One of my strongest and earliest memories is standing outside my grandparents home with my Nan in London saying goodbye to my Grandad. I used to think it was a dream until I told my Dad about it and he was so surprised as he said I was just a toddler about 2 yrs old. Nonetheless, that’s what I remember. Apparently, it was when my Grandad moved from London to Cornwall. His brother and his family already lived down there and my grandparents had bought an old dilapidated cottage that they were going to do up. My Grandad had to move out of London. He was born with lung disease and the smog in the city was making him even more ill. And so started our family connection to Cornwall.
My Nan was still working full time in the city while Grandad fixed up their cottage. In the meantime, we went down there on a regular basis for our holidays. A few years later we all moved down there. It was an idyllic childhood growing up near the beach and with my Dad’s family on our doorstep. I was even in the same class at junior school as my cousin. Lots of wonderful memories. And some horribly sad. My youngest brother died when he was a tiny baby which sent my poor Mum into an understandable time of deep grief and depression. My Grandad moved in with us for a little while to help my Dad look after me, my other brother and my little sister.
Several years later due to my Dad’s job, we moved to Norway and so went back to just visiting Cornwall for our holidays.
Fast forward to now and I’m sitting here in my office typing this with amazing views over the rolling countryside having made a huge dream move back to Cornwall. Over the years I often thought what it would be like to move back here but never really made any true plans to do so. It wasn’t until after my divorce, children leaving the nest and re-marrying that I began to want more than just “making do”. But there was also my parents to think about and then grandchildren came along and so I just kind of bumbled along in life. Like you do.
And then after my parents died, my sister and I started to talk more and more about moving back to Cornwall. After talking with my kids and realising how short life is, Steve and I decided to just go for it. It all happened so fast. Much faster than we had planned. Our original plan was to buy an old house or bungalow that we could either knock down and re-build or do up depending on its state but it was proving quite difficult to find what we wanted. So we decided that we would rent for a few years and take our time find the right property as we knew it would be easier from here than just online and the odd weekend visiting Cornwall.
So, it’s been almost 3 months of decorating our old house, sorting out, packing, finding a new home to rent, moving and settling in. Unpacking. Finding a new doctor, dentist and so on. We’d hoped to move here by the end of Autumn 2014 and even though it was a bit crazy for a while, we’re glad we actually moved on June 30th and got to have Summer here.
We’re now just about settled down. Still lots to explore and making our house into a home. Most importantly we have our offices/studios set up so we can get back to work.
As for leaving my kids and grandkids 300 miles away? Well, it’s been hard as I miss them a lot. Obviously. We’ve already had my youngest son and his wife come to stay and my daughter and her husband are staying here at the moment. It’s a wonderful base for them to come and have a lovely chilled out holiday. Cornwall is beautiful and has so much to offer for a wonderful Summer holiday. I’m so happy my kids can do that without the huge cost of finding somewhere to stay.
There’s going to be a lot of new memories being made over the coming days, weeks, months and years. Just Steve and I. And when our beloved family and friends come and stay. So yes, we’ve moved to Cornwall. We pushed the tent pegs out, reached for our dreams and went for it. It was a little bit scary. But reaching for and achieving those goals and dreams often means being a little bit brave and stepping outside your comfort zone.