Three Years In The Country!

Three Years In The Country!

It was three year’s ago to the day that we moved back to Norfolk. Upped and left E11 with damp eyes and worries that life wouldn’t ever feel quite so sweet again. I loved living in Leytonstone you see, and being in London. I enjoyed so much that our beautiful capital city has to offer and really made the most of being there. I thought leaving would kind of be one of the worst things we could ever do and that quote kept coming back to me…

“Why, Sir, you find no man, at all intellectual, who is willing to leave London. No, Sir, when a man is tired of London, he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford.”
— Samuel Johnson

I was so on board with Samuel and kept weeping over my tiny flat, half a Victorian terrace on the right side of the tube with the ever important (I realise now only to estate agents) Bushwood locality. But it was HALF a house. The upstairs half at that meaning we had no garden. No garden, only two bedrooms for four people and a postage stamp kitchen. But… Oh we had the Wanstead flats and our high street was SO up and coming with urbanites and beardy men opening bijou delicatessens, Italian wine shops and gentrified bakeries at every turn and I mean HOW fashionable! And that was all before we hit the pub with its menu reading things like ‘locally sourced rat’s arse for ten and a half pounds’ (Ok, not rat’s arse but come the eff on, nothing else was going to be locally sourced so close to the central line so it must have been a big fat lie)! And after you’d spent ten and a half pounds on a meal portioned for a child you had to sit at shit formica tables ‘sourced’ from the vintage shop and bugger the fact they smelled, were broken and actually probably weren’t even that nice when they were new in 1954!

So… I look back now at Leytonstone with fond memories but actually I wonder who the heck I was back then to have bought into that fakery so badly. And to have clung on to it for so flipping long. Was it lovely to roll out of bed and be in central within half an hour, sure! Was it worth the premium… Oh good grief no! I look back with fond memories but if anyone asked me if I’d like to move back I’d laugh like a hyena because what would anyone want to do that for?!

I look back now on three years where I’ve felt able to breathe in the countryside, where I’ve met new friends and still see the old when they come to stay in our proper sized house with a bedroom for everyone and more to spare. I wish I could have told the me then, the one who was ripping her children from everything they knew, that she would be bringing them into the best life ever!

In three year’s we’ve gone from being a family of four to a family of five and that’s the best part of course it is but we’ve also got beaches on our doorstep, a very fine city to shop in, masses for the kids to do and we are still only a short drive to London. What was I worrying about three years ago to the day when we shut the blue door of number 72 Barclay Road for the last time? I cried all the way home but that’s where I was headed, if only I’d known!

Now we are home in Norfolk and half way through another school year about to break up for the half term holiday which will see us pop to London twice as well as enjoying all the beauty this county of ours has to offer. And we do it as a five. I feel very lucky!

Outside our first family home – half a house in Leytonstone!

And half way through the school year makes me gasp out loud at where time goes. Since Christmas we have had more tummy bugs and coughs and colds but lots of fun too!

Florence has gained the part of Marta in the Norfolk Youth Music Theatre’s production of The Sound of Music and we are all geared up for lots of rehearsals.

Jimmy has lost his two front teeth and is just loving school and Beavers – he bought his teacher a rose for Valentine’s Day the little smoothie!

Raffie is gaining teeth as fast as Jimmy loses them and adoring time at Gymboree, he’s brilliant fun and great company – people think I’m strange saying that about a baby but he really is!

Here are some of our highlights since Christmas!

Raffie LOVES food and is a dream baby to be weaning! Still breast feeding of course though – he’s just like the older two in that respect!
Jonny turned 41!
Jimmy in all his gappy glory!
Florence had her very grown up 9th birthday party at the Bowling House!
We had a wonderful holiday at Center Parcs!
Raffie has found a love of walking outside!
And is very independent – he resists help!
But loves all soft play areas and their germ infested qualities!
We’ve been on family bike rides using our new Thule Chariot 2!
Which the boys love!
Jimmy continues to make everyone laugh just by being him!
With his little apprentice not far behind at any point!
Teaching Raffie all his tricks!
Which of course Raffie is SO on board with!
The little monkey!
Always so proud of this one who does so much to help her little brothers!
My Mum has been helping us out as much as ever and unfortunately getting our germs in the process – sorry Mum!
She’s also knitted Raffie another blinder of a cardigan!
Yesterday was valentine’s Day nd I made my gang these red velvet cup cakes for a treat! All my love is for them!

Now… Onto some half term fun please!