Moving on and Moving in

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.
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
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”.
Categories: Engagement, Family, Friends and Relationships, Life Experience
12 interesting thoughts on this


  1. Posted September 19, 2011 at 8:23 am | Permalink

    CONGRATULATIONS on your new home! I remember that Sunday feeling like it was yesterday, it still makes me feel ill. Two years is admirable! My sister in law does Brighton-Newcastle for her fella, it's so tough. Good luck my love, enjoy every second, even the rows!


  2. Posted September 19, 2011 at 8:30 am | Permalink

    Ccongratulations, good luck and enjoy it! I moved in with MrG 2 years ago, after 2 years doing Derby-Southampton, preceded by a year of Australia-Southampton. I am still grateful and joyful every morning I wake up next to him. Even when I wake up next to him jumping out of bed to watch rugby at 4.30 AM (yesterday morning… ugh). You'll fight but it will be so incredibly worth it. I wish you all the luck and happiness you can find!

    And I wish I could help with bikegate, but our version, bookgate, is ongoing so I'm not sure I'm much help!


  3. Posted September 19, 2011 at 9:05 am | Permalink

    Ha Ha Katielase… He also had an alarm set at 4am yesterday morning!Fortunately I didnt even stir!

    Becca, Congratulations on the big move.

    We did the long distance (well Cardiff to Salisbury so nothing in comparison) for about a year and half after Uni. I would cry most Sundays as I would wave him off at the station or visa versa.

    Moved up to Cardiff about 4 1/2 years ago so we didnt have to do that anymore. So I can completely understand how excited you must be to finally get to live together after such a long time.

  4. Posted September 19, 2011 at 9:17 am | Permalink

    Complete respect to anyone who can do a long-distance relationship. I was within weeks of having a year of UK to West Africa long-distance, and decided I just couldn't handle it so gave up the job.

    I was once very in love with someone who lived over the other side of the world (we weren't even in a proper relationship) and even that was hideously difficult.

    Kudos to you Becca and to all the others who have done this – anyone who wants to write us a "How To" on this is more than welcome!

  5. Posted September 19, 2011 at 9:53 am | Permalink

    My heart hurts just thinking about Sunday nights :( I dealt with it by (maturely) starting fights every Saturday night…..Ryanair cupasoup was my weekend treat!

    Becca, CONGRATULATIONS!!! You should be so proud of where you are now and I wish you absolutely every good wish going xx

  6. Posted September 19, 2011 at 10:30 am | Permalink

    We did Durham/Exeter briefly right at the start of our relationship – 14 hours on a national express coach was not fun, let me tell you! Luckily it was only for a couple of months though.

  7. Esme
    Posted September 19, 2011 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

    That Sunday night feeling – there is no comparison. We did 3 years of uni in Cambridge/Nottingham with a year of UK/Russia thrown in for good measure. It was horrible, but because it forced us to make our own individual lives – our own friends, interests, getting through things by ourselves – it made us stronger. I would never do it again, though. Seriously, however good the job was.

    Congratulations Becca, I hope the first couple of weeks of living together again has been everything you hoped it would be and more!


  8. Posted September 19, 2011 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

    Wow that's amazing news and you will be fine once you adjust to living together again! Having someone run you a bath for when you get in from a shitty day at work with a glass of vino is surely worth bikegate haha?

    I did this with my ex, and I wasn't even that happy then. But he worked away mon to fri for a year, and each sunday night I would ball my eyes out and make a big "I can't do this anymore" song and dance about it. I really do get bored on my own after too long.

    I can't imagine how you have done it for two years and with the person you want to spend the rest of your life with kind of love. If I even have to do a night shift or be on call I have a mini breakdown at the thought of a night apart…I salute you! xx

  9. Posted September 19, 2011 at 5:01 pm | Permalink

    We did long distance for a year and a half. By long distance I mean, he was in England, I was in South Africa, then I was in England and he was in Australia. We both wanted to go on exchange, but we both wanted to stay together. We saw each other for a month during that time, over Christmas, and then didn't meet till the following December.

    Yes, it was difficult, the adjustment period when we got back. Very difficult as we both changed a lot. But, you adapt, you compromise, you sort it all out and you realise at the end of it, you are stronger for it.

    As for bikegate: if you manage to get it out the flat, please let me know. We picked this place because it had a garden for his bike…and its still in the dining room 1 year on…grrrr!

  10. Posted September 19, 2011 at 10:11 pm | Permalink

    Ah man, I remember this too well. I wasn't at all mature and mainly dealt with it by being a horrible, ratty cow on a Sunday and sometimes a Saturday night. Thank heavens he stuck with me.

    We did Lancaster-Leeds for a year. Nine months in, we got engaged. We named the tables at the wedding after letters – Table A, B, C etc – and on each tables we did a list in alphabetical order of words that meant something to us/our family/our friends. The idea was that everyone would get the significance of some of them, but no one would get all of them. And under 'M' were the motorways from Leeds to Lancaster in the right order – M621, M62, M6…God, it was a slog. But although nothing beats those Sunday night blues, nothing beats the sheer anticipation of those weekends and holidays. Eeek. I grin at the thought :D

  11. Anonymous
    Posted September 20, 2011 at 2:09 am | Permalink

    Aha I can relate with Becca a lot here.

    We did the long distance thing for 5 years (again keeping East Coast in the black- or maybe not) firstly me in Leeds him in London then me in London and him in the sticks near Norwich (the idea was we'd both be in London together but his new job fell through thanks to the credit crunch and I couldn’t get out of mine).

    I then moved in with him and commuted down to work (mortgage + train fair – rent for flat in London = still a blinking lot!!). This lasted only for 18 months as I was sooo fed up of 430am alarms, late trains, toooo long hours and just the general stress. I wanted to live, not exist!

    So now, we are both living in Brisbane, the land down under. We see each other every day, can have cuddles every night (well most nights) BUT we're now 24 hours from our family and friends!

    One day we'll get it right…

  12. Posted September 21, 2011 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

    So glad you guys are back in the same city but really looking forward to how it's working out ;)

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *


You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Hello! We're Clare, Aisling and Anna and welcome to a corner of the world where smart, flawed, real women talk about the bigger picture; about their experiences, stories and opinions on all aspects of being a woman today, from marriage to feminism to pretty, too.

More here.

image by Lucy Stendall Photography

Find me a random post