That was the year that was…


One year ago, today, at 7:30 am we were on our way. We collected the dogs and cats, packed them in the car and surrounded them with all the bits and bobs that would not fit in the two moving vans that we packed up the day before. We stopped off to say a final goodbye to Zoe and set off up the M11 towards our new life in Morecambe. The sun was shining, the sky was blue. It was almost idyllic, if somewhat traumatic.

Over the last month Facebook has presented me with daily memories of us getting ready for the move. Saying goodbye to people, packing up a house that I had lived in for 20 years. 13 of them with Nigel. Leaving a town that I had lived in since I was 7. It has felt a bit overwhelming because even now there are times when the enormity of what we have done overwhelms me, and I catch my breath at the thought of it.

But here we are, one year later and settled in, happy to live in this northern seaside town, existing beside the permanent watercolour that is Morecambe Bay.

Its not all been plain sailing. There have been hiccups of course. I miss Zoe so so much. But she is doing so well in her new job, living her life where she needs to be.  Nigel and I both agreed this morning, we have no regrets. We feel blessed every single day. Even when it is rainy and windy like today! And without exception, every hiccup has taught us something, lessons that we needed to learn. The difference here is that we are open to learning those lessons. I think in our old lives we were so resistant to change that we fought against it, refusing to learn as we went along. When you embrace change, you open yourself to growth, and your world becomes infinitely richer and more exciting.

Ironically, we have spent the last six days mirroring the activities of last year – only unpacking instead of packing. We have lived most of the year with boxes still sitting in most rooms. But in just over a week my lovely Aunt will be arriving from New Zealand for a few weeks. That has given us the motivation and impetus to get ourselves sorted out at last. It has involved quite a few runs to the tip and the charity shop! If it was still in a box after a year, we didn’t need it – right?

To tie in with Auntie Roseanne’s visit we are finally having a housewarming party to – to mark my 60th birthday and our 10th wedding anniversary. It seemed like a good reason to mark the changes in our lives by re-stating our wedding vows too. So, at the beginning of August, friends from North and South will join us at The Corner House for a celebration. In a strange way I feel that the event will set the seal on our new life. My mum will be here too for the first time.

Nigel has a great job that he loves. My business is starting to grow. The house is slowly taking shape. Who would have thought that at the age of 60 I would be looking forward to a bright future, that I would have realised a very long held dream to live in the Northwest. My message to you all? Never give up on your dreams. It takes a bit of courage. But as I have said before – leap and the net will appear. And the reality may actually be better than you ever imagined!

This picture was taken at Catch The Wind, Morecambe’s kite festival which is happening again this weekend. Last year I was in shock and a bit tearful, but this year I am full of hope and I am home. I wish the same for you all.

I am off to dance round the kitchen with the labradors – I have done a lot of that since I moved here! I cant stop the feeling!

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