Last weekend we made a trip to Chichester to grab a bun and a coffee at the Goodwood Breakfast Club. Big M loves vintage cars, thus we made the most of spending a few days in the country whilst being surrounded by old time’s glory in the form of polished chrome and shiny chassis. Being away for a few days once again made us think about the place we want to call home.
Walking through the little pathway that leads up the hill and through the forest, I took a deep breath and realised that I had completely forgotten the distinctive perfume of damp wood, fallen leaves and crisp air. Remember that post last December, when I asked ‘Where to live’? There where lots of lovely suggestions in the comment box, prompting us to leave known ground and venture out beyond the M25.
We visited posh villages in Surrey, had a look up North towards Hertfordshire, snooped around Richmond and read in awe about the award winning schools around Sevenoaks and Tunbridge Wells. To be honest, the further we looked into the unknown, the more insecure I became about leaving the city behind. And when the sale of our house fell through in June, a part of me was relieved. At least I wouldn’t have to make a life-changing decision.
However, the thought of leaving Islington never really left us. For a short while we thought the combination of a holiday home in the (French) country combined with a flat in Kensington could be the solution. After viewing a few flats in our price bracket, we gave up on that idea. I just cannot see us living on 600 square foot in a damp lower ground shack. No matter how often the estate agent proclaimed ‘light, airy and generous’. With the above arrangement, I’d be mostly living in France, leaving Big M to earn the dough in the big smoke and fight the mould in an empty flat. Not ideal for a happy marriage.
With little L growing by the day, it is getting harder and harder to drown out the fact that she’d be most happy in a place where she could roam freely. Unfortunately, my hand holds hers in a firm grip, whenever we leave the house. There is no roaming freely outside our favourite little square. Lots of parents in central London attach their toddlers to leashes. I do not like the sight of them (the leashes), but I can completely understand the idea behind it. Things like these make me rethink the idea of living centrally.
But blaming my urge to breathe the scent of rotten leaves and freshly cut grass completely on the budding needs of my growing girl would be unfair. Mostly, it is just me turning into a grumpy old woman. I read somewhere that in Sevenoaks, police turns to shooting misbehaving teenagers with bb guns. Being molested by swearing little assholes every other day, I find that thought strangely reassuring. Of course, I love fashion and shopping and eating out in restaurants. But on a daily basis, I love cooking my own food and enjoying some peace and quiet even more.
For Big M, having a house with a garage to bolt, screw and tinker would be his idea of a corner of heaven. Slowly, the whole family seems to wean themselves off the idea of living in central London. We decided to put the house back on the market. Let’s see where and how far we are getting this time.