Like Manny to Bernard, like Harry to Godric’s Hollow, like the Doctor to the TARDIS, I have returned to London! Well, Greater London, but it’s got cracking connections to Victoria and St Pancras. The rest of August was a tad hellish, but I survived, failed my fourth driving test, exchanged contracts, packed, held a house-cooling party where everyone turned up at six on the dot (Normal for Norfolk…), packed, watched a lot of Gilmore Girls, packed and eventually headed down to London to stay with friends a couple of days before moving day. And then I became a homeowner, which is a very lucky and mildly unnerving situation to be in. If I want to, dear reader, I can do things to the place. I can take my time to work out what colour I want to paint the kitchen. I can fill the patios with pots of garlic and gro-bags of potatoes and a few token geraniums. It’s all rather marvellous, really, and couldn’t come too soon.
Currently I’m still in the process of sorting things out. The front room is unpacked, liveable and I’m even writing this sat at my desk, which is no longer covered in boxes. Still, there are more boxes that need unpacking and some things that won’t be dealt with until the end of this month. But that’s ok. I’m settling in and it’s started to feel like home, especially after I’ve baked several cakes and had some excellent people over.
Barney has settled in nicely, too – he was brought down from Norfolk a week after I’d moved in, so I had time to make it as nice and homely for him as possible. I had intended to keep him indoors until tomorrow, to make it two weeks, but after eleven days, an unfortunate incident with a cat harness and hours of increasingly mournful meowing, I decided to let him out in the afternoon, after I got back from registering with the local GP. He decided to clamber out of a window and sit outside for a bit, before wandering back in, telling me about the things he’d seen, then wandering out again, only nip back and tell me that the back patio smells very strongly of squirrel. I’m still a bit nervous about letting him out, given the difference between here and rural Norfolk, so every time he comes back after exploring I quote Brief Encounter at him.
Not much else is happening at the moment – unpacking, catching up with friends and general settling in have been taking up much of my time – but stay tuned for exciting developments, also known as ‘things relating to that writing lark what that I do’. Join me in some cake, dear reader (the one below is orange and cardamom), and lift your favourite beverage to the fact that I am back in London, I am happy, and my life has restarted after almost two years in the wilderness.