A new land, a strange land: our home.

River Witham (near Boston)This was a reflection on our first year in Boston, Lincolnshire. For some reason, I failed to publish it, back when I wrote it, so its almost a year out of date already!

When we first arrived in Boston, we found ourselves in a wonderfully fresh situation: a new start, a new home, a new career direction, new friends; a new horizon.

Obviously, it was also a little terrifying. Just substituting “new” for “strange” makes that clear: strange home, strange career direction, strange friends; everything that made a feel secure, all the familiarity, gone!

  • We lost our home, that we had lived in for 5 years, to have it replaced with a tatty, abused detached house surrounded with a tangled green jungle.
  • After 8 years doing Medicine in South Yorkshire, I suddenly found myself in a very different patient population, with different services, on a General Practice training course.
  • Whilst many of our friends here are strange (Tammy especially), at first they were strange by the nature of being strangers.

Of course, the strangeness fades fairly quickly. Returning to Sheffield now feels very odd, whereas Boston feels more like home than Yorkshire ever did. Our new life has made us realise that we were unhappy, and a little lonely in Sheffield: we had many friends that we connected with intellectually, but the city never really clicked with us emotionally.

I really believe I can sense God’s hand in the move: I would never have expected us to “up sticks” and disappear off to Lincolnshire. Yet we did, with only 48 hours to make the decision, and it was definitely the right call.

One month in Boston

Last month, we took a big step as a family. We moved from our familiar, friendly home in Yorkshire over to the barren flatlands of Eastern Lincolnshire. In doing so, we said goodbye to 8 years of friends, and hello to convenient beaches, widespread obesity, and owning another house that needs every single room done up before we will be able to relax!

I’ll take you through some of our key moments with some photos:

This is our new home: Orchard Cottage, on Woodthorpe Avenue. It’s on the slightly nicer side of town, but needs quite a lot of work! The garden hasn’t been touched for about 2 years, so we are having rather a lot of pruning done at the end of the month, and some building work after that…

Joen has settled into things well, and both he and the dogs are loving the big new garden. As you can see, there are cat flaps everywhere, coupled with awful red carpet in the kitchen, and mammoth spiders in every room. Katherine hates all 3 of these things, especially the eight legged monsters.

One of the key aspects of our corner of Lincolnshire is that it is as flat as a pancake (In fact, if you read this study, its likely that its considerably flatter, since it would appear that pancakes are not terribly flat). The downside: its a bit boring. The plus side: we can cycle everywhere. Joen has decided to live on the edge though, since he has now worked out how to remove a cycle helmet, rendering it useless.

Alongside the uninteresting terrain, there is considerably more sky visible, so sunsets and dawns are rather beautiful to behold. Sadly, the road I take to work each morning is almost due East for large sections, meaning I can barely see beyond the brain melting glow of the sun. The unending flatness means that a 44 mile round trip is just about doable on bike, although I’m not achieving it every day.

I have begun my GP training, which involves hundreds of hours spent reflecting, signing sick notes and prescribing amoxicillin. Here you can see my office, with a photo of the family, and a coffee mug, recently filled on my most extravagant new purchase, a DeLonghi EC 152 Coffee Machine.

As mentioned above, we have several fantastic beaches, 20 miles or so down the road; and we have made the most of them already. Here you can see Joen swimming, playing and eating the sand on the beach at Chapel St Leonards.

Finally, the most important photo is that of our new child, around 50% ready now. Probably a she (the ultrasonagrapher wasn’t completely sure), we look forward to her arrival in January!

Thanks to everyone for your prayers, support and hot meals over the last month, especially Eagle, Sadie, Daniel, Tammie, Hannah, Helen, Micky & Rachel, and thanks for the unpaid manual labour of Nick & Jon!