Changes - a ramble

My background and that of my ancestors is real. It is also a forest, a forest that obscures the tree that is Elsie. And in a few weeks I shall uproot myself from the small seaside town where I have lived for 18 years.

I'm shifting to Bournemouth. Why have two miles of golden sands when I can have seven? I shall be training to teach English as a foreign language. I don't know if I shall use my new training abroad or if I shall teach adult learners and summer schools in Bournemouth. My choice. First I have to wrap my head around piles of GRAMMAR. Parts of speech I hardly knew existed. Did you know an adverb does not have to describe a verb? It can also describe an adjective eg 'English grammar is really interesting'. My example also uses irony.

I know Bournemouth. I lived there 18 years ago. The good part is the place. The bad part is finding somewhere afforable to live. I left because I was living with my boyfriend and two children in West Howe, a council estate seven miles away from the sea. When we moved to Exmouth we could rent a good maisonette near the sea.

The group of four who lived together and sometimes fought has dispersed. Boyfriend is now in warden supported housing in Leeds. He's a good friend. I visited him in June and spent two nights in the guest suite. My daughters are grown up and independent. One has settled in Langley, the other is working and travelling the world. I think she is still doing 12 hour shifts in the packing station in Queensland. Work! How good to hear that she is working.

How lucky I am that I now own a terraced house in Exmouth that the lettings agent seems keen to manage for me. It takes the fear away. I shall have money coming in. I still have 'a place'. It takes the sting out of renting a bedsit from Mike Spring Housing in Bournemouth, a bunch of crooks who have the gall to call themselves 'social housing'. At least their bedsits are near the sea and it's a better option than renting a room with the ripoff landlady who lives in a boring suburb and works as office staff at the language school. I'm viewing a bedsit today. I'm also aware that by becoming a landlady in one place and a tenant in another I now have a 'split morality'.

Who knows where the uprooted tree who is now a shallow rooted twig will land? I am a boat, navigating one port at a time. I'm lucky and I'm also scared.


Good luck with your English course Elsie - I did something similar many years ago and like you went straight off to buy a book on english grammar as I didn't have a clue about it. I hope the move goes well and that you let us all know how it goes. Can you please disguise the name of the social housing organisation? We don't have the money to be sued for libel

edit: it's been a day so I've changed it for you. Do change for a different pseudonym if you prefer!


Elsie, I hope you enjoy the mental challenge, and find some nice soil and friends.

Years ago, my daughter was helping at an international school in Switzerland with other young people from many countries, She was fluent in French, but had little German, and was attending classes to learn it, but she'd been at school when the schools here didn't seem to be teaching grammar for our own language. She got a Swedish girl to teach her English grammar, so that she could understand the German grammar! Rhiannon


Hi Elsie,

I have so much admiration for you and wish you well with your move. Hope things work out the way you would want them to.


Yh good luck. Was an interesting and well written piece of writing. I was pretty captivated reading this. I wanted to know more. This to me is like the first page of a bigger piece of work and great authentic first page for me means I want to read more and this piece for me ticks all the correct points.

Very cool.

Stephen d

I hope everything goes well for you, Elsie!  How exciting.  Affordable housing is such an issue these days.  I am 'downsizing' and moving into a flat - although less than half an hour's slow walk away! - and every time I think I can't bear another set of solicitor's forms or another email, I remind myself how lucky I am to have somewhere to sell and somewhere to go.  

Airy, Inserto, Thornwood, Jennifer, Rhiannon,  thanks for all your great comments.Yes it is probs best to avoid libel suits.

It's all shaping up well. I viewed a place this morning. Subject to credit checks going through I shall be paying more than I planned and renting a lovely big studio flat, from a different estate agent in a location that makes my heart sing.

It means I shall have to work more hours in Bournemouth. Also it's on a minimum of a year's let so I shall be enjoying next summer there too. After that further moves may lie ahead but I plan to go at it step by step.

Airy, good luck with your downsizing.

affordable housing is a parallelogram. That's a bit of grammar you don't often see. Good luck elsie. 


Hello Elsie,

I hope your move goes well and good luck with the course.  Like you, I was not taught grammar at school so my grammatical abilities are zilch.  However, I do admire your adventurous spirit and I am sure you will win through.

Moya x


Cheers Denzella. Good to hear from you again. Foreign adventure will not start for a year as I now have a 1 year tenancy contract in Bournemouth. I move in on September 1st.