seasideA few years ago I said goodbye to a friend. She and her family were off to a new life in Ireland and I, for one, was just a teeny bit jealous. You may or may not know that my husband and I had, for years, been discussing (with varying degrees of enthusiasm and commitment), the possibility of moving to the south coast. We felt sure that the sea air would do us good and all four of us loved the idea of the carefree, outdoor existence.

But, how hard was it to simply move counties? – I’m glad you asked that. The answer is – it seemed bloody hard. We had to decide where we wanted to live first. On this subject we’d jumped from the Bournemouth area, to Southampton, to the Isle of Wight, and back to Southampton (actually a small village to the south of the city – obviously there’s no healthy sea air in actual Southampton – but there are great shops!) Plus every time it rained (which was pretty much every sodding day), I’d throw Spain in as an idea, just to see what happened.

Even if we could decide on an area, we still had the colossal task of choosing schools. This was an absolute minefield. Especially in Bournemouth, where there were children in excellent, ‘triple A’ schools throwing stones at children in unsatisfactory, ‘triple E’ schools. Well not literally you understand, because they were far too nice for that, but geographically. The OFSTED website was probably sick to death of me searching for Inspection Reports on schools. It was no doubt thinking, “For God’s sake woman, make a decision, choose where you want to live and quit buggin’ me!”

The next dilemma was to get a job for my husband (yes, I know I needed to get one too – don’t you start!) But as the main earner in our home, his job was the most important. So I had to send him off, all suited and booted, CV clutched in his shaking hand, to interviews in places that were miles away from home. Honestly, it was as heart-wrenching as sending your kids off in to the wilderness (not that I’ve ever actually done that – of course).

It took us many years to achieve our dream and there were several times when I thought it would never happen, but, the good news is that finally, after many years of living in Hemel Hempstead and promising the boys that we’d live by the sea some day, we did indeed take the plunge and have now moved to the sea-side.

Honestly – we’ve never looked back!

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