There are primary and secondary reasons why we’re moving house. The primary reasons begin with being closer to elderly family, then include key factors like being in (and affording) a city with transport networks that don’t leave us feeling isolated. Secondary reasons include, among other things, a desire to find things we’d like to see set up already set up. In a city of reasonable size, this becomes a possibility.
My parents are about to lose two of their close friends from their little Spanish village. The same couple who set up and run the drama group and local English-language freesheet, and who are pivotal in the local choir, are returning to England partly in search of a greater arts scene, and one that they don’t have to always organize. Thespians for decades, they feel like they’ve swam against the local currents for too long now, and as they get older quite understandably prefer others to do some of the hard work of getting such things off the ground.
We know how they feel. Last time K. and I were viewing houses in Sheffield, we were walking between a clutch of possible properties and Heeley City Farm (staffed by volunteers, open all day, selling great coffee). On the way back up the hill, I spotted a poster on a noticeboard advertising some local recycle-y, green-y event or other. I pointed it out to K. and said: “hey, there’s a thing we can go to, that we won’t have to organize ourselves!” Over the physical effort of climbing one of Sheffield’s many hills, all those possibilities rolled out, like a blanket woven from pure relief.