Over the weekend, half of which I spent in sunny NW London, we got the news that our move from the ‘country paradise’ (called that by the local rag in their ‘The House of the Week’ -feature) is more imminent than we anticipated. This, I keep telling myself, is wholly good news and not at all scary.
But there are things I’m going to miss, like this view (above).
I’ve written before about how strange it is to move from a house where for the past 15 years you’ve watched your children grow. A time which seemed to have flown by; yet so much happened during it. When we moved here, away from it all, I felt this house was a little bit of Finland for me. Here we built ourselves a Finnish sauna cottage (‘Nordic log cabin’ according to the paper), here I could watch the stars at night surrounded by total silence. Here in the garden I planted a Finnish midsummer rose – a gift from a very good friend. Here I could organise loud crayfish parties, accompanied by drinking songs, without any complaints from the neighbours about noise or stray crayfish shells and claws on the lawn. Here I could grow proper dill and pickling cucumbers to create almost Finnish type salt gherkins. Here the occasional snowfall rendered the fields almost ski-friendly. Here I could celebrate Christmas Eve in the Finnish way, quietly, pretending the last minute shopping for presents wasn’t going on all around me, teaching the children that Christmas is about family, good food and peace.
As I begin to realise the enormity of the physical and practical task of moving (we seem to have twice as many items of everything from beds to sofas to fridges we’ll need in our new down-sized life) I try to contain my emotions. On Saturday, when we got the news while driving down the M4, I first wanted to cry, then laugh, then cry again. I controlled myself until Son, on hearing the news said, ‘It’s OK Mum, we’re not exactly children any more.’ It was that simple statement that made me finally crack. His words made me realise that there was no going back. That in spite of me, time marches on and there’s nothing any of us can do but to get used to it. I have to embrace change, embrace our new life. And it’s not as if I haven’t wanted to move out of the country and into the city for years. But while a part of me is elated, the other part is heart-broken.
Now I won’t say any more about this as it’s all still going on and anything strange could yet happen to change the situation. So instead, I’ll post a picture of me on our way to the party. As you can see JPG won the day.
We are real friends… 🙂
Love that dress!
I feel for you moving, but if you know inside its time then its the right time and you will be just as happy and have more "You" time with a smaller place, that I envy right now tweeting in amongst all my groceries that need putting away and a house that needs cleaning… help internet addiction strikes again xxx
Helena Halme says
Ruth, I do feel we're real friends too!
Cleaning the house can wait & the mess won't go anywhere. xx
North West London Girl says
Helena, I sometimes my real friends are on here in this virtual world, no axes to grind etc.. Scary yes, but so exciting. You are doing what we did, just the other way round, and I'm quite sure that when all my little ones are grown and flown we will move back to the City, even if it's just to be nearer to good health specialists! xxx
Good luck with the moving and saying goodbye to your bit of Finland in England Helena. This sounds like quite an existential move as well as practical. A new beginning I guess:-) I wonder if you're going to move to London?….
And you look so fab & classy in that JPG dress, definitely the right choice.
And I've finally completed the shoe challenge: http://mettebassett.com/2010/05/24/seven-shoes/
Kittie Howard says
Feel for you. Hub and I are in the process of down-sizing and I think it's not just about the possessions but letting go of what was, not sure if the future will pack as exciting a whallop. In Louisiana we call them Crawfish, a major food group:)))). I had crayfish in Sweden last year for the first time. I think yours are a bit sweeter, yum!!
Looking Fab in your forties says
Great outfit choice, you didn't need anyone's help at all!
I can imagine how this move is making you feel, but it will be OK, I promise x
I downsized almost ten years ago now, and loved the experience! I'm still not quite where I want to be in the city, but I'm definitely a lot less in the suburbs than I was when I was married and raising my daughter. Once she's out of the house, I'll be thinking about my next big move, I'm sure.
Loved your outfit, too!
Helena Halme says
NW Girl, loved your latest post and left a comment. And yes, friends online seem much better and more honest? Can that be? I'll let you know how the reversal of your move goes (we are at the moment thinking of London..)
Mette, your shoes are wonderful!
Kittie, I haven't even started the sorting out of stuff yet. Not looking forward to that part. Good luck to you too. xx
Looking Fab., you're to kind. & thanks to all of you for your good wishes. I'm sure it'll be OK. *Takes a deep breath* xx
Helena Halme says
Pinklea, thank you! xx
Gorgeous dress choice Helena – I loved looking at all your options from the last post too! You have a great wardrobe! I really felt your emotions reading this – it must be such a strange mix of happy and sad?
BTW I've answered your question back over at mine about the .com thing! x
You already look totally NW3 chic!
I can so relate to giving up a house and downsizing. The kids even tried to suggest to keep the house for their parties!
A flat instead of a house will give you more time to write and you will always have the lovely memories. I will miss the parties though….
The dress looks lovely. We chose well for you!!
I know what you mean about moving – I am planning to move away when my youngest finishes school in two years. I will have been here over 18 years by then and I have so many memories, but a lot of them are sad ones. I really want a new start somewhere else where I have roots and friends, but equally, I am a bit frightened of leaving the comfort of what I know so well and starting over again – this time on my own.
Christina @ Fashion's Most Wanted says
The dress looks lovely. Where are you moving to? I bet you'll absolutely love it when you've got over the fear. It must be really hard after all that time but think of the benefits. In a town you can walk to any shop, cafe, restaurant, whatever imaginable. I love the country but would feel cut off now. Saying that the amount of noise/endless parties that have gone on in this house over 14 years I'd probably be better advised to live in the country! That's all calmed down in the last couple of years… You will find there are so many positive things you'll love, especially more time for yourself xx