Well for us it would only ever be for a huge life adventure. After the huge upheaval of our last move (from Thornfield Road to Parsonage Road) I swore I would never leave ‘the most beautiful house in the world’ unless it was in a box. It turns out I was right. However, I had not considered the kind of giant box that comes with wheels attached, known as a caravan.
Karen and I had our own life journeys that brought us individually to the Heatons in the early 1990s. All of our children have since been to local nursery schools, primaries and Priestnall, then away to University, to travel the world and to finally settle in Chorlton, Withington and Didsbury. They too might choose to return to live in the Heatons one day to raise families of their own. In the meantime, we don’t need the big house anymore and we’ve also figured that with life only lasting for an average of a thousand moons (www.facebook.com/athousandmoons) we need to make the most of the moons we have left.
With the exception of a three year spell building a software company from Strawberry Studios we have mostly worked from home and world-wide Wi-Fi now opens up the possibility of working anywhere. Sunshine and a pool to keep us fit and a beach to walk the dogs are a few features that ‘The Moor’ can’t offer us, so we’re taking the business (and even our 0161 telephone number, would you believe – courtesy of Skype!) with us.
So, decision made, onto the move. How hard a task is it to find a home for all your possessions when you want to downsize? Well we’ve certainly discovered the answer: Mammoth! We’ve always been committed to recycling and avoiding wastage but we had to become more and more brutal as the second skip filled and time was running out.
All of our books and CDs and everything that we didn’t need got shipped to the Heatons’ charity shops, Heaton Chapel rail-station book club, and a wonderful homeless charity called Mad Dogs Street Project (based in Chorlton) – you may well, right now, be reading one of our books or enjoying some less-than-essential gadget that got ejected from this story. It’s also been interesting to see how we’ve inspired others to reduce the clutter from their own basements rather than leave the task to the future house-clearance job their children might face after their eventual inevitable departure from this world.
Saying goodbye to our friends was the most memorable part of this change. We had so many last goodbyes we were getting compared to Tina Turner’s farewell tour. But it’s quite clear that we will see a lot of these friends in the new context around our pool in Lefkada, Greece. Neighbours, Heatons Traders and other life-long friends (many already have their flights booked and the Greek property isn’t even ours yet – and we’re struggling to reach our destination before our furniture does!).
So here we sit, stranded in the sunshine of the Côtes D’Azure, hoping we can get the LandRover fixed in time to continue through Italy to the ferry that will take us ‘home’, unaware of exactly how this adventure will unfold and how it will change us.
One thing is certain, though: The Heatons will always be an important part of our lives.
(Article submitted for a local Heatons’ publication ‘The Moor Mag’ – watch out for their next issue!)