I’m at home in Birmingham these few days to oversee moving my Mum out of her 3 bedroomed semi to her new apartment in a somewhat luxurious retirement complex. On Thursday, Austen, Tony and I supervised the final clearance of all sorts of stuff from the house – the fridge/freezer, a 3-seater sofa and a dresser all went to the British Heart Foundation. They’re all in very good nick and it feels good knowing someone is going to get more use out of them.
Early doors on Friday morning the removal men arrived. Keith wrapped and packed like a dream. He told me he’d been doing the job a good 15 years, so everything was light work to him. When the van left, I took a quick scoot around all the rooms in the house one last time. I snapped the view from the front bedroom where I spent my early years. Much of the time I’d watch the world go by from the window, daydreaming of what I might do with my life, listening to my favourites bands: Pet Shop Boys and Go West, or trying to do my homework and being distracted by the radio. Then when I went back downstairs and looked back at the living room, all empty and full of echoes, the room seemed as vast as the day we arrived back in the late 70s, when I first rolled around on the new carpet in excitement. Weird.
I thought I’d cry as we drove away but when I saw Mum appear quite nonchalant to be leaving the house behind, I didn’t feel as mortified as I imagined I’d be. It’s crazy that in a matter of weeks we’ve gone from waiting and longing for the exchange to be agreed, to a mad dash to co-ordinate everything and get out. No wonder moving home is classed as one of the most stressful times of a person’s life! It almost feels as if there’s no time to take stock before you have to leave.
We arrived at the complex for 2pm, in time for a little Welcome Reception by the exceptional staff – they are all incredibly friendly, nothing is too much trouble. When the dust settled and the removal men had gone, she beckoned me into her bedroom, wrapped her arms around me and gave me the biggest, strongest hug I think I’ve ever had from her in my entire life! So Mum’s installed, she’s extremely happy – in her element in fact – and is about to embark on a new journey, making new friends and mingling with all the other residents and staff.
My Mum is my idol, my role model, my inspiration. Without my Mum I wouldn’t be the woman I am now. I wouldn’t have come as far as I have without her words of wisdom, her nurturing, her love and care, without the sacrifices she’s made for me and for my brothers. She worked and strived from the minute she came to Birmingham from Jamaica in the late 50s. She worked as a nurse in West Bromwich and Sutton Coldfield and then as a Home Carer to elderly people in South Birmingham. All of her work was to ensure we had the best education to move on in life. She encouraged Tony, Fitz and I to follow our dreams, to follow our hearts. She deserves everything she has.
Not content with one move in one week, next week it’s my turn. I’m moving from the small place I’ve been renting in London near the QVC studios to a larger, more practical studio. Somewhere I think I’ll be able to make more homely. I have to admit that where I’ve been these last 6 months hasn’t been the most enjoyable, and it’s made it being away from Austen and my home in Birmingham all the more difficult, because it was so very tiny, uncomfortable and not much fun to be in. I’ll fill you in on that later next week. Plus keep an eye out for a competition on my blog very soon!
Where you can find me this week and next…
Wednesday 26th February
8pm – Trinny & Susannah
11pm – Northern Nights bedding
Sat 1st March
6pm – EMU Australia Outlet
8pm – Practical Ideas
Fri 7th March
9am – The Morning Show (with Craig Rowe)
11am – Kim & Co
Sat 8th March
4pm – Kim & Co
5pm – Vitamix: More Than a Blender
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Bye for now x