As it’s approaching the status of open secret, I’m going to mention our big news. At some point this year, we’re moving, and out of Oxfordshire at that.
Over the course of a year or two, our elderly relatives—not just my Grandad, but an auntie and two close friends of the family—started have become frail and/or chronically ill. The infrequent dripfeeding of updates has been a strain on the nerves, but also difficult has been seeing them when we’ve actually had the time to do so. Witney’s mediocre bus services and station-closed-by-Beeching mean that it can take five or six hours to get from Oxfordshire to Lancashire: a journey of three and a bit, by car.
Add to that the fact that we’ve been thinking of moving for a while now, to somewhere slightly larger if possible, and you can see we’ve been getting itchy feet. After all, the drawbridges have very much been pulled up across the south: east, of course, with Brighton becoming entirely populated by hipsters; but also west too, with Bristol succumbing and prices creeping up beyond reasonable affordability.
When we started thinking in earnest, first we triangulated Preston (frail relatives), Cardiff (K’s parents) and St Pancras (Eurostar to my parents) on a map. The equidistant point turned out to be Leicester, so we scrapped that idea. But it turns out that Sheffield is remarkably well placed on the UK rail network, with good connections to London, and to Preston via Manchester. It also borders spectacular countryside; and houses—at least in some parts of the city—are much cheaper than here.
Right now, that’s our likeliest spot. We’re in no massive rush (yet) and there’s no timetable (yet) so we expect to be around for a good few months (yet.) But one day this year we’ll cease to be Oxfordshire residents, after some 15-20 years (depending on how you measure it.) When that day comes, who knows what will happen to this blog…?