Life has abruptly turned to chaos; we’re going to be moving house in the next two months, and still have a lot to do on our current one. But I was on the bus this morning and realised that leaving makes you look at your surroundings in a different way. The knowledge that my time is now limited, that I won’t be seeing everything for much longer – apart from as a visitor – made me realise what I was seeing, rather than just looking through it.
I still miss London; it’s why my header is still a quote from Shadow, with Eli pouring her heart into her city: her choice is die or run away, and she can’t bear to leave. I miss the tiny glimpses of different city; the offices and flats glimpsed from the top deck of a bus, the brief snippet of jazz spilling out of a doorway in Soho, the cracks in the pavement where a tree has taken root amongst the brickwork, the shop names and pub signs, the way the sky cuts off abruptly and then reappears between two buildings a moment later. The ironwork of a gate. The graffitti on the base of a electrical box. The intricate display in a shop window contrasted with the dirt next door. The endless changes that somehow still don’t affect the permenance of the city streets.
Our current village isn’t London by any means; we ended up there almost by accident, but it’s been nice to live in even though I don’t have the same affection. It’s small, quaint, a mix of Georgian and 1960’s: it isn’t somewhere that has inspired me at all (I guess I just don’t do village life very well) but I’ve enjoyed the tiny touches – the buddleia growing out of the rooftop of the Georgian house on the high street; the round window shoved in the end wall of an otherwise elegant building; the rows of 1960’s houses spilling down the hill like a child’s bricks that have been knocked over. And I love our view; we can see across the long valley, all the way to the church spire and hills in the distance. We’ve been able to watch the airshows and see the buzzards circling; we get the sunsets and clouds spilling across in front of us.
Our new house is a bit unusual (…ok, very unusual – it’s a former pub), and the location is a similar small-village type as our current house. We’re going to be quite cut off, and won’t get the same view, but the house itself is going to be rather unique and should provide some inspiration for writing! I’m also going to still have a bit of a commute, so I’m going to see if I can use that for writing – or at least catching up on my reading pile.
It’s going to be easy to leave our current location, but I think parts of it will stay in my head for a long time to come. It’s always interesting for me to see which parts of my past come out in my current writing, and although I don’t think either our current house or the one we’re moving to will come out directly, they’re going to be in there somehow. I’ll just have to wait and see!