So much has happened since I last wrote: I have changed my name, re-"married" and moved 265 miles from South-West London to North Yorkshire. It feels right to come back to blogging: happier and more confident, away from the home-ed community that has just started to blossom in Surrey and taking the first nervous steps of a new life.
My partner and I have bought a Grade II listed cottage in the tiny village of Low Row in the Yorkshire Dales National Park and all our windows look out across the beautiful fields of Swaledale. We are grappling with how to heat a large, stone-built house with bottled gas and wood-burning stoves and are planning how to balance work and life, travel to London to teach our students and catch up with friends, build contacts and business here in the North and wondering how school employment and global teaching might fit our life-style.
So many sentences in our family start with the words, "When we are in Yorkshire..." It is tempting to think that life will be different, that we will be different and that all that makes us unhappy will have been left behind. I know that is not true. I know that I have brought myself, my short-tempered, easily-overwhelmed, introvert and over-scheduled self, with me. But I also know that in surroundings like these it is easier to make different choices, to live more slowly, to take more time, to offer to put the kettle on when a neighbour calls. I want to have more home-made cake, more long walks with the children, more time reading by the log-burner. I want to enjoy the beautiful house I have, the idyllic location and the amazing people I share my life with. When we are in Yorkshire I choose to live a different way, a slower way and a happier way.
Happy New Year!