A year ago we packed our life into boxes, said goodbyes and left behind a life in another city.
We left a community behind, the comfort of familiarity at the school gates, children we knew at the park, friendly faces in the local cafe. Close friends on call. In a new place it’s easy to feel invisible, a bit lost. Literally, no one knows your name. That was expected, I’d moved before from London to the North. It takes a good two years to feel at home in a new places.
On moving day, we woke to a poorly child and our first weeks were hampered by illness. It wasn’t the perfect start. Then just before Christmas the sky turned blue and we ventured out to begin exploring our new city.
A year on, where are we? Very much at home. Bristol is vibrant, across the summer there is always something going on and it’s been brilliant to be part of that. It’s not all been plain sailing but we are getting there, things slotting into neatly fitting places. For a while, it was a surprise if someone I knew spoke to me in the street. It was unexpected, for months it felt as if I was silently moving around unnoticed but that changes, more quickly than expected. Parents from school have been allies and friends. Those kind of friends brew slowly.
Day to-day friendship are the best kind. Social Media has it’s objectors but there is always someone there, out in the ether of the internet, on the days when a busy street seems empty of a friendly face.
Molly and Jane became my neighbours. Like my mother lived with our neighbours through my childhood, sometimes a daily exchange, days goes past and I might only glimpse them passing by. When I need stoking up with a cup of tea, to borrow some sugar, or someone needs reminding to take in the washing because it’s raining. They are there. Our garden fences are virtual, smart phones connect us. We are often sat on the back step late at night conversing. We shout messages to each other through the chaos of early mornings. Our lives bustle side by side.
Bristol is full of bloggers. Without them this year would have felt much more hollow. I am a communicator, I need to talk actual people sometimes. Knitty Mummy welcomed me into her home, without actually having met me, she is more lovely than you might imagine. has become a star in a my local crown. Being geographically closer to has been warming and lunches in Bath, good for the soul. They are stand outs but there are many more, whose paths I’ve crossed in parks and bars and events, people who have become familiar and good to know.
It’s easy to think, what if? What if we’d stayed, what if we’d made different choices and for a while that niggled, just a bit. When we do go North it’s no longer home. It’s definitely not where we want to be and that’s a good touchstone. It underlines this decision. There is no going back, our future is here.