Becca (long time reader and all round extraordinarily wonderful person) sent this fabulously written post to us a few weeks ago, so she has now ‘moved in and moved on’, but what with the party and all that jazz, we’ve not been able to post it until now. Believe me though readers, it was worth the wait.
I get a fair bit of unnecessary praise for being ‘brave’ or ‘strong’ for living overseas. I won’t deny it’s hard, but a lot of the hard elements are the same as what all of us face as adults; having to put effort into friendships; having to work out the financial elements of your relationship; or just finding that you need a bit of you time occasionally.
But the one thing that gets me through the tough points is knowing that, whatever the day throws at me, at some point that evening, my husband will walk into wherever it is we happen to be living at the time and we will be together.
I have the luxury of waking up every morning next to my husband, or letting off steam together over a bottle of wine after a bad day at work, or just having a quick cuddle when needed. So to me, the people who really deserve the praise are the people like Becca, who don’t have that luxury…
It’s almost here people. M-Day. Not to be confused with W-Day or B-Day. M-day is moving day.
MOVING IN TOGETHER DAY *
It will be here in what was this morning 96 hours of living, 28 hours of office based leaving lunches, 4 leaving lunches and what is now only 21 hours of work based living and 26 minutes of tea making.
This is after two years. That is 1 million and fifty one hundred thousand, eight hundred and ninety seven thousand minutes. Or 17 thousand five hundred and thirty one hours **
Believe me it has felt like much longer.
It seemed such an easy plan. We had a lovely life, I worked for a rather large investment bank for a year and he did stuff with Olympic stadiums. I had been sponsored through law school by a firm I was contracted to work for so we knew that this long distance love affair was coming. We were expecting it. We made the most of our one year domestic bliss as we were all grown up, running home via the takeaway to watch hours of box sets and snuggle on the sofa. We promised that we would spend all of our free money keeping East Coast Rail in business.
Trains. Thomas is the number one blue engine.
The first few weekends were great and we really made the most of each city. Then you realise there are only so many times you can do each activity. So things got a lot cosier. We’d just curl up with a good book and chill-ax. Perfection for 48 hours.
Then came the Sunday night tearjerker. Unless you do this week in and week out you don’t know what it’s like. It’s worse than sundaynightworktomorrow-itis. In the end I was forbidden from even going to the train station because I was such a freaking mess. Plus the fact Newcastle is really cold.
Did I mention that is where I was? He was in London. I was in Newcastle. Could we have been any more at opposite ends of the country? ***
I became the worst kind of loser. I could tell you the train times from London to Newcastle in my sleep. I could tell you which seats to sit in to avoid train door drafts. Or which carriages have sockets for laptops, are close enough to the buffet car to keep drinks warm. I could tell you the price that a first class ticket would need to be to make the difference between cattle class and first class workable. I am naming my first child after the train guard on the 18:10 to KGX****
Greg on the 18.10 from NCL to KGX.
So now we’re nearing the end. And it feels chuffing AMAZING.
I have packed up the flat. My flat now holds ten teabags, four pairs of pants, two swimming costumes, gym kit, weighing scales, Cosmo Bride, one sleeping bag, four work shirts, Liz Earle cleanse and polish plus Origins Toner and Zero Oil Moisturiser, milk and a Marks and Spencer count on us Chicken Jalfrezi*****. Everything else has been packed and lovingly taken home by my parents.
This weekend we have a wedding to attend and then on Sunday we are moving.back.in.together.
I am honestly anticipating it to be a bit tricky. We have both lived alone for two years and I know it’s hard to adjust to living with anyone, without that space being the size of a shoe box. We also have two flats to condense into one teeny one and believe me when I say that I come with a lot of STUFF (he would say shit). Aside from the practical nonsense, like finding space for my shoes and getting him to move his bike******, it’ll be hard to adjust to telling someone that I won’t be home for dinner, or that I’ll be spending the day with a friend. For the last two years I’ve not had to tell anyone anything or consider anyone else on a daily basis, aside from a daily phone call before I go to bed.
Case in point – he already said that he was really really sorry to do this to me on our first proper weekend together but he has a work event on the 9th. I didn’t tell him I’d arranged to go out to the AOP already? What I did say was that I would “think” about forgiving him if he didn’t moan if I made him go to Ikea and he bought me some of those thin ginger biscuits.
How important is honesty in a relationship after all?
I know that we are going to be together forever. And I know that we have survived much more than this before. But I am genuinely scared of the uneven road we’ll probably have to pass to get to settled and happily ever after. We have somewhere to live but we’re looking for somewhere else more permanent. I want a garden or balcony, space for my new suits and a decent sized bath. He wants proximity to work, size irrelevant. Isn’t it always?
Tips on dealing with Bike-gate are welcome.
And emails from estate agents with flats fitting the space/balcony/garden/dining table criteria.
I will let you know how it goes.
*I would apologise for the CAPITALS but I would be lying.
** Google. I have more important things to do like leg waxing in anticipation of the living together again bit rather than working out sums.
***Berwick and Brighton I suppose. Or Lands End. And by country I mean England. Not the UK. Don’t get clever.
**** KGX is what people in the industry and train spotters call it. His name was Greg.
***** Super tasty and only 400 calories
****** I don’t care if it’s worth as much as my engagement ring, I don’t want it next to my head when I wake up. This has become such an issue it’s now referred to as “Bike-gate”.