Last week we officially moved out of our house. The move to Italy is starting to feel very real, though the move date is still a soft one as we await final paperwork. (I apologize for not officially announcing it here and only on instagram! Things have been crazy and I found the words difficult.)
But we said goodbye to our house and put all our things on a truck. It’s possible they make it to Italy before we do! But in the end, that would be amazing as it took three months for our things to get to England and I’d prefer to not live in an empty apartment that long again.
Even though I always knew this home was a temporary one, I found it really hard to leave this house. Living here was such a dream. One I didn’t really want to wake from.
In this house, I learned to live the country life. I learned to coexist with certain bugs and capture and release others. I learned to tell the calls of different birds and watch for them in the morning. I learned squirrels are relentless and will eat all the peanuts you can possibly give them. I learned hares are super fast and really do box in fields. I learned deer in England are tiny and even the biggest ones I’ve seen aren’t much bigger than a German Shepherd.
In this kitchen, I learned to exist without a garbage disposal (this was difficult let me tell you). I learned to live with the tiniest fridge I’ve ever had since my college dorm room. I learned to buy more fresh veg and less processed frozen things. I learned to substitute ingredients for American products I couldn’t find in the store. I made my own corn tortillas when there were none on base. I made hot cross buns for locked down Easter while tears streamed down my face. But in other times, in this kitchen, we danced.
In this house I spent more time that I thought possible. In this house I survived a pandemic. I learned quilting and made the most amazing lockdown quilt. I took online classes to pass the time and restarted virtual therapy to get my head on straight. I started an embroidery journal to remember the toughest year of our lives thus far. I went months only leaving this house to get groceries.
But there were far happier times too and in this house we laughed. We hosted parties of all sizes and shapes. We played games and ate delicious food and drank gin or wine or whisky. And again, we laughed. A house filled with laughter is such a wonderful place.
My friend said to me, you added happy memories to the bones of this house. And it made me cry, both happy and sad. Because it’s true. While I was always quite aware our house was three hundred years old. One seems to not often think about the people who came before you in the house. My house has seen so many lives. So many tears, so much laughter. Our house has seen the advent of electricity, several wars, the invention of cars, more than one pandemic, and the destruction of all similar houses in the area. What a legend our house is. The oldest standing in the fens. Oh how I hope I made it happy. And what an honor I had to add to it’s history. To leave a piece of my heart on that farm, in the middle of the English Countryside.
Thank you, Holmewood House, for four years of shelter in the most amazing dream-like way possible.
This isn’t goodbye though. Keep following Fernewh Findings for all our adventures as we learn to adjust to life in Italy!