Dear England…

Dear England,

It is with a heavy heart that I’m writing to you, hoping this message will somehow reach your heart. This is it. Today, I’m leaving your warm embrace. When you read this, I’ll be on my way, most likely staring out the window of my train, waiting for the Eurostar to plunge into the darkness and re-emerge on the French side where I will start a new life, a Channel tunnel away from you.

Some say all good things come to an end, others say good things come to those who wait. Whichever is true, you have showered me with goodness and if it exists elsewhere, I will wait until I find it again. Patience is a virtue of mine, but you already knew that, for you have been the faithful companion of my adult life. You have been the constant in this chaos that swoops down on every teenager moving away from home. You have been home away from home.

Why did that not suffice? Why, despite everything you gave me, was I not happy? Am I too picky? Too naive? Or I am just too eager to see the world beyond your island? I suspect, after five years of cohabitation, you know me like the back of your hand, and I know you understand I have to go, even if I don’t quite know why yet.

Still, I’ll always remember the windswept coasts of Brighton, the undercliff evening rides to Saltdean and the green hills above Moulsecoomb. I’ll always remember the Seven Sisters and the sharp, vertical edge of those white cliffs. I’ll always remember the way the sun shines on Greenwich Park and the way the fog descends on the riverside by Cutty Sark. I’ll always remember the unafraid squirrels climbing up my leg and the parakeets perched on the branch of certain London trees.

I can still see the sky of Lewes, lit up with fireworks and the bonfire turning to smoke on (remember, remember) the fifth of November. I can still feel the driving rain that soaked us to the bone that evening and the temperamental nature of your weather. I can still picture it: Hyde Park covered in snow, the lake shrouded in a thin veil of ice, the swans blending in with the white grass – a true winter wonderland.

Those moments are etched in my memory, like dead pixels burnt on my retina. They are precious and they make me smile. I can scroll through them with eyes closed and, in a split second, be swept away like a fallen leaf in the wind. That is why I am writing to you. Because with time, memory fades and I never want these moments to fade.

You’ve held my hand for five years, taken me places I never imagined I’d go and taught me things I never thought I’d learn. How can I say goodbye to you? How can I ever thank you for taking me in? This letter is the best I have found so far.

Please look after yourself while I’m gone.

With love, always,



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34 responses to “Dear England…

  1. What a moving farewell, Elissaveta, all those lovely specific memories. It’s truly elegiac. When I left Broken Hill I walked the Sundown Trail, the first place I explored when I arrived, the place where I celebrated my 50th birthday with breakfast, the place where I mourned the death of a friend’s son, and I left as tokens talismans I’d taken with me from the coast six years before: dried flowers, a lyrebird feather, a shell. Your letter is a lovely way of valuing the past and embarking on the next challenge. Wishing you excitement, achievements, many hours of writing (after all it is Paris), and a deluge of new memories. I’m delighted to be going with you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ah, those beautiful places you speak of sound so real when described by you.
      I found a letter was my talisman in a way. A warming reminder of those life-changing years I spent in England.
      I look forward to blogging about Paris. My posting schedule has suffered a little from the move, but I shall get back on track ASAP.


  2. A lovely post – perfectly captures that feeling of leaving a place you love for a place you hope to love. I remember feeling the same way when I left Canada and Australia. Look forward to hearing about your new life in Paris…


  3. Dear England! Don’t be sad. Ellie will be back. When she returns, she will bring back all those wonderful experiences one can only have in Paris. With her knowledge she will enrich you. I am sure it will be great reunion.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Welcome to the continent! I left England almost 6 years ago with the euro star too, I have not been back since.
    I hope your move goes well and that you have a great start in your new home :)

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Dear Ellie, I am so glad that you take these wonderful memories of my homeland with you in your heart as you travel on to your new life in Paris. I wonder if you watched the fireworks the same night as I in Lewes? (My eldest son lives there, my other son in Brighton…). I felt this way when I left California after living there for almost 20 years. Bittersweet for sure. I wish you the very best…and hope to hear back from you soon with exciting news! England will always miss you… big hugs… <3


    • Ah Sherri, I really did love England and was sad to watch it slip away as the train gathered speed.
      Maybe we did watch the fireworks the same night. It was a tradition of ours. Although we never would’ve met in this mad crowd!!!
      I hope you’re well and that I’ll get to see you again at the bloggers’ bash this June. xxx

      Liked by 1 person

      • The crowds are mad! We did a bonfire a couple of weeks before and were able to walk since my son lives there. And that was crazy enough! Oh I do hope to see you again in June Ellie…and you can tell me all about Paris! Take care dear one…big hugs and I hope you’re settling in happily :-) <3 xx


  6. Dear Miss Ellie
    England has asked me to respond to your kind letter.
    First things first. The footprints. You’ve left footprints in a few hearts and they don’t seem to come out with the usual products: time, distance that sort of thing. We will have to let them stay.
    Then there are the smiles. We’ve tried to collect them and put them in the attic (often called Scotland) but they keep bouncing around and won’t settle. Did you have to smile quite so vigorously? We are led to believe that the French smile more slowly and with an accent so perhaps you might think about that.
    And finally, while dealing with the tedious admin we are led to believe that you were misled into thinking some tears were needed to top up the channel. Rest assured no tears are needed. There’s a little man in a fountain in Brussels who’s been working the oracle for years. So, as with the smiles, we will hold onto the tears until you send a forwarding address.
    That just leaves me to say Bon voyage and chin up old fruit. It’s been a gas!
    Yours sincerely
    E.N. G’land (secretary to the UK)

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Beautiful, Eli! Missing you already! Hope you had a good trip, and I can’t wait to start reading your blog posts about your new life. Be safe and happy!

    Liked by 1 person

    • As I’m going through the comments on this post, I realise I must’ve been too shaken up to reply to half of them. So here I am today, sitting quietly in my living room, finally at (some kind of) peace with myself.
      By further north you mean… even more grey and rainy than London? Thanks but no thanks. ;)


      • Good to know that you’re at some peace with yourself, but disappointed you have such a jaded view of anything north of London. Admittedly it’s peeing it down outside at the moment, but it’s surprisingly bright here on a regular basis – and the countryside is wonderful

        Liked by 1 person

      • It’s not that jaded but I will admit Paris sounded more attractive. ☺️
        I am really happy I did get to travel around England though and the bright green hills all throughout are still imprinted in my mind!

        Liked by 1 person

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