I moved a few months ago. My parents, who love their grandchildren and hate driving, took only a few moments to decide that they would like to move too. They had always wanted to retire to the seaside. My Dad who has always had truly awful hayfever is hoping that the fresher air down by the sea will give him an easier time in the summers to come. I was so chuffed. They found a house, literally round the corner from us and it’s really happening in just a few weeks. I am thrilled to bits with the prospect of child care on tap, someone I can pop round to for a cup of tea, the chance for my parents to watch their grandchildren grow close too, and the large covered outdoor area their new place will have (perfect for drying clothes outside in all weathers – my word what a very mundane thing to look forward to).
I’ve been looking forward to it so much I haven’t really thought about what I’d be saying goodbye to. They are moving from the family home and I’m up for my last visit. I will have next to no reason to come to the village I grew up in, and I will be saying goodbye to the house I spent the majority of my life thinking of as home. I am sitting in my old bedroom looking out of the window at the crop of apples on the cooking apple tree which I climbed, fell out of, and climbed again for whole chunks of my childhood summers. I remember looking out at this view on my wedding morning, from about 4am – nerves.
I think I could say goodbye to all these things without too much sadness. The village is actually now a suburb of London, it’s tiny roads groaning under the weight of so many cars that it regularly gridlocks round the schools. The house is just a house, and who other than the extraordinaryly well off can expect to show the kids the home they grew up in. But the tree, that breaks my heart a bit. Because the new buyers were asking whether it had a tree preservation order on it, and were obviously thinking of cutting it down in order to make the garden as low maintenance as possible.
Saying goodbye to this old tree will be sad, but the rest of it is going to be good, so if I am feeling a bit teary I’ll keeping humming ‘oh I don’t like to be beside the seaside’ just like my dad is at the moment.b
It’s my birthday. I, like many other knitting mums I’m sure, approach days like today with a day dream about a lie in, a relaxing breakfast, and a pile of lovely presents, (all indie dyed sock yarns and the like). Instead I’ve had standard morning – tea from a pot though – bonus! Presents which the kids took off me and started playing with straight away. I dropped my daughter off at nursery ( minus ten mumming points for putting her in wellies, now they’ll have to find shoes for her from the ones they keep there – who knew? She runs around in wellies all day at home more than happy. Does anyone else feel like nursery drop off is actually some kind of game you keep getting wrong cause no one’s written down the rules?) Drop off done though. Little man still with me but I thought I’d treat myself to a cup of tea and a bit of cake, that’ll make the day more birthdaylike. This is something I’ve been dreaming of doing since we’ve moved cause there’s a cafe in my way back home, I’ve resisted till now cause I’m trying not to eat too much cake. So I wheel my placid and well balanced son into the cafe and order. Well you can guess what’s about to happen. He has a meltdown the like of which I haven’t seen. Tea and cake arrive and I look at at it sadly, take two sips and a bite and then prepare to make a run for it. Then my six year old self starts whispering in my ear, ‘its your birthday, your day, it should be all about you. Let him cry he might stop (this never happens). Eat your cake, drink your tea.’ which I do. It wasn’t a pleasant experience and I’m rather sorry I used up the calories on it. Other tables of customers nearby sat staring unapologetically at me wondering why I wasn’t doing something to stop it, one lady actually craning round the counter to get a better look – it’s a kid crying, kids cry, what’s to bloody see? The cafe owner kept trying to catch eye, not sure why, possibly to shot me a look of understanding solidarity, but I suspect not. I sat and stared at the menu, trying to channel some of that nonchalace that people have when they’re dogs pooing and theyre obviously not going to pick it up. I (accidentally) slammed the door on the way out and standing outside the cafe, little man stopped crying. He’s asleep now. I’ve never felt so jangled in my life and I think I need a day off from this mumming lark, just one, but to be honest organising the logistics of that make me feel exhausted even thinking about it.