The last time I wrote a blogpost on this site, I was living in Vancouver.
It was probably hot in our Kits apartment, and I would have had the sliding doors to the balcony wide open, letting the sea air and birdsong seep in. I would have looked up from typing every now and again to drink some tea; to search for the right word while looking out at the north shore mountains.
Today, I'm sitting in our new house in York, England - and a lot has occurred between the last blogpost and this one. We went to Hawaii for three weeks, before having our last couple of months in Vancouver and heading home. We visited Denmark, Sweden and Cornwall before going home to prepare for our next big trip: SE Asia. Anyone who knows us is quite aware that particular trip didn't go exactly to plan.
After having our rucksacks stolen on New Year's Eve (complete with passports, cameras, iPads...) and two weeks of negotiating with embassies in Kuala Lumpur, we made the decision to return to the UK. Things pretty much haven't stopped since then. I was lucky enough to stay with my sister in Edinburgh for a couple of months while we decided what to do, then got accepted onto a Creative Writing MA at York St John. We decided to move down to York early and get settled. And so here we are - in a little terraced house just outside the city walls. I'm sitting in front of the window in my new study, and I've got a cup of coffee to keep me going through the afternoon. I may have swapped mountains for quaint alleys and courtyards, but the sheer relief of having somewhere to unpack and call our own has been a real antitode, a soothing balm after a stressful, unsettled time.
We moved in while the Beast from the East battered Britain, and it's pretty much been nothing but rain and snow since. But today, the sun is shining, and York is resplendent. And the belated arrival of spring has got me thinking about new beginnings. This isn't the first time I've upped sticks and found myself forging my way in a new city. I've done it twice in the last few years, with Guildford then Vancouver. There's tricky parts, like homesickness and trying to make new friends. Then there's the wonderful parts,like discovering your favourite park or new class or hidden corner of town. I wouldn't particularly like to go through it all again, so I'm hoping that Yorkshire and I get along just fine. With an exciting course starting in September and Edinburgh just two hours away on the train, I'm hoping it has all the right ingredients to make us happy here.
There have been other changes, too. For the third time in two years, I'm completely revising my YA fantasy manuscript. After attending a publishing workshop a few weeks ago, I figured out how I could make my concept stronger and better - so although it means a lot more groundwork, and a lot more slogging just when I thought I was finished, hopefully I'll reap the rewards in the end.
Because starting again may be hard - but if you do it for the right reasons, it's always worth it.