When we came to Birmingham in 2014, I was rushed and pressured to put everything in place quickly, to right all the wrongs of having wandered off to Malaysia. I was terribly insecure: this wouldn't work out, would it. Famously, I rented our house in a morning, 2 hours. This and this and that, and we were settled. I wrote five module datasets that January too, and finished my book, and prepared for teaching, and filled out visa applications, and schools for the girls, and car insurance, and a car, and the list went on and on. There was a momentum though, the kind of momentum I can't remember now, the way I can't remember the heat of Malaysia or the bugs. Like it was all some dream.
Last night, I said goodnight to Yoko and fell asleep more quickly than I have in years. Yoko came to bed and I didn't hear her come to bed. The alarm goes off at 2:30 or 5:30 or 5:40 and I get dressed in the dark, and kiss all the girls goodbye and go. Where am I going today, who am I meeting today. I looked in the mirror as I was running and saw, for the first time, me as a father and husband, not as anything else. Fatter and older, but like the lines in my face had taken in a meaningful way.