In a few days, Adrian, the Popple and I embark on our big move. Chester to Glasgow. England to Scotland. Three hundred miles with an angry cat and angrier baby and a sh**load of stuff.
I will miss Chester, not only because it’s full of ye olde England charm, but because it’s the only home the Popple has ever known.
Chester is where I first met with my midwife Helen almost a year ago, excited and terrified by the idea of the little Popple growing inside me. She never made me feel like I was a neurotic, anxious mess of a pregnant lady (which I totally was). Helen reassured me that pregnancy was normal state of being, albeit one where you look like you’ve swallowed a bowling ball and repeatedly get kicked in the bladder from the inside.
Chester is where I pushed the Popple out of me after a 16-hour labour that a midwife assured was ‘quite quick’. The hospital staff were great, even when I decided partway through my labour that I couldn’t do it anymore and was going to stop now, thank you very much.
Chester is where I met with many lovely health visitors after the Popple’s birth, who popped by just to make sure I was getting on okay. They answered my questions about feeding, sympathised when I told them how much the Popple cried and gently suggested that I read a pamphlet about coping with anxiety.
“You’re doing great, mum,” they’d say, and I’d tear up because I’d almost believe them.
Chester is where I learned to appreciate the joy of a random stroll (and just as well, since I’d be taking them several times a day with the Popple so she would JUST TAKE A NAP FFS). Luckily, Chester is almost stupidly beautiful, with parks and rivers and canals and all kinds of postcard-perfect places. I often fought to keep the sun off the Popple’s face as we walked, something I won’t have to worry about in Glasgow. Because it’s wet. And grey. Almost always.
Not that I’m sad about moving to Glasgow. Glesga was my home for eight years, and I love it despite its constant dampness. I’ve missed the accents, the tenements, the curry, the old ladies who call me ‘hen’, the aggressively friendly drunks.
So get ready, Glasgow. Your cuteness factor is about to go up by like 1,000.
(Because of the Popple. Not me. I’m pretty sure you could do without seeing my freckly mug again, but you NEED this face.)