Priscilla, Queen of Cardiff

I’ll be honest, I’m all test-driven out. I am all finance planned out. I am all spec’d out. But I’ve put down a deposit and sometime soon I will be the proud owner of a lovely new car that meets my primary requirement of Being Man Enough To Get Up Birdlip Hill Every Day. She’s great, I’ve already named her – Sophia 2.0, after her predecessor and her engine size, obviously (let it go – I’m quite proud of the name) – and I’m pretty much counting down the days until I can collect her.

In the meantime, it got me thinking about my first car.

Meet Priscilla, Queen of Cardiff…

Priscilla was an F-reg (that’s 1988 if you were wondering) white Ford Escort, an unexpected gift from my sister, her husband and my brother in 2001. She got me from my home in Southampton to my student house in Cardiff and to my then-boyfriend’s house in Pembrokeshire and I loved her because she was my first car.

Sure, she was a little rough around the edges and changing gear was a bit like stirring cake mixture in a pudding bowl but the freedom…! Ah, no more 7 hour National Express journeys (SEVEN HOURS). I could smoke in the car without my parents knowing (I’m pretty sure they knew), I could listen to my tapes loudly and shamelessly sing along… For the few months that she was mine, I loved her unconditionally.


(Alas, The Good Queen Priscilla is now in the great scrapyard in the sky.)


All change!

So, the cat’s out of the bag and those who needed to know first now know (I think, I hope, I’m sorry if you didn’t). In January, I’ll be starting a new job and Chris and I will be moving to Gloucester (possibly Cheltenham but, seriously, HOW MUCH?!) before Christmas.

Having known about the move for a few weeks now, whilst I’ve waited for the contract to come through, a few blog posts have been floating around my head. (Yes, I’m staggered I haven’t let it slip on Twitter too.)

The first was to be an overview of the many things Chris and I need to sort out in relation to the new job, our house move and much more besides – purchasing a new car man enough to get up Birdlip Hill everyday, finding a new yoga class and running club, getting to grips with my new job role, streamlining our many belongings, figuring out our current rental contract, weighing up a removals company vs. hiring a van, endless house viewings, etc…

Cathartic for me, less interesting for you.

Another theme is related to my sense of belonging. I may well expand on this at some future date. We’ve lived in Worcester for six years now and, though it took us a long time to feel this way, I think it’s fair to say that we now feel at home. Gloucester is not so new or unfamiliar – Chris grew up there and we still have family and friends in the area, we know our way around – but I’m still nervous about moving and settling again. To this end, I have been keeping a list of things to look forward to in Gloucester, which currently runs to:

  • Gloucester Guildhall – good gigs, nice cinema
  • Blue Thai Kitchen, Ruddy’s Fish & Chips, Over Farm
  • Being closer to the Taylors
  • Better cinemas in the vicinity (see above + Vue in Cheltenham)
  • Cheltenham in general – shopping, restaurants, bars, cultural stuff
  • Gloucester’s suburban libraries (so many more than Worcester!)
  • Being half an hour closer to my hometown, family and friends
  • Being half an hour away from Bristol

(Please feel free to contribute!)

Finally, and most recently, some thoughts on people’s responses to my move. Ever the diplomat, I’m still mulling it over but the current climate in the public sector certainly puts an interesting spin on that one…

(Much as I’ve never told you what my current job is on this blog, I will not be telling you what my new job is. But it’s no state secret so feel free to DM, text, email or even speak to me if you’d like to know.)