Saturday, 7 June 2014

Life Changes

Perhaps I should begin with some sort of introduction to me and my life. I'm Emma, born in East London, now living in Norfolk since 2006.  I suppose you would have called me a bit of a party girl back in the day.  Here I am, steadying myself against the nearest wall back in 2000. 

Just a year later and my life was gratefully turned upside down by my first born, a girl, joined by son a few years later.  I moved to Norfolk with my scrummy hubby 8 years ago looking for the country way of life, some peace and fresh air, and most of all, top schools for our current and future kids!

So now I look more like this

 Overall I'm glad we made the move, the children are thriving at school and we lead a fulfilling outdoorsy lifestyle.  My almost degenerate lifestyle has long gone although we do get a babysitter now and then and live it up until at least 10.30!

The downside would be adapting to a new way of thinking, even just moving a short way in the UK can feel like having moved to a different planet.  I left all my friends behind in London, and as much as you try to stay in touch, you (or they) move on, and rightly so, life should progress.  But you assume moving to the country, 'folk' will be queuing outside your door to greet you with pies and well wishes.  Instead I think locals were maybe a little perplexed by the bouncy Londoner.  I have made a few good friends and for those I am grateful, but in the majority establishing relationships has been, quite frankly, exhausting.  What are the rules?  At 'home' you don't say hello on the street for fear of being labelled a nutjob, yet you can chat to people in queues, at the bar, at the park and within half hour you've swapped numbers and are planning a night out/kids playdate.  But here, I can't walk down the street without battling cheery "Good morning!"s (although peeps do like to confuse me by greeting me one day, ignoring me the next leaving me saying hello to thin air). As for chatting in queues/at the park etc, I still do it, I have trouble stopping myself, but mostly I receive a tight smile and a puzzled look.  So I do try to tone it down.  But aren't you supposed to be yourself?  There are those that I thought I became close with have not ceased to shock me at showing their true colours down the line and actually treated me and my family quite appallingly considering the friendship I have shown them.

I have spent a number of years believing it's a 'Norfolk thing' and possibly people do have different ways, but more recently I wonder is it just too late?  At nearly 40 living in an area where most have lived all their lives people have already made their friends, they don't need another one.  I don't mean that as a criticism.  I think I get it now, and maybe I'll always be the slightly unusual outsider.  But I do wish someone had handed me a manual to start with.  And I should have trusted my instincts and realised not everyone is as open as I am.  I remain grateful that I found my best friend years ago, and married him.

Until next time, stay fabulous xx

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