I’m off back to Newcastle again. I’ve been back since the 5th, actually, but it’s only now that I’ve really started to feel like I’m back in the swing of things – train on a Monday, check into the hotel, pick up some lunch, work, hotel, work, hotel etc … then checking out, work, back again to pick up my bags and back on the train for what always ends up being a rather hurried weekend with my husband and Errol, who are also having to adjust to the fact that I’m now away more often than I’m at home.

Once home, I hardly feel as though I get a moment to just do nothing. My weekends are taken up by taxes, payroll, budgeting, mortgage information, trying to find a house for us to live in in Newcastle, looking for a new house in Leeds and worrying that we’ll never get this place finished so we can have the photographers round to take pictures for the listing. But one thing has become abundantly clear – I have to get my boys out of Harehills and living with me in Newcastle. Not just because our little family functions much better when we’re all together, but also because Harehills is becoming worse and worse to live in on a daily basis. The people round here take no pride in themselves or their circumstances. Sure, we live in an impoverished area and the people who end up here have usually faced difficulties in their lives, but there seems to be no inclination in any of our neighbours to even attempt to act decently. In fact, the general consensus seems to be, why make it better when you can make it worse? I have never been around these kind of people for so long before – rude, aggressive, dirty, criminal … and some of them outright predatory. It’s disgusting. So many rants about Harehills, so little time. I can’t wait for the day when I never have to think about this place again, let alone utter its name.

We’ve made a decision about buying a new house, which is that we’re not going to do it straight away. Instead, we’re going to sell this house and R and Errol are just going to move up here with me as soon as possible. This will mean we’re together again sooner, and also that we’ll have a few more months in which to save some more money and look for a new place. I had 2 mortgage appointments this weekend and have come away with a notebook full of additional expenses that I hadn’t accounted for in my budgeting. This is my first time buying a house and the first time R will have sold a house, so we’re both learning as we go. Still, even in the face (potentially) of the dreaded IR35, I should be able to save an extra 10 grand or so over the next 6 months – more than enough to cover our expenses and increase our deposit amount. I’m so looking forward to a time when every waking thought isn’t consumed by money and budgets and financial appointments. All of this stuff makes my head hurt and gives me stress-induced nightmares.

Speaking of which, I’m struggling a bit right now with a recurring dream that R leaves me. Sometimes it’s for someone else, and sometimes he just leaves and doesn’t come back. I often wake up from these nightmares crying. I literally have no idea why they’re happening – stress , sure, but why the particular nature of this scenario, over and over again? I am not afraid that my husband is going to leave me. Certainly not for someone else. I worry sometimes that he’s going to die, but that’s only because he spends half his life inhaling paint fumes and also that we live in a neighbourhood of utter psychopaths, so I think that’s a normal concern. But if there’s one thing in life that I’m truly grateful for right now, it’s the fact that I have a stable, reliable and trustworthy partner. I can’t wait til he and Errol are up here in Newcastle with me. I think that’s when I’ll truly feel like I belong to this new life we’re building together.