I have so many memories associated with the city of Leeds. From McDonald’s Milkshakes and chatting to homeless people with my dad as a 5 year old, to visits of my cousins at probably the same age! Then there are all of the shopping trips with friends, The dates, Theatre visits, meals and Karaoke nights and general hang outs in my 20’s, to more recently the countless adventures with my little family. Leeds has been my home for the last 9 years but with our impending move, we are coming to the end of an Era.
I have loved Leeds for about 12 years, and when I had an opportunity to move here in the summer of 2008 with my best friend (and now Sister in law) I grabbed it with both hands and never looked back. It is a city I know well. A city I feel at home in and a place that has evolved and changed a lot even in the few short years we have been here. I suppose that in itself is very representational of how I too have done the same from being here in its midst.
Leeds is where we dated, where we became parents and where we built a home together. It’s a place I will remember with fondness for all of the adventures in my 20’s to the adventures with my children from being small to now. But our time now is coming to end and it feels strange…a little emotional, but most definitely right for us. I will miss so many things about living here, and of course so many people too, but what we are moving onto is something we hope will be great for us all, and better for our future and general lifestyle.
And so yesterday, with our move hopefully just a couple of weeks away, we spent one last day together down the familiar bustling streets of Leeds. We visited the shopping scene, ate at Subway, and wandered around the market… just one last time as residents of this awesome city. We spoke of memories here, and acknowledged that this quite possibly is the last time in a long time we will be here together as a family. We remembered how we would visit Lush, The Lego Shop and Apple store as an ordinary day out on the train before the kids started school. We remembered the weekly museum visits when they were little and how the city changes with each season. We remembered friends past and present and the great times we have shared with them. And we lapped up our ordinary moment of city living one last time.
Over the next few weeks we will be packing, moving and starting a new chapter. Life in Leeds will be a thing of the past and any future visits will be as guests! It has been a chapter and series of chapters that have been jam packed with beautiful memories and incredibly hard times too. A chapter of great lessons, falling in love, changing and personal growth. Chapters of friendships and lost friendships…laughter, tears, heartache, more love, babies and copious amounts of fun.
Leeds is where I became a mother 4 times over, where my children learnt to walk and talk. It is where I made great friends and grew in numerous ways. It is where we faced huge struggles but also felt abundantly blessed and happy. It has been home to our ordinary moments for so long, but it is now the end of an era. And whilst we are excited to move house, I am pretty sad too to be saying goodbye to this City I love so much!
I will miss the spontaneous fun of jumping on a train and being in its heart in 10 minutes. I will miss lunches at Costco and browsing round the markets with friends…the museums on our doorstep, and Ikea and the Cinema 5 minutes from our home. I will miss city life, but I am excited for country life. This has been a great adventure of wonderful highs and incredible lows, and the time is here that we must move on and forward in life away from its familiarity, and it has never felt so right. Its the end of an era and goodbye to our ordinary…but it is also hello to new adventures, friends and memories yet to make.