Last week I moved from Melville, the central Joburg suburb where I’ve lived for the past 11 years, to Brixton, another central Joburg suburb about five minutes away.
Moving five minutes up the road should be no big deal, theoretically. People move all the time. But this move is, in fact, a big deal for me. It’s a huge fucking deal, so much so that I haven’t been able to figure out how to blog about it.
I generally try to move as little as possible. Despite my seemingly transient nature, I am a huge homebody. I’m a Cancer, and while I don’t think much about the Zodiac I definitely have this crab-like trait: Moving homes makes me extremely anxious. I just reread the blog post I wrote after my last move six years ago, when I only moved from one end of Melville’s 6th Avenue to the other, and couldn’t believe how emotional it was.
Also this is the first time since I came to Joburg that I’m living in a place other than Melville. Melville is a wonderful, unique neighborhood and living there was a huge part of my identity for more than a decade. For many years I thought I would never leave Melville. But a year or two ago I started feeling like I was ready for a change, especially after the Melville Cat died.
Even though Brixton is really close to Melville, it’s a very different type of neighborhood. Brixton is older than Melville and closer to downtown Joburg. The houses are different. The people are different. The sounds are different. Even the light is different.
There are tons of kids living in Brixton, and they tend to be more free-range than kids in other nearby neighborhoods. The park next to my house — Kingston Frost Park, which I need to do a proper blog post about soon — is teeming with children on weekday afternoons and weekends. I love listening to them play. I also love listening to the call to prayer, which I can just barely hear on clear evenings from the mosque in nearby Mayfair.
So moving to Brixton is a big deal. The community here is really special; it’s extremely racially and economically diverse and there is a lot of pride in the community. I’m really excited to be part of it and to blog about all the amazing creative projects happening in Brixton.
This move is also a big deal because I’m moving in with Thorsten. I’ve been living alone for the past four years and moving in with a partner is not a decision I undertake lightly at this point in my life. But we’re both so excited about it, and I’m putting real thought into home décor for the first time in decades. Thorsten and I realized we have really good taste as a couple. (He’s an architect and extremely handy, which helps.)
Our cat, Trixie, looks amazing in this house.
I live in Brixton now — yay! Thanks for all the great years, Melville.
I dedicate this post to the Melville Cat, who died exactly a year ago today. I miss you, Smokey. I don’t think you would have liked living in Brixton (not enough outdoor space at this house) but we did bring a little piece of you with us and I think about you every time I see it.
More Brixton content to follow.