About a year ago we made the decision as a family to escape the city and relocate to a countryside town on the edge of the peak district. Currently we live inner city in an area thick with terraced houses, increased poverty and a serious lack of green space. Looking out of my window in the morning usually provides me with the close up view of the neighboring houses and a street often filled with litter, rummaged though bin bags and a large fly-tipped sofa. I can’t say it really brings a smile to my face, more likely the complete opposite. I find it gloomy. This isn’t where I wish my children to grow.
Relocating is quite a daunting thought. Everything I have ever known is here and on my doorstep. My friends and my family new and old. The supermarket is just down the street. The city centre a ten minute bus ride. I am nervous yet so incredibly excited.
The house buying process has been met with so many problems that its barely funny anymore but finally, dare I say it, we seem to have a moving date. The removal man came to assess our belongings on Saturday in preperation. We visited our new home yesterday to finalise the purchase in our minds ready for exchange this week. This move has been a life long dream and it is actually happening for us. I just can’t wait.
The truth is I feel uninspired in the city. I take my camera out with me wherever I go but rarely do see anything that I want to stop and capture. Sometimes I force myself to find things around me to document but I then feel too uninspired to spend time editing these images let alone actually paint from them. I am unhappy here. Living inner city once to have an appeal with its convenience, opportunities and parties but since Bear’s birth my priorities have completely changed. I often joke about the first time I took Bear out in his pram at a week old. I was suddenly aware of all my surroundings. The inner city grime. The broken windows. The glass in the street. The loud car horns and whizzing past traffic. I saw where I lived in a new light and any appeal the area did have for me was lost in instant – my post-natal anxiety on over drive.
At long last I am looking forward to having a garden for my children to play in. I am looking forward to exploring our new town and its surrounding countryside. I am looking forward to opening my curtains in the morning and seeing open fields instead of grime and exploding bins. I am looking forward to building a home as a family, to painting its walls and picking out the flooring. I am looking forward to living a slower life. Mostly I am looking forward to feeling inspired again.
Just three more weeks to go.