The time is nearly upon us. R and Errol and I are moving house tomorrow, to start our new life living in York. And for only the second time in my life, I find myself sad to be leaving. We’ve only been in Newcastle for a couple of years, but I can honestly say that those 2 years have been the happiest of my life. I’ve loved my job, I’ve made some wonderful friends, we’ve lived in peace in a beautiful neighbourhood, and my and R’s marriage has gone from strength to strength.

The reason we’re leaving is 95% money and 5% family. My new contract is lucrative enough for us to be able to start putting some serious money aside, so it was an opportunity I really couldn’t pass up. And because we’re trying for a family of our own, R and I thought it would be nicer to be closer to my mum and stepdad, who live in Harrogate. But if it wasn’t for the contract, I would have argued very strongly for staying in Newcastle. I’m really going to miss our life up here, and especially our house.

The new house is nice enough but it’s smaller than our current house and doesn’t have a bath, which is going to bother me far more than R. I like soaking in the tub and will do so at least twice a week – long, luxurious baths with a book or film to keep me company. I won’t have that anymore in York. The new house also lacks a utility room; our current utility room leads into the garage, which has been ideal for R and a perfect place to store paint, so this is going to be a challenge in the new property. But we’ll have to make do. It’s not like we have anything really serious to complain about. The most important thing is that the house is in a lovely area and has a beautiful, secure garden for Errol to play in. Most of the other houses we considered turned out to be unsuitable, simply because the gardens opened onto shared driveways/common areas and we know that Errol would freak out if he was unexpectedly exposed to a stranger.

Most of our stuff is packed up now. R has had a tougher job than me because he has so much art stuff. I’ve just let him get on with it. He’s irritable because of his back injury and the last thing I want right now is to have a stress-induced fight, so I’m staying out of his way. Besides, we’ve got a big day tomorrow and I’ve got to drive, so I’m just chilling out. In fact, I’m writing this from the sanctuary of the bathtub, having decided to take one last soak before I’m bereft of bathing for the foreseeable future. Aside from jotting down my thoughts, I’m also doing other bits of tier-2 admin: for example searching for a veterinary practice and gym near to our York house, and cancelling the booking I made for a hotel in Harrogate on Boxing Day. We don’t need it now that we’re returning home. Well, R is at least. Time will tell if York feels more to me like home than Newcastle has.