When I got back home late yesterday afternoon, it felt like I’d been away for 30 days not 30 hours. Seriously exhausted, stomach not right, I couldn’t wait until the time came for me to drop into my familiar bed, turn the light out, and for M to follow the age-old ritual of stroking my back until I fell asleep which started even before we got married. For once, this morning, I wished I could just sleep all day. But I had to get up at 5:45 to deal with all sorts of things and get A to work for 7 (by which time she’d been up for 3 hours).
When we left the old village and the old house last May, I thought I wouldn’t be able to love another house again. But I felt like that when we left our house in Norway for the last time in April 2006 (and must admit that it is still probably my favourite house of all the houses I’ve ever lived in). But here, now, this 1930s semi on the outskirts of Norwich, is where I like to be, where I feel like I am coming home. Walking through the streets of a city is, for me, somehow more of a homecoming than driving up the main street in the old village.
Before I left London yesterday, I did make enough time to meet with our London children (O, C, and K). We met at Embankment tube station, and then walked along the Embankment, past Cleopatra’s Needle, and all the shrapnel wounds the city still bears, until we got to Millbank, then cut back into the city, and ended up sitting outside a café right next to the Royal Opera House, and talking about this and that and everything. They all have their own troubles (earning a living being top of that particular list), and all I could say to them was to keep going, that something will come right sooner or later. There is nothing else a parent can say whose funds are not unlimited – and even if I was fabulously wealthy I’d still want them all to be financially and mentally independent from me; that’s what growing up is all about. It was a wrench to leave them when I turned left for Holborn, and they turned left for Covent Garden on their search for bookshops (that, in itself, is the greatest parenting success I can think of, this love for books they have, in the main).
Home. Yes, this is where my heart is.
It is now a radio show and hours of work later…
AGGIE’S ART OF HAPPINESS – CHAPTER 89