I'm back home again. And guess what, it felt so good to leave Wiltshire, drive across Hampshire, and then approach my home area, mid-Sussex. How pretty and sunny my part of Sussex was! How dramatic the South Downs! How dear and comforting and welcoming my home seemed, as I unlocked the front door and we were reunited again.
What was I doing, playing around with thoughts of leaving it? Taking my home to pieces, discarding lots of stuff that couldn't possibly be put into store, destroying what my parents had created and what I had barely changed? And then, later, reassembling the 'best' bits and pieces in rooms that weren't designed for them, where they would look strange and forlorn and reproachful.
My enthusiasm for selling up and moving has been overwhelmed for the time being by sentiment for what is familiar and fits together so well. It isn't entirely unexpected, but I am quite surprised how strong the homecoming reaction is. I really feel quite upset at the thought of abandoning this house. And this is irrational, because there is nothing compelling me to go. I have simply been looking into an idea with more thoroughness than hitherto. I don't have to act on my conclusions. I can choose to do what I like - pursue a plan with my usual efficiency; or be inert and do nothing.
On my return home, once I had hugged Ted and made a cup of tea, I suddenly felt threatened by a vast impending menace, a doom that would destroy my safe and cherished Sussex world and render me homeless. No wonder I almost cried. No wonder I wanted to see my friends immediately, and forget everything about uprooting myself. My new next door neighbour, Toby, came over as I was unloading the caravan, and that was pleasant and immensely reassuring. Then jolly Andrew, my mower man, arrived and that was pleasant and reassuring too. Really, I am much more integrated into my present locality than I thought. Why was I thinking of leaving this Garden of Eden for a wet and stormy location far away to the west? All because a few people in Appledore had been particularly nice to me.
This can't-leave-Sussex mood will pass. In fact I had a look on Rightmove just now, searching for two- or three-bedroomed bungalows near Bideford, costing no more than £270,000. There was a three-bedroom bungalow in Northam for £265,000. It looked gorgeous. There was also a newer two-bedroomed bungalow in the desirable hilltop part of Westward Ho!, for only £250,000. Both had a large, level front drive that I could easily pop the caravan on. So there really were possibilities.
Well, for the next few days I'm going to get back into my normal routine, and put moving to North Devon right out of my mind. I won't be able to stop talking about Devon in other respects, though, because I'll be publishing a few posts on what I saw, and did, and who I met, illustrated with photos.
And now I'm hungry and must cook!