So I ponder this paradox: that I don’t love this city, find little beauty or joy in its many faces, and yet so many places in it remind me of love.
I wrote this four months ago to the day, in my fourth post on this blog, just two days before we left Manchester and came here to Heckington.
I was thinking about the years spent living in a place to which I felt little connection, but where I came to have so many dear friends and family ties. And now I am in a place I love but where I have as yet no ties to people.
On Saturday we went with some new friends to see a local band playing in the nearby village of Helpringham. The music and musicians were good and the beer was nice to boot. But strangely, after weeks and weeks of not feeling lonely, despite knowing nobody, I found myself missing Manchester friends like crazy.
Being out watching a band took me straight back to happy evenings at Chorlton Irish Club, dancing to the Lonesome and Penniless Cowboys; I thought of much-loved friends who shared those times but who have since died and longed for that comfortable feeling of being with people one has known for a long time.
At moments like these it seems surreal, quite crazy, that I have chosen to come (and dragged my partner) so far from all our good friends, have volunteered to go through the business of having to get to know people all over again. It takes my breath away when I stop to think about it.
But watching open fields under a darkening sky from the car window, on our way to the pub and the band, my heart was full of contentment and joy and I wouldn’t have been in any other place on earth.
Love is a strange business. Having it, losing it, stepping into it of your own free will; it takes your breath away, so many ways.