A while back Andy and I made a very big decision (VBD). It's one we have toyed with for a few years but we never got to the point of taking action. We toed (how DO you spell that?) we froed, (?) we changed our minds. But, eventually the VBD was made. We are moving back to the UK. Tomorrow.
We meant to come to Australia for four years and accidentally stayed 11. Something about the laid back lifestyle and the amazing fauna and flora grabbed us and held us here. But more than that, the people who became our friends kept us here - not against our will I should add, that would be weird.
No, my friends (I'm switching to just my friends now, it's my blog and all that) kept me here with their kindness, their conversation and their insight. I've lost count of the number of D&Ms we've had over the years. We've shared plenty of laughs too, book club in particular was a source of great joy for me. Sometimes we even talked about the book.
I sit here, the night before my flight and realise I've had my last bookclub/stitch n bitch/breakfast/brunch/morning tea/lunch/afternoon tea/dinner with my friends. We've shared our last baby shower, our last kids' birthday party, our last (rare) weekend away, our last milestone event. If not forever then for many years at least. I am bereft.
So often, a big part of happiness is dealing with loss. You meet people, they bring you joy (and you them, hopefully) and then you lose them one way or another. It's heartbreaking but heartwarming too. In the words of the eminently sensible Winnie the Pooh: "How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard."
And they are not really lost. We'll keep in touch and we'll meet again - here, there or somewhere in between.
I am a firm believer that when one door closes another one opens and one of the gifts of leaving Australia is being able to reconnect with friends and family in the UK and Europe. I'm looking forward to the conversations and the catch ups, they're a wonderful bunch.
I love the UK as much as I love Australia (how lucky I am) and there's lots of exploring to do - castles, woodlands (complete with hedgehogs and squirrels!) country pubs, up-to-date episodes of all my favourite TV programmes and Sainsburys/Waitrose/Tesco/Marks & Spencer Food Hall to name but a few. Plus we'll get to fly to Europe again without having to sell a kidney, hooray!
As sad as I am to leave this place, I'm excited too. I'm ready for change. It's time to embrace this next stage in our lives as a family and as individuals.
So here I am, going not "back to England" but forward to England. I may have lived there before, but this is a new adventure.