get very personal with the telling. xxx


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