1. Gillygate. The best street for shopping in the whole wide world. Seriously. There are two gorgeous independent toy shops, where I’m on first-name terms with the owners; a fabulous craft shop; my friend’s delicious little eatery Ambience, which makes the best Eggs Royale; and Shine, solution to all my present-buying problems ever.
2. Pack-ups. Know what they are? If you’re not from/don’t live in Yorkshire, then probably not. Essentially – a packed lunch. By a better name.
3. Snow. Every winter. Guaranteed. 🙂
4. Tourists. Silly thing to miss really, given where we’re moving to, but York seems to be just dominated by them, whereas Cambridge seems to match its tourist population head-for-head with students and science/IT
geeks personnel. I’ll miss being asked directions by tourists. Even if it does happen, I’m going to miss not having the answer straight away.
5. Being asked at the chippie if I want ‘bits’. Not that I’ve ever dared say yes. (Mental note: add ‘bits’ to bucket list.)
6. Fairer World. On Gillygate, but deserves a separate mention because who else has an independent Fair Trade retailer a 10-minute walk away from their house? What a luxury. I think I’ll have to make special trips back just for this shop.
7. Simon Baynes van. When we first moved here, I thought my Dad had surreptitiously started a fruit and veg business two hundred miles away from his home, in order to spy on me (perhaps). Baynes is not a common surname, at least not spelt like that. What are the chances? Spooky.
8. The accent. There is none better. Except Brummie. (Joke.) I was so hoping my kids would grow up with a Yorkshire accent. Now they’ll join me in the boring realm of Estuary English.
9. My church. Characterised by ridiculous amounts of cake, David Watson references (he was vicar in the 1970s) and social media presence. Also (proudly) one of the top Christian podcasts in the world! (If you like short, snappy,thought-provoking, Welsh things – give it a listen.) But mainly my church is a fantastic group of humble, encouraging, generous and godly people who I will miss hugely.
10. My friends. My list is in no particular order, apart from this entry, no.10 in a 1-10 scale, where 10 is the thing I’ll miss the most. Where do I start? Becoming a parent is such a weird, one-off life-event that you need people around you who don’t mind the vast amounts of milk stains on your clothes, and understand why you can never finish a sentence. The friends I’ve made during this life-stage are incredibly special to me. Everyone says I’ll make new friends, and yeah yeah, I know I will – I’m not totally socially-defunct – but friends are individuals with common interests, not items on a list which you can replace like-for-like. I will discover a new favourite shopping street, some new quirks to replace the Yorkshire ones I’ll miss, and I know my new church will become my spiritual home over time – but new friends do not replace old ones. So, to my York friends – you know who you are – whilst I cannot put into words just how you’ve crafted me over the past four years, I can at least say thank you for being so much fun to do life with. Thank you. 🙂