14 Ridley Road – Fran

I bought the house in 2001, when my son was at primary school. We loved it here, but we moved away in 2004 when I got a job in Suffolk, and then we moved even further away to Australia in 2010. We came back in 2013, when William was 17. He reconnected with old friends and made new ones, and I, freed by his independence, had time to really get to know my neighbours in the Square, through art, wellbeing and social activities. I’ve devoted a lot of time, energy and love to my garden, growing edibles, and bee and butterfly friendly plants that tumble over each other in an organised chaos of texture and colour. I love photography and, during lockdown in 2020, it led me on a journey of mindfulness and discovery of the hidden beauty of things, culminating in an online open studio exhibition with my friend and neighbour, Janice. I have experienced great kindness from my neighbours, and I value the friendships I have made while living here. I feel very lucky to be part of this community.