I was warned to be careful about living by the sea. I was told it would be addictive and that after one taste of shoreside life, I would never want to live inland again. Well, people tell me all sorts of things, but this is one bit of advice that has already proved itself true. I now live a short stroll from a fabulous little beach, overlooking the English Channel, and it already feels like home.
And there have been signs too. I won't list them for fear of jinxing myself, but a dozen little things have happened to make our move just that bit easier than it might have been, just a shade more agreeable.
One of the reasons for my family's relocation was my need to be closer to my own career -- a sorry thing, that was growing sorrier by the year with my absence. So I can't help feeling reassured by the fact that within hours of arriving, I discovered that Jack's Tractor has been shortlisted for the Sheffield Children's Book Award. A few days after that, the contract for a picture book text called Too Many Tickles finally reached me, bringing to an end a year long submission process, my longest ever. Plus, I have an appointment for a first editorial meeting about my novel, as well as a few publishy things to go to.
That was quick!
I hope my wife is happy. She looks it, and I know she's always dreamed of living by the sea, but I also know it's not easy to leave your own country behind. I don't worry about my children though – there's a beach! And kites, and ice cream and fossils to find and crabs to catch and two full-time parents to wind up. I reckon they're pretty lucky.
Actually, I think I am too.