After reading so many wonderful reviews of 2010, I thought I’d jump on the bandwagon. I usually don’t write about personal, family things but New Year’s Eve is a bit special.
Let’s see. The decision to move to the UK had been made, and we were to leave in April.
|From this…. (Sydney backyard, note the adults are clinging to the shade)…|
On a Friday, our house was all packed and empty – empty houses are so sad – and we were due to fly out on Monday. But wait! Our visas, which we had been assured were all fine, were not fine. No visas. Cool. It turns out that the British are good at many, many things, including a deep and abiding love for red tape. I loved being told, “We can give you the name of the person looking after your case, but you cannot speak with them. Nor can they give you any indication of how long it will take. So ner ner ner-ner nerrrrrrrr.”
So we ended up spending another month in Sydney, moving from place to place and just hanging out really. We were told to always be ready to fly out, as we might get as little as 24 hours notice.
At last we headed off. We stopped over in Singapore for 2 nights to stay with very good friends, and that was a great decision. So I’ll take the credit for that one. It was in Singapore that we discovered our accommodation in London had been cancelled – again, cool! – so a jolly time was had trying to find somewhere in London to stay for the next 4 weeks. The flights were OK, long-haul flying with a 3 and a 1 year old is not something I’d care to repeat in a hurry, but the kids were as good as they could be and for that I will always be grateful. Singapore Airlines are amazing with children, I might add.
We arrived in London on the Saturday, and my husband started work on Monday. On Thursday he went to Paris for work, where he ended up having to stay for 3 weeks. Travel has always been a big part of his job, but it takes on a new dimension when you’re in a new country. It was my job to find a house before our 4 weeks of accommodation finished up. A typical conversation with an estate agent went like this:
Me: “That’s a good sized cupboard.”
Agent: “No, that’s a bedroom.”
I’m not proud to admit I had a big hissy fit to an unsuspecting estate agent. The poor woman didn’t know what hit her. I’m glad I did, for that afternoon she called me about a house not yet on the market but one that “you could live in.” I paid the rent that day. I love this house. It’s bathroom is still trying to kill me, everything is beige, the exterior walls are made of some kind of concrete pebbly crap but I love it.
It was wonderful to have found a house, and we still had another week before we had to move, so we could start to relax. My husband came back from Paris and had three days with us before the worst happened – his beloved father passed away. For various reasons we decided I would stay here in London with the children, while my husband went back to Australia. Needless to say, that was the lowest point and a terrible time.
While he was in Australia, we moved into our house. Our things hadn’t arrived from Australia yet, in fact we ended up waiting over ten weeks, but that doesn’t matter. My husband returned and liked the house – yay!! He then left again, in fact for the first few months he was away more than he was home. The next challenge was getting our son into nursery. Big bout of sarcasm coming right up: that was really, really fun.
|…to this (London backyard).|
It didn’t take long for us to feel settled. I have met some truly wonderful people here and they have made us feel quite at home. I also have family in London and they have gone out of their way to help in whatever way they can. My husband’s job is very demanding, and while he works incredibly hard, at the same time the children and I are his first priority. I couldn’t ask for a more amazing husband. So I won’t.
Plus, I can also happily report that our son is in nursery and loves it.
So it’s been a big year with plenty to challenge us, and a lot of love and support from people too. For that I say thank you, and here’s to 2011.
Thank you for taking the time to visit my blog. I love every comment, every page view statistic (32 views in Slovenia!) and every time I get a new follower. It’s such a wonderful thing to connect with people around the world in this way. Happy new year to you all. xx