Alice-Azania Jarvis: Goodbye to a sunny corner of London... so what next?
In The Red
Alice Jolly is an author, playwrite and teaches creative writing at Oxford University. She is crowd-funding her own memoir of infertility and surrogacy with the publisher Unbound. 50 per cent of the proceeds of the book will be donated to SANDS (The Stillbirth and Neonatal Death Foundation).
Saturday 26 November 2011
It's funny, isn't it, the way things stay the same, or seem to, for months and months at a time and then, suddenly, all change at once. There is a lot in my life that is in flux at the moment. As the end of 2011 approaches, the festive blur begins to take hold in earnest, I find myself wondering what the next year will look like. From where I'm standing, the landscape's not at all familiar.
For one thing, I've accepted an offer on my flat. After three odd years of happy coexistence, we are set to part ways. Fingers crossed it all goes smoothly. I'll be sad of course; it has been an emotional time. It is the first place I've ever lived as an adult, as opposed to some kind of quasi-student yoof. It was in that flat's corridors that I came to care deeply about smudges on walls and dust under the radiator. It was in that bedroom that I finally twigged: it's not a good idea to walk barefoot on the carpet while fake tanning. I began to take note of plumbing, of recycling, of DIY. I'm still not entirely sure how to change a spotlight bulb, but I'm getting there.
And it's seen me through a lot. Several different jobs at this paper: news assistant, deputy diary editor, diary editor, feature writer. Rather like this column, it has been a feature in each of those roles, sometimes helpful, other times not. I've had flatmates, and I've lived alone. I've hosted a lot – a lot – of Sunday lunches and brunches, though not a single dinner party. I regret that last point tremendously since I love entertaining (though my goodness it is expensive). The problem is, I never got around to buying a dining room table and chairs.
Still, I did hold a great Christmas party last year. One of the best I've been to, if I do say so myself – up until the point I can remember which, admittedly, is only about half way in. But my point is this: there are a lot of memories buried in that sunny corner of Bethnal Green. Memories that are likely to fade when I'm no longer surrounded by their backdrop.
It's not just my flat that's changing. New years always bring new things and 2012 looks set to be particularly dynamic for me. I'm sure I'll have more to impart in coming weeks. Change is good, I believe – it keeps life interesting, and keeps you challenged. It comes with a downside, of course: the goodbyes, the farewells, the leaving behind of good things. But it can also be exciting, and that's important too.
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