Relocating a couple of hundred miles isn’t always easy.
That is what I have found out in the last year.
I have never regretted moving from Berkshire to Yorkshire, but at times I have hankered after my old world terribly, missing my friends mainly, men and women that I have known ten years or more.
Of course, they are still friends, but it isn’t that easy to turn up with a bottle of wine on a Friday when the M1 and M40 lay in your way.
The kids skipped into school last year and made friends easily, they were lucky, the school is full of lovely kids. I was welcomed by mums and dads, in fact, my son wouldn’t be able to make half of his sporting fixtures if it wasn’t for other folk picking him up and dropping him off.
But building proper foundations of friendship takes real-time, and sometimes that has been hard, weekends have come and gone where I have twiddled my thumbs a bit – but slowly and surely over the last couple of months, it suddenly feels like I have a fantastic local network around me once more.
The roots for lifelong buddies have been firmly planted.
Last night I hosted an end of term BBQ, since divorce I rarely host anything, but last night, my garden was filled with the sounds of some thirty adults and kids, quaffing down Prosecco and eating some awesome BBQ grub.
The night progressed, and dancing, proper Dad dancing began. I have not smiled so much in forever.
I felt like I had really, really good mates again (possibly at the expense of having good relations with my neighbours….)
One friend cooked for me, I’d like to think it is because he is amazing, rather than dubious about my grilling skills. Another cleaned around me as I panic chopped salad for everyone to ignore as they focused on the meat. Two kind gentleman appointed themselves comperes and led the dancing with gusto. All the women kindly helped my empty the bottles in the fridge.
Kids ran in and out of the house, playing, laughing (no – one fighting!) It was seamless, the alcohol flowed and the food was good.
A little bit about the food!
The meat was gifted to us from Donald Russell, a butchers with a real eye for flavour and a passion for quality. The smell from the BBQ as spicy lamb chops, BBQ Pork shoulder steaks, Chipolata Skewers and Cumberland Sausage Spirals hit the grill was intense, and the taste did not disappoint.
The pork shoulder was tantalising tender, and the lamb chops were melt in your mouth. Clearly I didn’t cook them, but my friend BBq’ed them to perfection.
Donald Russell is Britain’s leading mail order meat supplier. Based in Aberdeenshire, Scotland, they are a pioneering mail order and online butcher who use only time honoured methods to guarantee the best you’ll ever taste.
On their website you will find a broad range of meats, all naturally reared, and selections of seafood, game and veal.
If you want the best meat on the market – I can highly recommend.
Back to the BBQ
Conversation ranged from inappropriate to downright silly, the decking size seemed to be a random point of conversation for much of the night. The dog fell foul of an excitable bottle of Prosecco and now smells like a wine factory, there was a drinking injury in the form of two thumbs trapped in doors – but it isn’t a great party unless you are wiping blood off the door frame in the morning……
The music ranged from The Script to Michael Jackson – all met with cheers and curious rapture – again – it has been noted that none of my neighbours have said hello to me today!
It has taken just over a year, and last night was probably the conclusion to a journey I didn’t really know I was on. I have a lovely, unique, slighty mad bunch of friends. People are no longer the parent of x, but instead my friend who has a child in the same class.
I still miss the south, I still miss my friends, but Yorkshire finally does feel like home once more.