You don’t know what you’ve got til it’s gone, or so they say. I’m currently discovering that this isn’t a wholly accurate statement!
Ever had that weird feeling of missing something before it’s even gone? That’s me all over at the moment.
It’s no secret that the Wells family will be moving house soon. In fact, after more than ten weeks of nail-biting, hair-tearing anxiety, we have finally exchanged contracts and confirmed a moving date. 19th June is ‘M’ day for us!
But this isn’t simply a move up the road (not that there’s anything simple about any move, but there’s little moves and big moves. This is definitely a big move). The Wells family, including this here author, will be moving to the Middle East.
Eeeeek, got ya! Well, sort of. Technically, we are moving to the middle east—of England. Our new home is a three-and-a-half hour drive up north east in sunny (or so I’m told) Lincolnshire.
Even though I’m plenty used to moving, this is a different experience. I have been settled here like I haven’t been settled anywhere since I left home at nineteen. Specifically, I will be leaving behind eight years of building friendships. A house that my husband and I lovingly painted and painted all over again (on the inside, I hasten to add). A house that saw the arrival of two children, two years apart. With everything that entails: wee on the walls (well, how was I supposed to know that a boy infant can pee in every which position, every which way, in every direction?), sleepless nights, first steps, first foods, bumped heads, dents in walls and floors from thrown toys. Laughter and joy, sickness, tears and frustrations. Many a tantrum.
Memories, in short. A house and a life filled with memories, and we’re leaving it all behind. Although arguably, we’re taking the memories with us–we’re just leaving the setting behind.
So as I go about my daily business, I find myself in the throes of premature nostalgia. “I’ll miss the walk down the lane to school,” I was thinking this morning. “Look at those lovely daffs nodding their heads over that wall.”
“I’ll miss the village and the river Trym, sometimes so docile, and sometimes offering a bit more oomph in the fast-flow department.”
“I’ll miss the coffee shop on the corner that does the best tuna melts.”
And so on. Nostalgia before the fact. A sense of heightened perception that seems to make everything clearer, sharper, more in focus. I suspect that that’s the purpose of the phenomenon, a kind of memory-factory to ensure that you take with you all those feelings and impressions that mattered to you in a certain environment (and some that don’t, presumably).
Anyway, there it is, and it’s getting steadily more pronounced as we are counting down the days now. The children are feeling it, too, probably even more so than me.
So my question to you is: what’s your instance of nostalgia before the fact?
PS: of course I wiped the wee off the walls. I even repainted the offending patch, the very same day, having previously disinfected it. And I fixed all the dents, too. I’m emphasising this point just in case you happen to be our purchaser and you’re getting nervous about the house!