Well, I’m still alive! We made it! Three days of DIY house moving (and boy was it exhausting, especially with this growing bump) and we’re settling in nicely. I’d thought that weekend was going to be really emotional from the viewpoint of leaving our home of over ten years and starting anew but actually I don’t miss the place at all. I have space here. And light. Lots of light!
The first few days have been like a reawakening for all of us here, on our first morning in Rochester I took our son for a stroll into the town and was greeted and smiled at by people we passed in the street. The students at Kings School coming out of the cathedral after morning service were polite and considerate as they passed us on the pavement. Our neighbours actually introduced themselves and welcomed us first. It all felt rather like being in a musical, cheesy as it sounds. So I suppose you could say that my expectations have changed since moving just 20 minutes up the road. Thank goodness we did it.
Over the bank holiday weekend Rochester welcomed its annual Sweeps Festival to town, a tradition steeped in history and folklore in which around 60,000 visitors and local morris dancing groups flock in their droves, faces blacked out as a nod to the chimney sweeps, clothed in their finery to dance and celebrate the May Day weekend. The fair set up camp outside in the castle gardens for the three days where live music played and kids got sick from the sweets and rides…
Eccentric characters were in abundance and were admired, the town was absolutely buzzing. Having come from a shut down commuter town where you kept yourself to yourself it really brought home to us what we’ve been missing. Community.
Rochester is in full bloom at the moment, whether it’s the cherry and magnolia blossoms outside the cathedral or inside the Six Poor Traveller’s House courtyard garden (my new favourite retreat to escape the chaos). There is colour and texture everywhere.
We finally discovered how to reach the Saxon Shoreway too. It’s in Lower Upnor, just down from the castle. Upnor in itself is the most stunning little village but here you can walk the shoreline for quite some way at low tide. With the sun and a warm afternoon on our side, we stopped for a cool drink in the local pub and meandered along, enjoying the sound of the water.
Hope you enjoyed this first little insight into our new neighbourhood. I’ll be getting on with some ‘Before & After’ tours of the house once we’re settled in but with the next few weeks packed with work for shoots you’ll have to be a little patient in the meantime 😉
Have a lovely weekend, whatever you’re up to!.