The moving bears* have come and gone, the uncertainty of a number of months has ended, and Ros and I are slowly adjusting to our new urban lifestyle. Time, perhaps, to reflect a little.
I loved Creeting St Peter, which wasn’t entirely expected, I admit. As a “big city boy”, having grown up and spent the first forty-five years of my life in London’s zones 1-4, the move to a village of seventy or so houses and no public transport was an unlikely one, and I wouldn’t have done it at all if Ros hadn’t been in my life. But I took to it like a slightly urbane duck to water, joining the Parish Council and becoming a part of my village community.
I never did learn to drive though - a combination of fear (me, in charge of a metal box on wheels, you are kidding, aren’t you?) and prevarication - which did make me vulnerable to an increasingly erratic public transport system, and the lack of facilities meant that the idea of “popping out” for, say, a pint of milk, was only going to become more undesirable as I aged. And so, the conclusion that we were going to have to move to somewhere with “stuff” began to loom larger.
A combination of budget and availability pointed towards Ipswich, and we eventually found something that works. I won’t bore you with the process stuff - now that it’s over, I’m hoping that it will recede to a dusty corner of my memory never to be recovered - but better it were done while we’re both mentally sharp and physically able.
So, instead of a twenty-five minute walk across the fields and through Gateway 14 to Tesco, it’s two minutes to Sainsbury’s, five to one of two cinemas, or a theatre, and there’s public transport galore (at least by the standards of most of Suffolk). I’m even five minutes from my office…
As for my Parish Council responsibilities, I’m still eligible to serve until 2027 and, whilst I’d happily hand over the chair to a colleague, and stand down as a councillor so that someone actually resident can take my place, Council has made it clear that, at least for the time being, they’d rather like me to stay on. I’ve done so on the basis that, if they feel that I’ve outstayed my welcome, I’ll resign without hesitation - I’m not going to be precious about it.
And so, it's time to move onto a new phase in our life - new opportunities, new challenges - and see where we go from here. Let the adventure begin...
* Ah yes, the moving bears... Our grand-daughter has been learning about moving house from a book, and the moving company is staffed by bears. We rather liked that, and so it's stuck.