To every thing there is a season.....
We are about to move on. After seventeen and a half years in a cul de sac in Harpenden, we are about to be uprooted and transported to a village in Norfolk.
Retirement from local education establishments, the eventual death of my mother in a care home near St Albans, the slow descent of my wife, Amanda, into the disorientation of dementia, and the independence of our two daughters - all of this warp and weft of life has led to a realisation of impermanence and the decision to move on.
Of course the options were endless. If I were solo, I might have followed my ancestry and moved to Western Ireland, seeking Irish citizenship and a breath of Atlantic air. Or I could have retraced my steps to Italy, to end my days in sunshine and vineyards.....
Or I could have stayed put.
But this man is not an island, and I have, at least for the moment, some residual responsibilities for others, and so the intention was to find a home with space for assistance for Amanda, and a stimulating environment for all.
Although I grew up in Berkhamsted, I'm not actually a Hertfordshire boy; my birth took place quite quietly in Southsea, Hampshire, a stone's throw from the boating lake, and I spent the first five or so years of life in Portsmouth, inhaling sea air and exhaust fumes from her majesty's (and others') navies.