Goodbye to 64, York St

Gee and her family moved out of their house on Thursday. It's not my house, not my home. But it's a place where I could call home. It was where I was always welcome. Where I could walk in, put the kettle on, make coffee, sit for a while to put the world to rights. Wednesday night, I rocked up for the last time to 64 York Street. I was knackered, work was very busy I hadn't stopped all day. But I wasn't going to not say goodbye to that house, the place which was also my refuge.

I first met Gee's eldest daughter, H in 1995. That was my first step on the spiritual path I currently walk upon. It's funny, but it's only really in hindsight, that the elegant weaving of coincidence, decision and event, can be seen as a solid, shining path. But it wasn't really until 1998 that our acquaintance changed to friendship. In the meantime, I'd become divorced, finished one relationship and got engaged to someone else. We bumped into each other at the Mind, Body and Spirit Festival and from that chance meeting, I picked up my training again. The training which led to my wearing the simple silver new moon that I only remove for medical reasons.

I began my training in 64 York Street.

It was through H's art project I really got to know her mum Gee and the rest of her family. Her fabulous sister Alix, her younger brothers (so long ago now, I was taller than them) and JD. The art project inadvertently caused the demise of the engagement; it was on it's way out anyway. It remains one of the most painful times in my Life, but one, I would never ever regret or hesitate to repeat. Had I got married to that man, it would have been a disaster.

It was through Gee, H and the whole family that I truly understood what friendship, loyalty, trust were all about and 64 York Street stood witness to it all.

I have a montage of memories:

Dancing in the front room on Christmas Day to Who Let the Dogs Out. H in her barely-there ball gown, Alix, the boys, Gee and me, all dancing around the coffee table.

Imbolc: The first time I got absolutely trashed. The Lovely Ursus coming to a sharp stop at the bottom of the stairs. Being escorted to a friend's house by JD, when my friend took me home he offered me a smint to counteract the garlic from the outstanding aioli I'd eaten, not to mention the smoking. I declined. I told him 'I've had enough drugs.'

Being invited to 'call round' on my 29th birthday. You've never lived until you've had the Happy Birthday Song performed in a capella. Trust me on this. I still have the gorgeous wrap. It travels the world with me.

Making god's eyes with Gee as I processed the loss of my beloved ex-MIL.

Making insence with Gee and discovering that many of the ingredients of kyphie are aphrodisiacs. I did believe in the concept of aphrodisacs; desire can't be triggered by chemicals. Hah. I knew it was time to beat a hasty retreat when I was grinding cardamom seeds in a mortar and pestle, Gee's husband JD, came in the room and I found myself looking at him and going 'phwoar'. Gee laughed and laughed when I told why I'd run away that afternoon.

The first chant.

Meeting and loving the members of the Norwich Chant Collective over the years.

Being pulled up by the short and curlies by Gee for my very inappropriate behaviour. Let me tell you, a dressing down by Gee is a painful and lasting experience. I bless the day she risked our friendship to tell me like it is. The most important lesson I learnt from that was a friend is definied by the willingness to risk everything to tell the truth, especially because it's the last thing that wants to be told.

My priestess training happened at 64 York Street. The same time I was processesing my mother's death. I remember having a coffee with Gee just after I returned from Trinidad, after her death, to say that I was so raw, it was as if a protective layer had been stripped away from me and for the first time I saw what Life was all about. It was the first time I truly understood I was mortal. It was the first time I truly understood time was precious. I began to make better choices from those conversations. Sitting in the back room, drinking coffee.

So many memories. I can't tell you how many times I cried in that house. I can tell you I laughed so much more than that there.

Ever since I've known the family, Gee has been wanting to move out; now she has. And it's the end of an era. For the only thing constant in Life is Change.


  1. Are they moving far away? Perhaps the new home will be a place to build new memories.

  2. lx ~ the girls are married, the boys are at uni, Gee has moved 50 mins away to the coast and JD is still in Norwich.

    It really is the end of an era and as we get used to the change, we'll shift around and as you say, make new memories.

  3. Fond as I am of cardamon, it's never had that effect on me.

    I'm sorry that Gee doesn't live within dropping-in distance any more. Such a friendship doesn't lessen through a few miles of distance, though.

  4. z ~ kyphie also includes red wine, juniper and cinnamon...the cinnamon expecially, with cardamon.

    I don't worry, our friendship will continue...just not with us being next door to each other.

  5. Strange to see how places change without the people. Some of the ouses I had a "relation" to now do not exist anymore. Just images in my head. Gone with me.

  6. "houses" of course.

  7. mago ~ I knew what you meant. And yes, it's the people that make the home. Otherwise it's just bricks and mortar. Cliched, but true.


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