Remember a time ago I was flat hunting? Rather like the hunted being all, ‘oh I am going to sort this out’, ‘do it or die in the process’ and ‘martyr magnificent’! My flat was sold. My home was sold and I had absolutely nothing to do with it. A whisper in the ‘please don’t sell my home’ and a retort of ‘it is done.’
May I never have to deal with an estates agent ever again. Apologies to those of you who have a modicum of decency but ugh, the rest of you are spawn of the devil. ‘I am happy here’ I pleaded. Life changed, I got used to living alone and all was falling into place, but let it be said, even if it is in your name, and you don’t pay the mortgage, it is never yours. But that was a few months ago, in the dark of December and I am awful in December, post Christmas, despite me telling all, don’t believe me in the dark December winter – I am not myself and surrounded by black dogs, the sale went through.
All the bravado failed miserably. In no position to find a new flat, pay a deposit and rent and let’s face it, some of the options were like … seriously, you want me to live there? Fagan would have cringed at the prospect.
Reality moves in like a pig finding the truffle. It is done. Going to be eaten. At a price. Me.
But I have been blessed. Years ago we bought the flat in London, and a little place in the wine lands in the Cape in South Africa. Was going to be the ‘let’s live here and there’. In the vortex of divorce, the there became a rental and living was London. With the update bulletin of flat being sold in London I thought, be flipping otherwise and sell them all – I am going to be whatever and do it on my own.
And then the wedding. All flew out and we stayed in our little house. And something else happened. My children fell into their past (all housed there) and were happy. Nights on the veranda with laughter and plans and living a normal life and saying ‘this is home for us when we are not in London. This is our place. And I got to thinking …
What is stopping me from living in both? I have been in London for ten years – amazingly, lovely ten years. I have a place in the country of my birth where I can breathe, fall into the culture I know, looking at the mountains in the evening and feeling the salt air drifting through in the mornings? Where my children want a place of history, birth and memories? In other words, home from home.
So home from home is going to be home.
Blessed to have both. I am to be the swallow. And I am flying.
At the end of April I am going to the Cape of loveliness. I can, no I shall be the one, now in this stage of my life, the flitting bird. Summers here and summers there. How divine! If one thing this new life has taught me is that I am able to let go of all materialism … and it is a privilege. I am to be the woman of discovery and bliss. Living with a suitcase is possible, and in some ways, so liberating.
Life is strange. Life is wonderful and I am all for the taking of it. So I am moving, not down the ladder of giving up and settling, but onto the I am British and I am South African. Do not have to choose anymore … my children are strong and thriving and my address will be in London when I find a great little place. Our home is in South Africa and England.
And I blame no-one. I understand. The decision to sell my home was meant in good faith. It happened and I love still. Flying will be the future. Hope the loyalty points add up.
What an amazing Wedding it was. The most beautiful wedding ever, and I am not being biased. Of course not! It was. Closure in some ways, opening of possibilities in so many other ways – but the gist of this writing is this … not afraid of change, of what lies ahead, of anything anymore.
To the new chapter. Friends, true friends who not question your address. Your soul friends are there no matter where you go.
Shall miss my balcony, my ‘office’ of wine and wallowing of what happened to my life. It was an important time for me (my children will not miss the hideous gown I wrapped my sorrows in) – she was lovely at the time.
Paris is there. London still. The Wine lands await. And if you look for me … I shall be sipping wine in the wine lands, in Green Park, in Ville Franche sur Mer and Lake Como.
And telling you all … life is magnificent, Tres jolie mon amies.
My new address, is where I want to be.
Image: A modern military Mother.