But yes, we are home again. Home in a slightly skewed, boxed up and stressful sense, but home it really is. I mentioned in my list of new year's resolutions that I hoped to buy a house this year, and, just like that, we did!
Of course, I didn't just wake up on January 1st and decide that I might buy a house in the next 12 months; we'd been exploring the idea for a while, and had even gone to a town that we thought we might like in order to scope out a few potential homes. It didn't turn out to be the location of our dreams, so we put it on hold for a while.
Then, on 27th December last year, Daniel came to visit me at my parents' over Christmas. We went out for a walk through local fields; everything was grey - the sky, the weather, our moods. We admitted to each other that moving away from York hadn't worked out; we were both so homesick and missing friends and the community that we had so loved in our old little house. So we decided to do it. We checked on the web, found a couple of houses, and arranged some viewings.
We fell in love with the second house that we saw. It was ramshackle, small and just as quirky as I had imagined my home would always be. We went home to have a think, and arranged another viewing plus a comaparitive viewing of a second house for the next weekend.
The following weekend, the first weekend in February, it was bitterly cold. We stood outside the comparison house waiting for the estate agent to arrive, chilled to the bone and rather gloomy. He arrived and let us in, and I knew pretty much right away that this was it - the first house that we loved paled in comparison. Now, two months later, I am sitting in my pyjamas on my couch in the living room that I viewed on that freezing and uncomfortable day. Only three months after we admitted our discomfort and frustration, we became homeowners of a house that matches my dreams exactly. There is something to be learned from that.
I'll never forget rushing to a restaurant in the snow to meet my parents for lunch, the urgency to get there and make that phone call. York was freezing cold and beautiful, and the snow fell faster to match the excitement and pace of the afternoon. By the time our lunch arrived we had made an offer, and we sat awkwardly - I couldn't taste my food - waiting for a confirmation. I have become accustomed to things going wrong and not working out, and I was so sure that this would be the same.
But here we are. Our furniture is quasi-arranged, our lives are starting to unfold again after a few days of boxed-up living. The radio is out and I have cooked a couple of decent meals in the new kitchen (despite having no working fridge (thank goodness for the cold spell!) and no functional oven). We have a sheet covering the bedroom window as a curtain, and we have to hurdle over a stack of boxes every time we leave the front door. But I get the beautiful riverside walks every day, the long city runs through bustling crowds, the people watching, the sounds and smells of the place that really is my home. We are bridging the life we left behind here with a new life of optimism and stability; I am excited to revisit selected aspects of the past, and build new bits of life to bolster it for the future.