So, my first weekend in my new flat is coming to a close. It’s been a slightly odd weekend – Saturday a flurry of activity, today mainly some unpacking, with a wander around my new neighbourhood. It’s thrown up some mixed emotions.
One, I am just relieved to be in after a month of other people’s spaces. I’m excited to have fitted wardrobes and storage space – neither of which were exactly in abundant supply in my old place. Less thrilled about a shared back yard that my neighbours’ dog pees freely in and in which they sat all afternoon, meaning I could hear every word of their conversation. (They seem friendly, though, on my brief meetings so far, though the dog greeted me this morning by taking a giant dump on the mat outside my door, much to his owner’s horror…)
But it’s 3am and I am lying on my sofa bed (having spectacularly failed to manage to assemble my bed), and I am aching for Brighton and the sea. So here, in no particular order, are some things I miss:
The light and the views – oh, but Brighton is blessed with beautiful skies and light straight out of a paintbox. I miss seeing the sea every day. I miss having a view from my front room (my new view is the bins in my back yard). I am pleased to reacquaint myself with trees, mind, which were in short supply.
Neighbourhood life: Kemptown was, for good and ill, a village. I knew my neighbours, the guys in the Co-op and the coffee shops. It had a French deli and a bookshop and a fine wines store and all the vintage emporiums you could desire, all less than 5 minutes from my door. I could nip out to the Co-op for wine and snacks and be back in the length of an ad break. (It certainly passed what my friend K calls the Good Vibrations test – can you get to the nearest offie and back in the length of that song?) I could walk to the city centre in 15 minutes. My new place is handy for the Metro, but other than a pub has little in the way of easily accessible amenities.
Similarly, I miss bumping into my neighbours and being invited in for coffee. A cool pub at the end of my street. Walking to my friends’ place for dinner, and being close enough to pop into feed the cat when they were away.
I miss popping out for coffee. No reason, just a desire to get out of the house. Maybe meet a friend. Do some writing with a different view.
I’m sure Newcastle will bring its own delights. I am sure the trade off will be worth it. But it’s a weird feeling to be home, and homesick at the same time.
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