Not So Tall
Moving to a new county on your own, a couple of hours from friends is rather daunting, but the plus is, it comes with the opportunity for meeting lots of new friends.
After I handed in my notice as a Sports Coach and a General Teaching Assistant I found my weekends flew by searching to find anywhere with affordable rent in Boston, Lincolnshire. It was such a struggle, panic set in when I only had two weekends left. You may think that four weeks' notice should be enough, but not when you've worked all week and had no computer to search the internet for places to rent. Back then I didn’t own a Smartphone, the phone I had was to become known as a Tamagotchi by the children I was about to coach.
I phoned my new boss in a panic, not knowing what to do. Luckily for me my colleague on the play development side of things had just finished building a new bungalow and her 'old' bungalow was currently being let to her daughter. Fran and her daughter were amazing as they offered me a room until I was able to find a more permanent place. It took three months after I had started my new job to find a place. It just so happened that the house I saw on the day of my interview was back up for rent, lucky me, so I snapped it up! Janet, Maurice and their Jack Russell were now my new very friendly neighbours. I lived next to them for four and a half years.
Fran was great as a work colleague, luckily she knew the ins and outs of Boston and its people, so my transition into the slower paced more rural life (compared to Leeds) was easier than I thought it would be. Because of Fran making friends became easy and they were generous people making me feel welcome straight away. I saw my friends from Yorkshire and Nottinghamshire a few times over the years whilst in Boston but unbeknown to me I was about to meet someone from my past whom I hadn't spoken too in at least 10 years and the I only knew her casually for a polite hello.
On the third year I remember standing at the top of the long stretch of racing track waiting for the riders to come around. To my right in a small crowd I spotted someone that looked familiar. I kept looking over and the only thing that would stop my staring was the bikes screaming past into the bend. I went through all the teachers I had dealt with in Boston, any parent I'd had dealings with, I couldn't place her! After about 30 minutes of making this group un-comfy, they started to move off. The lady I had been 'glaring at' in confusion walked past me and caught my eye. We both turned to face one another and at the same time “Do I know you” left both our mouths. We both then ran through a likely list of places and people until we hit Rotherham Harriers (from my athletic days). Turns out Megan knew my mother and I way back when I was a lot younger. We got to chatting, the biker fans she was with were from Essex and were very friendly to say I'd be glaring at their friend most of the afternoon. Since then we have all become firm friends, Megan I see as often as I can.
It's amazing how one person in your life (or new to your life) can change the course of things to come, because of these new friends and re-found friends I met lots of other like-minded people, people who gave me courage to go to BSB and MotoGP weekends by myself. I met Jorge Lorenzo, he signed my top as he was rushing off stage and posed for a photo at Silverstone, the year my favourite rider Valentino Rossi was out with a broken leg. Through my Essex friends I met Giacomo Agostini (their Idol) as well – cheeky chap! I met a fellow artist who created some wonderful paintings of the riders and bikes, for whom I have a great deal of respect (Steve Whyman). Lots of new friends and confidence came from one new (old) person!
The Sliding Doors Moment. Megan’s view.
Missed Part 1 in my Chronicles? Here it is 'Friends, Neighbours and Countymen'.
The Final part to my story is here... Brewer - not the job title I expected!