Carpe diem

It’s real and now there is no backing out. We’ve said goodbye to good friends and our family and friends who are like family. There have been tears of anxiety and sadness and also the smiles and giddiness of excitement of things yet to come. We’ve had an awesome farewell party, given away plants and toys and been ruthless in our sorting of the house. The ferry is booked and our new house lease signed. In one day’s time we will no longer be resident in the U.K. Our friends won’t be just around the corner and our family won’t be less than two hours away. In amidst all the goodbyes and endings it can be hard to see the reasons we’re doing it. We’ve built an amazing life here in the city of Bristol and this is my little farewell to all those people and places that have made this our home.

We want to say thank you. Thank you to the many people who have taken us into their hearts, thank you for being sorry to see us go! Although this has made it harder to say goodbye. Bristol has been our home for the last 14 years. Since living here we’ve had 3 children and watched them grow, we’ve loved and lost and had sad times and brilliantly happy times. It’s been a rollercoaster and sometimes the drama left the stage and infiltrated real life. But Bristol and its people never let us down. We’ve always felt safe here. After our farewell party I walked home at midnight with 3 children in tow. I’m not sure there are many cities I’d be happy to do that.

Thank you to the many and ever-changing coffee shops especially those on Gloucester Road which have become our local. Thank you for the amazing festivals, even those ones we have never quite made it to! Thank you for the music (cue ABBA!) and the intentional drama. It’s these music and drama groups that have given me my greatest friends and kept me sane (occasionally sent me insane too!) and they’ve given me many opportunities too. One person who came to our farewell party said she had to come because I was her first opera director. Another said I was an inspiring person. I feel I’ve left my mark on Bristol and in a good way. And it’s all because we followed my husband’s work here.

Now we follow Frank’s job again as it takes us to France. Will it bring us everything we hope and dream? Will it be a move for a few years or will we like it so much it becomes our forever home? Will I ever learn to speak French well enough to converse about anything? The truth is we don’t know, as that’s why it’s scary. But we’re doing it anyway. Carpe diem. We are most definitely seizing the day. Funnily enough it’s all the friends we are leaving behind and amazing family we have that have helped us believe in ourselves enough to do this. We believe in ourselves because others have helped us see that courage within.

Look after our friends as you’ve looked after us Bristol. We shall visit to check up on you.

See you on the other side of the channel folks or La Manche as we should probably call it.