Well I still don’t seem to have got around to saying Goodbye, Blog on a definite day, as I meant to. Family demands have escalated, leaving even less time for this sort of thinking and writing. But tonight I am, unusually, alone and have only just realised today is the winter solstice – it just happened half an hour before I wrote this. I always look forward to it but life just now is so over full that I might have missed it. I have no energy to write about the turning year, the journey into darkness and returning light. But this post – first written in March – seems appropriate for this day of ending and beginning. Along with There… and back again, it marks a turning point in my understanding of what my move has meant – both a start of a new life and a new connection with the old. Happy solstice to anyone still reading here.

Flat Earth, Big Sky


Last year I wrote about the rooks we see and hear from our garden. Their constant presence, and that of crows in the fields around us was probably what prompted me to read Crow Country by Mark Cocker. It is a fascinating book in many ways but today I have been thinking of what he writes about his connection to both the place where he lives now and where he lived as a child.

He talks of feeling a sense of possession, of ownership of a particular, familiar territory. He describes what I feel about this part of Lincolnshire where I have fetched up. It belongs to me and I belong to it; ever more so as I learn my way around the back roads and through tiny villages. The shape of the land, turns in the road, particular trees are become familiar, even as the views, the colours and…

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There… and back again

Well, turns out I might re post yet another old one. Looking back, the posts I wrote in February to March of this year, 2014, were when I had come to a particular point in my feelings about the move and the place I find myself in. Instead of feeling that there was this one random place that I had come to (but equally might never have found) that was right for me, I came to feel that it was right more because I had found it or chosen it, if that makes sense. Perhaps it will to some people and not to others. But it brought a sense of liberation from bad feelings about Manchester, as I wrote about below, as well as the knowledge that I could be alright even if I were not here – also important.

Flat Earth, Big Sky

We have been in Manchester this past weekend. The drive over the Pennines and back again can be slow, but there are glimpses of beautiful countryside to be had from the van windows as we pass – a few of which form today’s gallery above.

We have spent time with friends, daughter and grandchildren, all people very dear to us. Each encounter has been important, and fun, and yet I still find it unsettling being back where we used to live. Every bit of it is so familiar, it induces a kind of panic in me. It seems as though the new life, Heckington, is but a dream and I have not managed to leave after all.

On the way home I mused about why I find it so hard to go back. I think my separation from the place throws into relief the feelings of being trapped, stuck and…

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Just a note

As part of winding down the blog, I am no longer paying for the upgrade which gave me the web address veronicamarris.com for the blog. If you have been using this to get to the blog, and if you want to look at it from now on, you need to use the original address which is vmarris.wordpress.com

People and places, revisited

Today is the second anniversary of starting this blog. I am re blogging two earlier posts – first, this one, written nearly a year ago when I was looking back and thinking about our first year here.

Just now I should be cleaning some leeks, in preparation for a leek tart for a party on Sunday. We had a party this time last year – and felt a bit daring as we only just knew enough people to invite. I remember it as a lovely, cheerful day and am looking forward to this one, when a few more people will come. We will also be eating the Spiced Salt Beef that I talked about in a post called Sugar, Spice, Memory (https://vmarris.wordpress.com/2013/11/11/sugar-spice-memory/).

Flat Earth, Big Sky

Sunset in the winter garden

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 a year ago today, two days before leaving Manchester.

These themes, of connection to place and connection to people have continued to preoccupy me in the past year while I have been writing this blog. Many people, I guess, though definitely not everyone will have a time in their life when they face this kind of split; when the people they love and the place where they feel at home are far apart.

As I have approached the anniversary of us moving here, I have been missing Manchester friends and family very much, both a wider group of people we had known over many years and a few, very close friends, and my daughter and…

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