I am sitting in front of our lovely log burner, basking in its heat and reflecting over the highs and lows of the last month.
The true low was looking around Newcastle and the surrounding areas and not finding anywhere at all where I could envisage living and feeling at home. One month ago I was nearly in tears thinking of what life was to become and questioning everything I could think of about what it is that gives me peace and makes my life worth living. My family, of course, scored highly, as did my faith, but other than that, what makes me tick? I am not sure that I really found the answer, but aesthetics seemed to be high as well and the areas we were looking in scored a negative for that. Fortunately, after much prayer, reflection, discussion and maths, we started to look at a different area and finally decided that if we were careful we may be able to afford to live in the Tyne Valley, a beautiful area to the west of Newcastle with the River Tyne running through a rural valley. We subsequently found several villages that felt comfortable. Right Move led us to a house in Heddon-on-the-Wall which we will be renting from December 1st.
Heddon-on-the-Wall is a village build alongside Hadrian's Wall and has a part of the wall visible in a field near to where we will be living. There is a good school there, a nursery and a somewhat aspirationally named "Shopping Precinct"! There are four shops there, a vets, a nursery and most importantly of all, a coffee shop-come-deli! Hurrah. As soon as Ken saw that, he knew I would be able to find some peace!
Ken started work last Monday and is commuting on a weekly basis. He enjoyed his first week there although was complaining of having a somewhat "fried brain" by Friday evening. He likes his colleagues and is finding the job challenging in that he is looking at areas of engineering that he has not explored before. I think he is also excited by the opportunities he has although he is having to adjust to a company with far fewer resources than he had at Siemens. His new company is, after all, about the size of just his previous department!
The high was last week when Isla reached her first birthday, but that deserves a blog in its own right. Tomorrow night! In the meantime, I have to write lists and work out what little jobs need to be done before we leave; what services need to be stopped; things unjoined; items returned, and so on. Hopefully I won't end up with a list of lists, but I think there are going to be several lists on the go. At least I won't have to worry about forgetting things, just making sure I don't pack the lists!