For the last eight and a half years I have been hacking it up and down the M1 to visit Nottingham, home of my partner Phill for all his life. I lived and worked in the Home Counties with my two adult daughters and their partners and I promised I would keep renting a home there until they were both ready to leave. Daughter number 2 – Becca – married Lee almost three years ago and bought their first home together. Daughter number 1 – Kerry – finished a degree in nursing last year and last month bought her first home with John (JR).
So, I could choose between staying where I was – privately renting a four-bedroomed property at vast expense, renting a smaller property in Hampshire at only marginally less than I was already paying, or moving to Nottingham to live with my long-term partner Phill and his son Michael.
That makes my move sound like simply a sound financial arrangement. It wasn’t. Affairs of the heart are involved here. Phill and I have been discussing how we could arrange our lives so we could share a home from probably at least six of the eight years we have been together but it was just all so complicated.
I needed to keep a roof over the heads of my children in the location that was necessary to them. So did he. I needed to be able to get to work easily. So did he. His life and mine were based 150 miles apart and for a long time there was nothing we could do about that.
But my job changed. I split my time now between offices in Guildford, Chelmsford and Cambridge. And my home circumstances have changed – both my daughters have bought their own homes and are settled. It seemed like the perfect time to make the move.
So I have relocated to Nottingham, a fine city that I want to get to know better. I want to know it’s history, it’s legends, it’s politics, where the best places to eat are, who the local heroes are. I want to know about the shops and the street art, the galleries and museums, the transport, the events and the people – even the language because it’s more different than I expected!
And this blog will be my documentary of my findings. Not exactly an American in Paris but a Home Counties girl in the East Midlands.
Let the journey of discovery begin.