It’s May 12th, and I find it hard to believe that I haven’t written anything for over two months now.
What happened you might be asking? I’ve been asking myself the same question. The short answer is that we’ve moved.
The house we’d been staying in is owned jointly by Rachel, her brother Jonathan, and her sister Kate. It was left to them by their father, who had bought it in the early 1960’s after the house his mother had owned, just down the lane and around the corner on the cliffs, was sold to settle her estate.
The house is rented in the summer to pay for the upkeep and taxes. And as it was being rented this summer as usual, we had to be out by mid-June at the latest. But there were family members who wanted their holiday weeks in April. And the builders had to come in for a week or two to keep the place from falling down (it was built in the 1870’s after all). And we had to move Nathaniel to a new school at some point, so we thought it best to do so at the start of a term rather than in the middle of one. All of which added up to leaving Cornwall in early April.
We spent most of March packing up, and then working on the house to make it presentable for the summer renters. Rachel cleaned like a maniac, vacuuming dirt that looked like it had been there, if not since the 1870’s, then at least the 1970’s. I built various things like racks in the garage to store surfboards and badminton rackets, shoe racks inside and outside the back door, and if not the most useful thing at least the most fun, a new door on the old outdoor loo that’s now used to store wood (that’s the picture of the door, in progress, at the top of this entry).
We’ve moved to a town called Leatherhead, south of London, just outside the M25, about 35 minutes by train. The house has 6 bedrooms and 5 baths, and came without a stick of furniture. It’s an in-law’s “extra” house (long story), and while it doesn’t have a lot of charm, it’s got lots of light, and comes with its very own ghost. Leatherhead the town is nothing to write home about, and so this may well be the last you hear of it, until we decide where to go next (or I figure out why its called Leatherhead, whichever comes first).
That’s the moving story in a nutshell.
But the bigger story is that this move has been almost as traumatic as moving to England in the first place, and in some ways even more so. We’d just gotten to know a very nice set of people to hang out with and have for dinner. Nathaniel had really settled in to his school. And we were starting to get involved in the community. And then poof, just like that we’ve had to go and pull up all those tender new shoots and drag them kicking and screaming up to London, where it might as well be Silicon Valley for all the noise, and traffic, and crowds, and busy busy busy people. Yuck.
All in all it hasn’t felt so much like moving as it’s felt like we’ve rebooted our lives. And just like rebooting your computer, it has been slow and frustrating, and full of wondering if the thing is ever going to work again.
I’m not sure what’s going to happen next, or where we’ll end up longer term. But in the meantime Rachel is working on her book, and I’m working on my software, and Nathaniel is attending a new school, and Sebastian continues to get cuter by the day.
And I will continue to write about Cornwall as I’ve got several dozen stories just waiting to be written. Do come back soon to read them.
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