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?