Saturday, October 20, 2012

Goodbye to the Backyard

As some of you will know, I have sold my house in London and I am moving to Gloucestershire. I've been a bit superstitious about telling everyone until I exchanged contracts (I don't know why - as Lucy Corrander remarked to me: "If only we people had the power...")
But to quote an old proverb, "there's mony a slip twixt cup and lip", and I didn't want to tell everyone about this great upheaval if, a few weeks later, I had to tell them it wasn't actually taking place.
Everyone asks me the same questions when I tell them I'm moving, so to save your poor little fingers typing them out, here is my attempt at a helpful FAQ:

Does that mean I'm giving up my job?
Yes! I've resigned from my current job which is editor of the Saturday edition of the i newspaper. I will still carry on writing about gardening, mainly for The Independent and the i, but I'll be able to work from home rather than have to go into the office.

Will I miss London?

Yes, of course! I think London is the greatest city in the world. (Well, I'm biased.) But it is a tiring city in which to work, and sometimes it feels almost as if people go out of their way to make one's life far more stressful than it needs to be. Just the simple act of getting up and going to work, or coming home from the office, can sometimes seem like an obstacle race.

Will I miss my friends?
Yes, of course! But I hope they'll come and stay with me in Gloucestershire. It's less than two hours' drive from London, and the train to Chippenham or Kemble takes less than an hour and a half. And you have to remember that, because of the hours I work, I hardly ever see my friends in London. There are many friends - not to mention family - I will see more of when I move.
I'll miss my colleagues too - I've worked at The Independent for nearly 13 years. There are many things about office life I love - the banter, the silly running jokes, the excitement of a breaking story. However, I've tried to imagine myself missing work as I sit by my fireside looking out over the meadows on my Gloucestershire hilltop, and somehow I can't see it. I certainly won't miss the canteen...

Will I miss the Backyard?
I don't think so. In a way I feel as if I've got to the end of the road with my current garden.
I'm very excited about having a new garden, which will be totally different. In London, you can create your own landscape, but in Gloucestershire, the surrounding countryside demands a much more appropriate garden. I already have plans, and I'm looking forward to telling you how it all goes.
I will keep the Victoria's Backyard blog, however, and I think I will use that for discussing gardening issues and news and so on. 
I also now have a new blog, Tales from Awkward Hill, which will specifically be about life in Gloucestershire.
I've written a piece for next Saturday's Independent Magazine about leaving my garden, and I have to say they've done a fabulous job on it, so do get a copy if you can.

Will I be taking lots of plants with me?
I don't think so. Many of them wouldn't survive outside the London microclimate. Bibury is about 2ºC colder than London most of the time, and the garden is not nearly as sheltered. Having said that, I will still need an extra removal truck just for the garden...


24 comments:

petoskystone said...

I'm just as leery as you regarding telling what's happening until I'm 10 steps beyond certain that it's going to happen! Such excitement...new space, new place. What do your children think about all of this? Will the young men be allowed outside once you've moved?

Northern Shade said...

Congratulations on your move and new life adventure. I look forward to reading about your new garden.

Barbee' said...

I believe cities are for the young, and I'm no longer young. Best wishes to you and your new adventures. Glad you are not taking this blog down. Thank you.

Helle (Helen) said...

Whaat? Was my first reaction, but after having read the whole post, I can see your point. All the best with the move and getting settled in a new house and garden. It must be exciting being able to start a new garden. I'll be looking forward to reading about it - and the two cats' take on moving to the countryside :-)

Carol said...

Oh Victoria, how exciting for you. I wish you all the best in your move and in your new adventures. I love that name... Awkward Hill.

patientgardener said...

I knew you were thinking about it but that was quick

thinking of the days said...

Well,what an awfully big adventure you're going to have at Awkward Hill!

Wishing you the best of luck with your new house, new garden,and new life. Fresh challenges and new opportunities....it sounds so exciting....but sad to say goodbye to the old way of life too.
Will definitely be reading the new blog!

Mark and Gaz said...

Yay for a great change :) Good luck with the move and looking forward to seeing the progress of your new garden. Never had the chance to see the 'backyard' in real life but hopefully will see your new one instead.

Lancashire rose said...

I think this is exciting news. Give me the chance to live in Gloucestershire and I probably would take it! A new garden is a wonderful adventure and we will all be waiting to see what you start with-I hope you will share this with us. Best wishes on your new adventure.

Karen - Artists Garden said...

How wonderful Victoria - a "new" garden is so exciting, great that you can work from home too.
K
xxx

Sui said...

Congrats on exchanging and good luck for the move. Bibury is so pretty and you'll be just down the road from Barnsley House - what a beautiful corner of England you are moving to! Looking forward to reading your gardening adventures from your hilltop.

Adventurous Gardens - Ben Candlin said...

Best of luck for the move! I guess you must have a few mixed emotions about leaving your backyard, but a new garden must surely be an enticing and exciting challenge!

Anna said...

All best wishes Victoria as you move to a new home and garden - busy and exciting times ahead. Hope you have broken the news to the plants that will be moving with you. Glad to read that you will not be severing all links with the newspaper. Look forward to reading all about your adventures in your new blog.

Carolyn said...

I garden in two places: one that requires more attention to the surrounding countryside because it's an in tact environment and the other that allows me to do anything because there is no unifying theme left. I much prefer the former. Have fun in your new location.

Galatea said...

hi vicky just getting used to reading this on a regular basis - deeply impressed - Mummy

Esther Montgomery said...

On your new blog, you mentioned awkward cows - which is what I remembered - so I've been Googling awkward cows to find my way back to it - and getting no-where. So I'm going the long way round, via here. Now I've got the proper link and the right name, I'll set off again. Sort of indicative - I remember the joke but not the main point.

Pam/Digging said...

Good luck with your move, Victoria! It sounds like a good one for you, and I know you'll enjoy making a new garden. The creative process is half the fun, right? Enjoy the more-relaxed pace of your new community too.

Bangchik and Kakdah said...

Moving is both tiring and exciting.... Good Luck!

Anne said...

Every good wish for your move. I needed two vans for my move to Worcestershire, but it's good to have my vine grown from a bud cutting and the grapefruit trees grown from seed by the grandchildren now living in Australia. Your Craig-shaped hole is like my Chris-shaped hole and a new garden is a helpful way forward - despite the ground elder!

celine said...

well, this is a goodbye and farewell to Bibery message. So long !

Denise said...

Such exciting news, and looking forward to the Saturday piece and the new blog. I have to say that the last time I walked the streets of London my overriding impression was that London has the fastest pedestrians anywhere, bar none! Faster than NYC. Walking the streets was like jumping into a fast-moving school of (very serious) fish. So I can easily see how it feels intense to live there. Working from home and garden will be such a treat.

Christina said...

A new garden is so exciting, especially if you are open minded enough to change your gardening style to suit the new surrounding. From other posts I imagine you will enjoy all the new opportunities opening up to you. Christina

Caro Ness said...

I wish you a house that felt like home the instant that you set foot in it and a garden that will become your new playground...

Claire D said...

You are so right about London. I can't quite imagine being without it yet but it is truly exhausting! Looking forward to reading about your new garden in the country where I am hoping to move to when I can't cope with the big smoke anymore.