We’ve moved. House that is. Actually, this occurred nearly a year back but I’ve just got around to writing about it because it only really sank in a couple of weeks ago. Although I’m from Ryton my home has been in the Folly, Greenside, for the past thirty years, in an unpretentious two up two down in a quiet friendly street overlooking the Tyne Valley and Ryton. In my youth, I couldn’t afford a home in Ryton, and so I opted for Folly life and settled there for good. When Heather pointed out that we, quite comfortably, had the means to return to my home village, my initial response was less than enthusiastic, despite the title of this website.
“Well we could,” I replied uncertainly, as if she’d suggested living arrangements in some unstable Islamic nation.
I could see the sense in it though. Most of my voluntary work is in Ryton, plus I’m knocking on a bit. Eventually the day will come when I’m no longer able to drive, so being in central Ryton means I’m on a regular bus route to Newcastle, and the various pies into which I have several fingers engaged, are all but a short stroll away.
I had numerous wobbles. I didn’t want to leave the neighbours for a start. Our neighbour Heather at No. 2. Allison next door, Emma on the other side, Zoe out the back, the Hendersons up the street. I loved the wet cobbles, the grey January days, the September fog settling into the valley, viewed in awe from my sunny 6×6’ front garden. Anyone would think we were departing to Beirut, rather than a mile down the B6315. (grey Januarys and fog occur in our new place by the way).
We’ve been here since February, and thankfully our ex-neighbours remain current friends, and we have acquired new neighbours and more new friends. Sue and Henry, James and Danielle, Sandra and Roland — lots of lovely people. There’s no question of us trying to keep up with the Jones’s mind you, not at all. Instead, we’ve set about dragging them down to our level. Fortunately, most of our new neighbours live out of sight of our back garden, and so they were blissfully oblivious to the blue plastic “pool” we splashed about in during the two hot days we had last year (£17 from Morrison’s). It was all very raucous, charva and jolly, until I accidentally dropped Heather’s IPhone into its deep blue depths. End of splashy fun. Our bargain purchase was immediately loaded (amid a lot of growling) into the back of the Micra and transported to the tip. The only evidence of its existence is a discarded foot pump by the greenhouse which I keep forgetting to put into the wheelie bin.
I hated the selling process of our Folly home (it was never a house) but Steven is now very happily ensconced. When selling or buying a house it is always best to leave all communication to solicitors, but once everything was safely through I knocked on his (funny to say that) door, with a card. He is a lovely young man and will be an asset to my beloved street.
The only reason why Heather ever countenanced going out with me in the first place, let alone marrying me, was because two or three dates in, she discovered I was in possession of Sky Sports. She sank to one knee, left eye on the telly, declared her undying love, and returned to Newcastle v Fulham. Her enthusiasm for our new home was unboundless, until she realised that a plethora of nearby trees made a Sky dish out of the question. Well it was in the question actually, but it would have to go onto a 40’ pole costing three hundred quid, and the neighbours —- we can’t seriously expect them to put up with a 40’ pole, and a blue plastic pool.
“I’m not moving in,” she declared last January, despite earlier pleadings and longings.
“No Sky Sports.”
In the end BT came out, and we have it all sorted, kind of. I’m wondering why, after being a Sky customer for several years, they now suddenly see fit to write to me most weeks offering me 50% discounts?
Anyway, we are here and we are happy. Happy 2018 to everyone. No clue why flags are flying in the Folly.