Our completion date was always so far ahead that moving hasn’t seemed real until quite recently, and now I’m really feeling the jitters – in a good way! After 10 years it feels very strange to be leaving Chiswick, this gorgeous little patch of west London where everything is so familiar. To be fair, as an area Teddington is very similar – leafy, safe, lots of families and with a cute little high street boasting a quirky variety of shops and boutiques. Still, and at least to begin with, all the faces will be new and after so many years in Chiswick I know not just so many faces but all the area’s nooks and crannies too.
Excitement over our next step does outweigh any trace of anxiety at the unknown however. We will find a new Tarantella, and if Teddington comes up short in its offering of authentic Italian cuisine I guess we’ll still have date nights in Chiswick. Actually, Tarantella is hard to beat, if possible in the first place. Tucked away on Elliott Street, family run and where Italians go to dine (what better sign I ask!), they serve up dishes that are as divine as they are simple and fuss free. Nothing poncy about it. Just really great, hearty food.
It’s not just Tarantella we’ll come back for – the future will have countless more date nights at Bell & Crown, the beautiful pub on the river where we first met and where B proposed. I guess it’s “our place”. As it is, and especially during the warmer months, we head there on our way home from long walks around the bridges on Sunday afternoons and we almost always sit in the same spot on the wall outside.
I’m sure Teddington has equally lovely pubs and restaurants and I’m looking forward to exploring the area for new favourite spots, regular haunts and drinking holes. And having Bushy Park just around the corner – literally around the corner less than 200 yards away – we may just end up with running routes every bit as glorious as around Kew and Chiswick bridges. It will be amazing, I’m sure of it.
And the best thing of all, of course: our new apartment! I think we both fell in love with it at first sight, not least because it’s almost identical to the one we’re currently renting except refurbished to a high standard. The sofabed for Monkey’s room is ready to be delivered ahead of schedule, which has added to my excitement today. No more having B’s boys or Monkey on the sofa or air mattresses! Other bits we’ll need pretty much immediately are a TV unit (we’ve seen a couple of lovely ones in Oliver Bonas) and a chunky dining table. Bookshelves too.
I can’t wait to finally hang the huge painting of hitchhiking Madonna I got B for his 50th birthday in our bedroom. And I can’t wait to get in there and together select the perfect spots for all our other paintings and pictures including the one with Bell & Crown’s coordinates, the one with our five pairs of wellies, the golden heart, B’s New Zealand beach and our word cloud.
Most of all, I can’t wait to take this next step with B and Monkey in a place that is finally all ours.