I'm a little ashamed to see I've only blogged four times so far in February - a bit of a lame effort, but it has been quite a month so please forgive me. We've just come back from a week in New York which was just magical. The Boy and I have been lucky enough to have shared some great holidays together over the years and this one was right up there - sunny days making happy memories. My favourite kind.
It's also been pretty crazy on the moving front. As well as viewing lots of properties in Kent - and already experiencing angst when the ones we fall in love with are promptly sold! - our own flat is on the market and we've had some prospective buyers round. It's definitely a strange experience showing people round a flat you've lived in for a number of years and that you love. I feel defensive and protective of our beautiful home at every comment I perceive to be negative - but as with so many situations in life, it's about putting on my glazed PR smile and sucking up the nonsense in order to secure a positive outcome. I'm getting quite a lot of practice at this these days...!
I suppose it's started to hit me that we are leaving London. Don't get me wrong, this excites me and it is definitely the right time for us to make this move. But it means a chapter - a very significant chapter - of my life is ending. I've lived in London for over a decade, and had a mortgage on a flat in zone one (first Bermondsey, then Borough) since I was 25. I've built my career here, made lifelong friendships here, had my heart broken and fallen in love with my soulmate (the Boy, in case you were wondering!) here. I've done a lot of work on myself through therapy, then studying for a counselling diploma, and now seeing clients myself. I've found my independence, and I've found the key to happiness. I suppose, in that cliche, I've found myself here. Pockets of London are so familiar to me - I pound the pavements walking to work, to meet friends, to my volunteering placement every week... and it really is home. And I suppose because I prepare to leave London with such a positive outlook and in a happy and balanced frame of mind, it makes it a bit of a wrench on my heart.
There are so many thinks I love about London - the diversity of people I see on a daily basis as I go about my business; being able to walk to a fantastic theatre or see an exhibition at a tiny independent gallery nearby at just a moment's notice; living only 10 minutes walk from the South Bank and the attractions the river has to offer; being only a short train or tube journey away from Greenwich, Hampstead, Camden or Shoreditch; being able to enjoy a drink at a relaxed bar, or dine in an amazing restaurant at the drop of a hat; or being able to meet up with fellow London-based friends on a whim. I will miss this way of life, and while what replaces it will be just right for where we are now and where we want to be, the streets of London will always have a very special place in my heart.