I’ve moved house a lot. First with my family, across cities and countries and oceans. We would put butter on the cat’s paws, so she would take the calming scent of the familiar into the unknown. We had things in boxes to be shipped, things we wouldn’t see again for months.
And then on my own, in friends’ and family’s cars stuffed full of my belongings, or even in my arms – one new place was right around the corner and it seemed like a good idea to walk everything over.
On my first big solo trip I carried my world in a 30L backpack. Everything came in and out of dry bags, strewn across hostel bunks and shoved on top of brightly coloured buses.
This time it’s a joint move. There is a van, and planning, and lots and lots of boxes. There are bits of furniture, and not just my small stool.
I adore moving. Trying to pack up and get set up as quickly as possible. Finding all the old things you’d thought you’d lost. And being somewhere new, where you don’t know all the shortcuts and the convenient fallback options, where you have to walk around with your eyes wide open, exploring. Where anything might happen.
Our new flat is in the heart of Chorlton, a green and trendy part of south Manchester. Everyone has teased about moving into such a pretentious area, but I’m really excited. Although I’m not quite at the knit-your-own-shoes, organic vegan green smoothie-sipping yoga teacher stage, I am into cycling and recycling. I have tried and enjoyed meditation.
Living in the Northern Quarter has been fun, but it’s time for a change.
PS. Did I mention it’s closer to the airport?