I’m home. What a feeling. What a fantastic, fantastic feeling. It’s even better than I dreamt it would be.
It’s not just the familiarity of being amongst my people; or the accents I grew up hearing every day; the obsession with talking about football even if that means that a queue of people in the butchers is waiting behind you into the street; or the chatty friendliness that borders on intrusion after so many years living in, or around, London.
It is actually less the romantic notion of being home than you might think and more the culmination – the penny-dropping realisation – that we have done it. That we have made a series of decisions and choices that has helped our family build a new life. A new life that is all for us. This is what being home means to me.
Just over a year ago, I was recovering from my encounter with pneumonia and Mrs J and I were employees of others – singing their tune; whenever and wherever they wanted it sung. Miss J – like today – was the centre of our world – but we had realised the we wanted to keep that world a full time world in which we saw her and each other more and more.
Living a happy life is about making the choices that are right for you and we made some choices. Big choices. The last and most tangible was our decision to move nearly 300 miles and make our home in Merseyside.
It has been just less than a week and yet it already feels like we have been here forever; part of the community; part of the furniture. I am writing this on the train back to Liverpool Lime Street after a day of meetings in London. This will be my routine for a few months – a day a week in London with clients but always home for dinner, bedtime stories and bed – the rest of the week at home with technology allowing me to work in our four walls and my work fitting around my life. What a result. What a brilliant result. I feel so fortunate that it is working out so well – it is such a far cry from the days of being just a number – a small cog – in a cold corporate machine. Looking at me now, my new neighbours might say; “the state of you!”
I’ve been struck recently by how often you hear people say sadly; ‘he’s coming home to die’. I now know how much better – how much happier – it is to say ‘he’s coming home to live’. With my two special people; amongst my people; it’s hard to imagine life being any better.