I had always planned to leave London around 1100 in order to miss the rush hour traffic and so there was a relaxed start to this morning.
L was working from home so after breakfast He and I went for a walk around Tooting Common – a chance for me to stretch my legs before the final journey home.
London was awash last night and this was reflected in the puddles around the Common and so our walk was slightly curtailed, but gave me the necessary half hour before the long haul.
We stopped off at Sainsbury’s Local to pick up lunch in a bid not to spend stupid money in the service stations en route home.
I opted for falafels and guacamole, He chose chorizo, olives and cheese. Of course, when we stopped, he ate most of his and the rest of mine. It was all very tasty.
We had slept well last night on an IKEA Backabro sofa bed which L had constructed in the previous few days. It was firm but very comfortable.
There is something I find strangely comforting about City sounds – emergency service sirens, trains, cars, buses and helicopters. There is a rhythm to the City that lulls me to sleep and last night was no different.
L+M have made their flat hospitable, cosy and very well organised in such a short space of time. I’m not entirely surprised but I am incredibly proud and impressed.
NavMii directed us through London which in many respects was charming and welcome other then the inevitable roadworks (at Easter – really?), so we were able to drive over Battersea Bridge and head along Cheyne Walk in Chelsea – all very familiar to me from when I was pregnant with L and would drive from Wapping in the East to Wandsworth in the West to visit J.
We eventually made it onto the North Circular, another blast from the past for me when P and I would take our children to Brent Cross for a spot of shopping and lunch, more than 20 years ago now.
The M1 was fine and we were soon on our way North. I have driven that road so many times that I am a little blasé about it, but after the last few days I found it quite challenging and very tiring. Of course I couldn’t share the driving, although it would have been great to have had a break even for an hour.
Total journey time today 8 1/2hrs.
Driving up the A1 we eventually came in sight of the sea and that alone kept me going for the final 40 minutes. Radio and music off, struggling to keep focused and trying not to get too grumpy, I fixated on the amazing sky this evening: pink, blue, swirling and throwing out amazing shapes and lines over the sky and sea. At one point I was able to look back in my rear view mirror and noticed that the sunset was extraordinary. I encouraged Him to turn around and have a look.
From Berwick and then Dunbar onwards, I was on home turf and the journey flew by.
I really benefit from having a break – visiting family and friends, breathing in different air and walking in varied environments, but I love, love, love coming home. I could feel my shoulders relax and my breathing steady as we arrived n North Berwick.
Whatever else happens in life, this is my forever home.
Home – a poem
Home is where the heart is-
with art and love and life.
Home is where the family belong –
husband, children, wife.
Home is where the fire crackles
in the grate sublime
Home is where my heart lies
with your body beside mine.
Home is where I must leave
to see beyond these walls
Home is where I will return
safe within my walls.