So we’re in. We’re Leodensians – in my case, again. After what turned out to be months of solicitors and leasehold companies taking their time, moving day arrived Friday and the completion and physical move went as smoothly as something like that could (I’m still missing a box of clothes but it’s probably with so many other boxes in the garage). The weather’s even co-operated, with glorious sunshine for the last couple of days. Thank you, Leeds.
Then yesterday saw the launch of my new novel Fair and Tender Ladies at the 2013 Book Crossing Unconvention. Taking the bus into town, down roads that were once so familiar, I realised that yes, I did live here now. The event was a great success – wonderful audience and such avid readers – and an extra frisson on the bus journey home as I realised the vehicle would go past the building that had once been the Victoria pub in Sheepscar, an important place in my next novel.
To top it all off, a fairly long walk through Roundhay. Not the park; we’ve been there several times on recent trips up here, and there will be many, many chances to explore it all. No, this took us to the stunning specialty gardens, with the Monet and Alhambra gardens being outstanding, then along Old Park Road, down the ginnel by Roundhay School that was my way home when I was a pupil there, back along Gledhow Lane and over Soldiers’ Field. Quite literally retracing so many steps of my youth, remembering when we threw cherry pits at a house and the owner chased us back to school, the trek every other week to the gold club (it was better than playing rugby) or the tennis courts (an interest that last for one summer term after I’d been knocked out by a cricket ball).
From the end of our drive, we look out over acres and acres of playing fields. If there tress weren’t there, my old school would be in sight. It’s strange to come full circle this way, to walk into the ghost of my teenage years. I’d never really expected it, but over the last few months my excitement at returning has risen. And now I’m so happy to be back.