I think I have mentioned that there is a chap who lives just outside the village, in one of the farm cottages, who brings himself into the villlage once a week or so on his pony and trap. I thought no one would believe me, so here it is.
He was there today, parked outside the Bear and Ragged Staff pub, where there is still a mounting block. I see he is wearing his blankie, even though it was unusually warm today.
On September 20th, I had been here one year.
And it has been like living another life, as another person. A happy person. A happy, very very quiet and retiring person.
When I left Toronto, I could think of nothing but getting going. Now that I am faced with going again (my cousin and uncle are going to be by on Sunday to pick up some furniture they'll be storing), I find I am still very torn. It took a long time to decide to go, and a great part of me still doesn't want to. I decided only after trying very hard to solve the problem of where to go to Church. While I have everything material here I could possibly hope for, and am unlikely ever to have it again, I am still going.
I walked through St. Alban's churchyard today on the way home, and a thought popped into my mind: "I'm probably not going to live here again."
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Some pics that I have not yet posted.
It's a funny thing, but it clearly started when my mum died and I went to Vancouver to sort out funeral arrangements. Something grabbed my brain and I knew that I would not have a moment's peace until I went to England to live. No more explanation was forthcoming. Just "Go to England, immediately." All hell was breaking loose in some personal areas when I got back, but I just couldn't think about them.
Two of my oldest friends after Mum's Memorial Mass. Vicky and Tony.
Best friend Vicky in Vancouver on funeral afternoon.
"We're eating Japanese, I think we're eating Japanese, I really think so..." (ba papa ba pa pa...)
I think it is fair to thank God for all the gobsmackingly beautiful places I have lived over my nomadic lifetime. I wonder if I'm ever going to see the Lion's Gate Bridge or Stanley Park again.
Granville Island Public Market.
Meanwhile, back in Parkdale...
Ooohhhhh yes. Toronto. How could I forget?
and we lived next door to the Oratory.
Got the passport. Got the bike box.
Gave away about 1000 books.
Goodbye to all that too, I guess...
First morning in Ann's new apartment. It had AC. First time in a loooong time we both slept all night while the heat and smog and swelter stayed outside.
Having last teas with pals.
And one spectacular day with friends at Wards Island.
Getting gussied up and going out...
...with pals in the John Muggeridge Memorial Pub.
Just days away from blastoff day.
Last pint of Rickard's, half an hour to flight time at Pearson airport.
First glimpse of the patchwork quilt of England.
At Manchester airport. My uncle, whom I had not seen since I was six, but whose voice and accent I recognised instantly. Since being here, I have developed an instinctive trust of anyone with a Manchester accent. I've become acclimatised.
More to come.