Friday, November 27, 2015

Moving...

Okay, time to get back to work and I’ll ease in with this blog post.


The last few months have been interesting … in the Chinese sense of the curse, ‘May you live in interesting times.’ Mentally I hit a bad spot. For one year and ten months I’ve been fighting against depression with exercise but it obviously wasn’t enough. Only when I came under a new kind of pressure and came in danger of losing something I really cared about did I realise how far I’d gone down. I actually got quite scared because I was crazy for a while, really crazy, not the jokey light-hearted isn’t it good to be a little crazy nonsense you’ll find in photo-shopped Facebook posts. It was from then that I realised I needed more weapons in my armoury for this battle. If you’ve read the posts before this you’ll see where I went – drugs first and now meditation and mental reprogramming. This is all still very much a work in progress…


So, I travelled back to England 13 days ago. Despite the above I decided that I must continue as if I don’t feel like curling up on the sofa, under a blanket, and never coming out again. Some years back Caroline and I had thought about moving. The idea was to be somewhere we didn’t have to get in a car every time we wanted to go out and do something. It never happened but even since her death the thought never left my mind. I also want a change. I’ve never lived in a town before so why not? I chose the Hastings - St. Leonards area of the South Coast because having visited it over many years (to drink far too much red wine with my editor) I know it and like it. And I mean why not take on the supposedly third most stressful thing one can do? What could possibly go wrong?


While in Crete I started looking at properties on Rightmove and the moment I got back I compiled a list of properties I wanted to look at. I wasn’t quite sure what I wanted other than a bit more space. I then visited the aforesaid editor and began looking. I had quite a stack of houses and apartments to look at but in the end saw only five. One was the kind of pad a millionaire might live in built into the top of an old school in Hastings – the highest point with a roof terrace giving expansive views all round. Another was so big another buyer was thinking of moving in a grand piano. But I chose something smaller and more discrete: a maisonette with three bedrooms, spacious but also cosy. The day I saw it I thought go for it. I looked at it a second time that day then walked out the door, got on my mobile and put in an offer, which was accepted.


Meanwhile in my house in Latchingdon I’ve been clearing out. I’ve made five trips to charity shops and the tip to get rid of accumulated junk. I’ve had a movers’ rep come in to give me a price on shifting everything. I employed a solicitor to do the conveyancing and provided all the information she needed. And of course I’ve encountered my first episode of lawyerly arse-dragging. Now there is little more I can do to push this through. I was told on one hand that it could take 5 to 6 weeks and on the other that it could take 10 to 12 weeks. I have to be patient, but also prepared to get on the phone whenever necessary. But now I must get on with other things…


First this blog post. Next I’ll open up the 50,000 words of the book I started while on Crete and get back to work on that.    

7 comments:

Craddmeister said...

That kitchen would have sold it to me

Craddmeister said...

That kitchen would have sold it to me

David H said...

Don't envy you but hope it works for you on many levels.
As for legal types (and banking having read your FB posts) devise a particularly gory end for them in one of your novels?

Rob Evans said...

Good for you, Neal.
As you're likely already aware, pretty much everything in Hastings is within walking distance - I've lost count of the hours I've spent trundling up and down the seafront and Firehills, earbuds plugged in and podcasts/audiobooks on the go.
As you've looking at St Leonards, if you're looking for a new local to check out, I can heartily recommend the North Star in Clarence Rd, just behind Bohemia Road. Proper British back-street pub. Brilliant atmosphere, comfortable, great clientele and staff, and a zero tolerance attitude towards knobheads.
Also the Bridge Cafe on Bexhill Rd - a mere fiver for a slap-up Sunday morning fry-up, followed naturally by a relaxed meander along the seafront to Bexhill and back, to work off (some of) the calories...

andybpowell said...

Neal this is the most positive post for a long time i'm really pleased for you
to be honest i'm really pleased for me too as i really miss your work but it'll take as long as it takes and like most of your readers i'm here for the long haul.

Neil said...

The new place looks nice and seems not to require decorating, which is a big plus for me. Plenty of room, always a plus.

Hopefully the high speed trainline extension will happen as well, though probably a while in the future.

Easier to get into London now?

I just picked up Dark Intelligence, so looking forward to that. I did notice that it was very aggressively priced at £4.19 for the kindle version on Amazon. Great for the customer, not sure how that works for the author/book company though.

Any book signings coming up?

Neal Asher said...

Craddmeister, yes, it is a nice kitchen but I'd seen some superb ones in the other places I looked at. The whole sold it to me.

David H, gory ends are a staple in my novels for anyone, no matter their profession.

Rob Evans, I will spend some time exploring the area and you may well see me tramping about.

andybpowell, onward and upward!

Neil, walking distance to a train station and thence into London. For me I like the fact that I won't need any long car journeys to get to Gatwick. No signings, unfortunately.