It was Friday 15th April 1994 and my Mum was getting my brother and I ready for school, just as she did every other weekday. However, this morning was different. When we stepped out of the front door of number 7, it would be the last ever time we did. If you think me sentimental now, you should have met my 8 year old self. This was the house that we had called home for. Six. Whole. Years. That's a long time in kid-years. With tears in my eyes I went from room to room, kissing each and every wall, saying "bye house".
Those of you who follow me on Instagram, will probably know that I've had such mixed feelings about moving ever since we put our flat up for sale in October. We currently live in one of the the most sought after towns in the North of England (or so the papers have been saying in recently) and to get on the property ladder here is not too dissimilar a feat to buying a home on the moon.
As much as we love town-living (which had previously been a step down from city-living) we knew that it was time to take that one step further to village-living and welcome a little more quiet in our lives. It’s how we both grew up and it’s what we’d dreamed of giving our own little one. A garden with a swing and a neighbourhood that she can (one day) ride her bike around.
But our little ground-floor flat has been Home since 2012. It’s seen so much change. From us moving in as a naive couple, to becoming husband and wife. Decorating, redecorating and to then finding out we were expecting our little poppet. A “rocky” pregnancy, more redecorating and welcoming little M into the world. All the baby-bubble days. A new flat mate (my lovely Mum who came to live with us for the first 6 months after I gave birth). Wonderful highs, horrible lows and the biggest mix of feelings you can imagine all happened here, within these very walls.
As I walk around this empty flat I feel them all. Sad to leave the happy corners but oh so glad to leave the worrisome ones.
I pass the exact spot where John proposed, 3rd March 2013, remembering it as if it was yesterday. It’s not a place we can revisit after today and so despite the fading light, we decided a little photo souvenir would be lovely to take with us.
We are beyond excited for the next chapter. Finally, we have our family home, ready and waiting for us to move into.
So, it's time to pass our keys over to the next couple. First time buyers, starting out just as we were. It's nice to think that they'll go on to make memories of their own here. And now, we're about to make more of our own in our new home.
Happiness doesn't have just one address, after all.
"Bye flat... thanks for having us".