In August this year I read a book called Cows by Dawn O’Porter. I didn’t particularly like the book, the characters were unlikeable and odd. However one of the characters, a blogger called Cam, left a lasting impression on me. I liked the way the character used a blog to express herself and it made me remember how much I used to enjoy writing as a way of escapism when I was younger. I had no idea about how to start a blog so this was something I went and researched and once my site was created the words began to flow. After almost 3 months I am so proud of how far I have come, securing a job as editor for a local magazine and regular chats on BBC Radio. Writing my blog has given me comfort over difficult times in the last few months and helped build my confidence once more. I feel as though I have some independence back in my life and an insight into a future career. My family and friends and have been hugely supportive and my long suffering husband has been an amazing proof reader and sounding board!
In November I was notified that I had been nominated for a UK Blog Award and was through to the voting stage of the award process. If you do have the time I would appreciate your support on the link below by simply clicking the “vote now.” Underneath are my first two posts which I was and still am immensely proud of and the reason for the title of my blog and why I began.
April 6th 2016
So here I am with all my worldly possessions precariously crammed into the back of a Luton. My husband, his crazy uncle and my father sigh a huge sigh of relief as we finally pull down the hatch.
I have lived in the East End of London for 30 years at this point. With 3 children in tow I made the decision that London wasn’t the place for my children to grow up. So with a sadness in my heart but excitement for our new beginning I say goodbye to my beloved city.
My father, Hoxton born and bred, and I follow the van out of the depths of London and onto a 2 and half hour journey into Country life. Our easy chatter and laughter becomes stilted as we come off the motorway and into the miles and miles of flat lying fields and farms and the true immensity of my move becomes apparent. I am no longer “just round the corner.” There are no shops walking distance, I’ve never seen so many tractors and the scenery is breathtaking, in a non London skyline kind of way. Can I do this? I look at my children’s sleeping faces in the back and know this is all for them.
Of course I’ve viewed my new home and started to acquaint myself to the surrounding area on family day trips over the past months. I’ve described it to anyone who will listen as “like being on holiday.” Except now this is my life and not a holiday and I am excited and apprehensive with my new beginning.
Here is my journey from Cockney to country life. What I have learnt so far, challenges faced and my chaotic family life with an Irishman, 3 children, completely bonkers dog and fat, ginger cat.
Sirens vs Birds
I live in a village! A village, still feels so weird to say those words almost 2 years down the line. I’m always met with laughter and jibes by my city friends whenever I say for example “Just popping to the park in the village here” I think it will always seem a bit alien to everyone I know, as well as myself.
I remember those first few weeks of moving here. I would take my morning coffee and sit in my beautiful garden. The only sounds I could hear were the birds singing their morning chorus. Sounds idyllic doesn’t it? For me those first few weeks all I could feel was pure panic. It was too quiet and so the panic grew more intense each day, so much so the first thing I did was go and put my radio on every morning to hear some “life.”
My family home in East London was on a small estate and from my bedroom window I could see houses upon houses and a sixteen story tower block. At night I fell asleep to the gentle thrumming of the police helicopters above and woke to the rattle of the district line. I did well at school and was the first grandchild of 45 (large irish family) to do my A Levels and achieve a degree. It never even occurred to me to leave London and study anywhere else in the country and so I stayed in London to study. I moved out at 20 and lived in a room above a pub in Whitechapel. My windows shook every time the air ambulance landed at the London Hospital. I loved it!
Those first months I was kept busy, my husband searched for work and eventually found himself a job and my eldest two started at the local nursery. My family visited regularly bringing up the grandparents and I’d regale them with anecdotes of the walks we had found and that a “cow was just standing there in front of me on the path!” My grandad now classed me as a “Northerner.” Apparently anything more north than Watford means I’d switched sides. However as the time went on visitors became less frequent, the children were at school and my husband worked long hours. I’d never felt so alone and I missed London desperately.
I had never found it difficult to make friends. I have always been described as outgoing, bubbly and happy but now it felt like I was having to work at being those things. I tried hard to speak to the other parents at the school gate but it seemed my cockney accent stuck out like a sore thumb. I drew some interest for a while and was spoken to but before long I became aware of a definite clique situation going on and so I became knowledgable of “parent-gate politics” which I will post about separately at a later stage.
I would travel back to my parents often and then it became less and less, until at one point it was a whole year since I had been “home.” Every time I went back something would have changed, my cousins and friends would be talking of new parks, gossip from the local pub or new play groups. I withdrew into myself, wouldn’t answer my phone and my husband became worried about the lively girl he had married. I finally took myself to the doctors and began a course of anti depressants. We also moved village to one close by and can now say I am settled and beginning my journey again as the old me.
I thank you all for your continued support and reading and wish you a wonderful Christmas and Happy New year.