It was always going to be difficult, I knew that. To sell the place in the spring when it's at its best, makes perfect financial sense, but is also emotionally the most difficult. This house has been the centre point of our lives for the past 13 years. The children grew up here, and even though they don't theoretically live here any more, they still consider it home. Taking a refuge like that away from them seems cruel.
On a day like today, with crocuses and snow drops in full bloom and the dogs lazily milling around the garden, squinting into the sun, my heart aches when I think about leaving. It's difficult to imagine living somewhere else, where a walk across the fields isn't on the doorstep, where there are neighbours who can look into your garden or through your windows into your living room, where you can't listen to music as loud as you want, or have all-night parties whenever it pleases you. Last weekend, when the house was full, it seemed to purr with satisfaction. The walls soaked in the warmth of all the bodies and the roof nearly lifted with the laughter.
But then there are the days when sitting in the house on my own, I'd kill to see another human being. Even if it's just a glimpse of a stranger walking on the street. Or to be able to step outside and grab a coffee, or even nip out to buy a pint of milk without having to get into the car and drive for miles. My townie friends laugh when they see how much I enjoy using public transport; I love the London buses and even like sitting in the dirty tube reading the free papers. I know these things would wear thin after about a week of hard-core commuting, but at the moment the prospect seems blissful.
However hard it is, I know it's time to leave this house, let someone else make it their home.
Just as it is time to finish a story and move onto another.