4 years ago we were living in West Oxfordshire, part of the UK largest air base community but soon to become part of the everyday civilian community. After serving 24 years with the RAF, having joined at just 16 1/2 fresh out of school, husband was finally saying goodbye to life in uniform. And as a family we were about to move to the location of OUR choice, to the house of OUR choice, and in a manner to which WE dictated.
A monumental time in our lives, and incredibly exciting for me. Not so much exciting as frightening for the husband and kids, none of whom had experienced civvy life much.
So 2013 started off with worry and anxiety in our hearts, as interview after interview came and went without a firm offer. But in February it all changed, with a job starting a few weeks later in Worcester and us proving to everyone that is absolutely possible to buy a house in one weekend, having prepped for it in exactly the same way you would if buying a big ass TV or any other purchase. Lots of online comparisons, Google Street view and 10 houses to see in one weekend. We bought the first house we viewed 😆 well if it’s perfect then why waste time looking at anything else!
So easter 2013 saw us leave the military and Oxfordshire behind, and our new life begin in Worcestershire. Kidderminster to be exact, just a stones throw from the canal and a few minutes walk into perfect unspoilt countryside. Or the middle of a lovely town with everything we could need if you walk in the other direction!
Now over the past 20 years, as a family we have lived in many places. Between 1993 and 2013 we did 6 postings both within the UK and overseas, and lived in 8 different homes. We are experts at packing up a home with a few days notice, and our children’s social skills are exemplary. Anyone who says moving about is bad for children is talking rubbish. They know how to fit into any community or social setting at a moments notice, they also are very highly tuned to noticing those who are not at ease in a social setting and automatically steer themselves towards those people and make them feel welcome and more at ease. They don’t even realise this is what they do, it’s as much a part of them as breathing. This is thanks to their slightly unconventional upbringing, similar to my own, and one I would never change.
Moving out of a military environment however, now that was a challenge! I’ve been there, I’ve done that. I was a civvy before I met and married my husband/the RAF. They come as a package you can’t marry one without the other 😁 Last time he was a civvy was when he was a teenager. The kids had never been civvies, they were born into the RAF family. I had to basically teach them what it’s like. It’s been, frankly, weird as heck! But they’ve all embraced it, the kids found it easier but I have been impressed with how quickly and happily the man of the house has adapted. Retraining the way you think and act after 24 years is no mean feat.
The biggest change though has been finally having a place we call home. Some would say home is where you were born, some say it’s where you lived the longest. We’ve always said home is where we, as a family, live together but moving here has taught us that, ultimately, home is where you feel at peace. The place you feel excited at seeing again when you’ve been away, even for a day. Where you get butterflies seeing the signpost saying the name of where you’ve chosen to plant roots.
Not the most beautiful town in the UK. Not the most affluent, although that should not be measured by money alone. But it has an intriguing history to it, it’s quirky. It’s a town made up of many tiny but fiercely proud communities linked together by an odd road system that, strangely, does work. And the people here are just so friendly.
We’ve been to a lot of places, met a lot of different people and lived in many different communities. Not one single place has been as welcoming and as friendly nosey as the people in Kiddy. Interested in who we are, where we lived before, WTF were we thinking in coming to such a dump as Kiddy? 😮 😁 Nosey in a friendly way, not sticky beak nosey. Fascinated by us. Welcoming, oh so very welcoming. Warm as can be, and bloody funny with their accent and colloquialisms. Bab. Buz to town. Mary Hill which is actually Merry Hill. Cobs 🙂 Omg best thing ever in a pub 😍
This little quirky town, with all its faults, stole our hearts within hours of moving here. Home used to be where our families were from, or where we currently lived. Home now is the place that took us and said have a pint and a cob, bab. Welcome 🏡