Moving to Cambridge was a whim, an adventure. Remaining was pragmatic - I lacked funds to find a new home. My visa (and hence eligibility to apply for citizenship) was contingent on the job of another person, who was determined to live in a town I loathed. I prioritised allowing my children to grow up near their father. Etc.
There is no easy way to describe what is wrong with Cambridge - one of the most beautiful yet wretched places I have ever visited, and certainly the worst place I have ever lived. Through six years that felt like a dozen my hatred of the place was the only thing keeping me sane. I knew that there was something wrong, and like having cancer, I could appreciate the learning experience while hating the pain.
I deserve congratulations only for my willingness to speak the truth. I watched friends who claimed to find the place pleasant deteriorate: addiction, divorce, and similar suicidal gestures are a commonplace.
My own behaviour in the city has been less than exemplary. My normally high ethical standards slipped, my casual truculence was converted to deliberate cruelty.
I've managed all manner of nonsense for years, but I am exquisitely finished. Done!
I would say that it does not matter where I move, so long as I get out of here. But I stopped believing that kind of fairytale awhile ago.
I'm a restless, agitated sort of person. I require privacy, anonymity. I like coffee, crowds, movies, and museums. Someone recently accused me of being cosmopolitan and I was flummoxed by the charge - but that might be the solution to my ongoing existential crisis.
I was born below sea level and grew up in a forest, but I want more than anything to live and die in a real city.
What of the other complications and concerns? My daughter is moving to London in a few weeks. My son is willing to move wherever I go. Byron? He can make his own decision for his own reasons. If he wants to follow me, fine. But it will be on my terms, to my chosen destination.
And I'm going.