I should start by saying that I’m really just thinking aloud – if that is an expression one might use about blogging – and thoughts and hopes I mention here might not be what I opt to do in the long run. I’m not usually one for the pipe dream, being rather more grounded in reality, but it makes me feel better, to think that I might come to a future that I choose, since my present situation is obviously not one that I want at all.
Tim’s observation that one should move ‘to’ rather than ‘from’ is absolutely valid, yet doesn’t tell all the story. There are many reasons for moving from a place or a situation and it might not even be dissatisfaction with the status quo. For example, I know a number of people who are stuck in houses that are far too big for them, too expensive to run and they realise that they should have downsized years before, when it was a practicable option. That is at least part of my reason not to wish to stay here. Thinking five years ahead and assuming good health, I would still be able to manage but the place would dominate my life. It’s a fair bit of work and I don’t have the strength for all of it, so have to employ people to do the heavy work. I don’t feel able to just shut up and go away, I have to have a house-sitter. Much as l like to be surrounded by fields, I’m a fairly long way away from any neighbours and there’s no one to notice if I don’t draw the curtains back or take the milk in (there is at present with Roses next door, of course). This is fine now, but the time will come when it won’t be. If I leave it another ten years, I might well be struggling to manage and I’ll wish I’d left when I could have done it more easily. In twenty years’ time, if I’m still alive – oh dear, what a worry it would be to my family, having me live in this big house on my own.
I’ve been thinking about my options – the wider the choice, the harder it can be to decide – and my inclination is firmly to stay in Norfolk. I like it here and all my children live here. I love Norwich and would like to live closer – however, I’ve also got to know the Broadland area and it’s lovely. So I felt that my choice was likely to be in a village just on the outskirts of the city, on the south side, or else north east of the city, a bit further out, possibly in a village but nowhere off the beaten track. Then I saw that lovely house that Weeza’s friends have moved to and it made me think again and I realised how much I always loved living near water.
It was something I thought I would miss when I moved here, 28 years ago. I lived by the seaside then and had grown up by the river. I never lived more than a quarter mile from a body of water. This place had many compensations and I didn’t miss the seaside as much as I expected because I loved it here – but now my options are open again. One of the things I’m taking into consideration is how much my grandchildren would love it too. I’m no swimmer or sailor, all I really enjoy is simply messing around in boats – and out of them. I like lakes and rivers more than the sea and I like backwaters most of all.
I mentioned this to Roses and she said darkly – “three words – risk of flooding,” which was rather less constructive than I’d expected. Actually, most of this village (though not this house) is reckoned to be at risk of flooding, not that it ever has. Our further field has flooded twice in forty years, but it’s part of the Waveney Valley flood plain, lots of land alongside the river is covered in water for part of every year. Clearly, I’d not choose a house that was at risk, but actually a house by the river is not necessarily more so than another, further away but low-lying – or lower lying than its neighbours, anyway.
This might not happen anyway and it’s a while away, but it’s not impractical and it is something lovely to sustain me for now, which is what I can really do with. I feel lost, when I stop and think about it, which is a good reason not to do so. And I should say that my daughter and sister, both of whom I’ve mentioned it to, think that it’s a jolly good idea.