Just realised today is the twelfth anniversary of the day I abandoned my city life. A lot has changed since then.  Good and bad.  On my last day in the city everything went wrong.  The removal men were late, the central heating broke down so I had to shower in cold water, there was a biblical style rainstorm that went on all day and my  phone was struck by lightening! I hoped these were not sinister omens for my new life. My flat looked bleak and cold stripped of all my possessions.  I did not get away until 8pm.  It was already getting dark and I was exhausted after a sleepless night and the stress of packing up fifteen years worth of life. I’d given truck loads of stuff to charity shops and friends. I’d had two car boot sales.  I’d filled two skips with crap. The rest was going into storage until I established my new home.  So I set off north with just essential clothes and books piled in the back of my old blue Toyota Corolla.  I can still see my friend Anne receding in my rear view mirror.  She’s standing in the twilight rain, waving and looking sad as I drive away. I’m feeling excited and terrified about my nine hour journey and what is to come…



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