Friday, 23 September 2011

How it Happened

To stay in London or not to stay in London? And if not London, where? Why? How?

It's a conversation I've often had with Stokey Mums. We love Stokey. Why would we want to live anywhere else? Everything is so convenient, so happening, so brilliant for young families. Except, except, except... Is it fresh air I'm yearning for? Adventure? A break from the pavement pounding, school comparing, humdrum bustle and occasional shooting?

The internet is a dangerous thing. So is Pick a location, any location; search for properties within a 5/10/20 mile radius; tour the rooms and the views and in the space of five minutes imagine an alternative existence for your whole family.

Practical husbands are also a dangerous thing, especially when coupled with daydreaming wives.

"I'll check out that farmhouse on my next work trip up north."
"What? No! I wasn't serious. I can't uproot the family. I'd never live that far from my parents. And it definitely won't look like that in real life."

One week later. Afternoon phonecall. "It is like the photos."
"Actually it's better."
Big gulp. "But can you imagine us there?"
"Yes. Yes I really can."

So we reserve the farmhouse, break the news to my parents, find a last-minute place in a fantastic-sounding primary school for Rosa, then twiddle our thumbs for TWO WHOLE WEEKS while Malcolm's boss is on holiday, before we discover whether he can reverse his commute.

No one else wants the job in Blackburn, we assure ourselves. Surely a year in a beautiful farmhouse isn't too much to ask? Will anyone in the office even notice?

It was an agonising two weeks' wait, but a reaffirming one. If they had said no, we'd have been gutted.

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