For three years, Ben and I were based in a little house in a little village, not much bigger than a hamlet really. But in November we moved. Due to my deteriorating health, we are unable to travel back to Chicago. Instead, we are going to be remaining here in the UK, while I continue with my treatment. I missed the move completely as I was fast asleep in a hospital ward!

We are now staying with some very lovely friends of ours. We have our own space. It is very lovely here. I am in a very comfortable situation. But I am surprised to see how much Ben is loving it. When we came to England, he found London cramped and suffocating. We have both lived in cities in the US, but they were better designed. London is a mass of tiny villages that spread and sprawled and merged together – and parts of London are now very pokey and cramped. He was very glad to find a place for us to rent that was much more modest budget wise than properties in the London area and was so incredibly present.

I have been trying to press him as to what it is he loves about here. This is a nice part of London, but it is so much more built up than where we have lived for the past three years. Ben told me that he loves to be able to walk to the high street. Whereas we would have to jump in the car and drive to any kind of shop where we were before. But he also loved that there is a huge park nearby where he can stretch his legs and soak up a lot of green and mud – something that us “country-bumpkins” have got used to.

We have ended up staying in the ideal slither of suburbia. A quiet side-street off a very busy high street. Ben loves the stores here, and if we were here for a long time he would be bankrupt at the rate he is spending money at the moment. He says it is retail “therapy” for him.

His favourite shop right now is an organic deli, and he keeps coming home with slices of ludicrously expensive meat, which generally he sandwiches into a couple of slices of some artisan loaf he has bought in one of the many bakeries here. He says he is “comfort eating”.

You know….our current digs – they are ideal for me in many ways – I can rest here and have some privacy. But they are also ideal for Ben. He has plenty here to allow him enjoy life here, all within a few minutes walk.

Who would have thought that suburbia would suit us so much?

4 replies on “Suburbia”

There are some very nice places to live in London. I used to live in London years ago now, at the time early 90’s l absolutely adored the cosmpolitan aspect of life in the city. But by mid 90’s l was already starting to become more country boy than city boy. Now l am more town boy in the country and that’s about just right as the three bears would say, or was that goldilocks .. no mind, all good.

i couldn’t live in the cramped London l used to love today, it would be too stifling.


This is a nice pocket. I am not seeing the area, because I am isolating. But we used to come down here to visit Noo and Robert, and they have some huge green parks very near which were like an escape from the city.

Ben is very happy with this area. He is not working at the moment. He helps me everyday to get washed and dressed. He makes breakfast and lunch and washes up and cleans the bathroom and kitchen. I tend to need a nap after all the effort it takes to have breakfast and get washed, dressed and have my meds. So Ben sometimes goes for a run, or he goes up and has a coffee with our friends.
Normally I need another nap after lunch the meds I take at lunchtime. Ben likes to go for a long walk in the afternoon – sometimes for a couple of hours or more. He likes to make the most of the daylight, and he is developing the habit of shopping while he is out as well. When I wake up from my nap I text Noo and she will come down as soon as she can and have a sort of afternoon tea with me. It is so lovely to have her company. She is being like my mom – and I really need her. Ben will always come back before it is dark. Ben and I enjoy our evening together, talking, cuddling, having dinner together. He loves Masterchef and the final is tomorrow.

Sometimes I am exhausted and cannot stay awake in the evening. Ben has occasionally nipped upstairs to spend some time with Robert and Noo or Wills. But if they have guests he stays away. He doesn’t want to mix closely with anyone outside this household.

I had a terrible day today (symptoms-wise), but right now I am wide awake and I feel as if I have more energy than I have had all month!! I am blaming it on the mint tea Ben has been making for me.

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Ah sounds like you are in a basement flat. I used to live in a couple of those in Brixton and Swiss Cottage, back then those two areas of London were a huge clash and yet today Brixton is just as sought out as Hampstead used to be.

You are very lucky to have Ben in your life Jenna, not many men would be able to cope with life after cancer. It can be very draining.

Suze is now a year since her last treatments of combined chemo/radio. She still has sude effects which effect her daily and will do now till the day she dies. However, every day is still better than the previous one and more so seeing as she survived an aggressive killing cancer. It has been hard more so on motivating her mental wellbeing.

So what and how Ben is helping is top dollar, but you know that anyway.

Well wishes, greetings and hugs to you both.


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