One of the reasons that I decided to start writing this blog again, was because, when we had the moving quotes done, each company told us that there are scores of people returning to England at the moment – much more so than usual. (I'm sure Tony Abbott has nothing to do with it.)
So I thought it might be interesting for people who are considering the move to see how another family are finding it.
Thus far, I can give this advice.
- Do not harangue your children for putting the wrong things on the container which will be ocean bound for another few months (i.e. school books which are due back at Australian schools this week) when you yourself have packed your winter coat and shoes on said container and are due to arrive in England, in December, in thin cotton jumper and flip flops.
- Do not make an effort to visit all the places you have grown to love the best. Spending time walking the beaches of Stradbroke Island, watching the gallivanting of dolphins, sting rays and turtles in an azure ocean, is not the best way of convincing oneself that one is making the right decision to leave.
- Do not give up your last two weeks to spending time with the friends you have made. Coffee, cake, wine, LOTS of laughs and reminiscing and EVEN MORE tears are not the best way of convincing oneself that one is making the right decision to leave.
- Do not leave at a time when the rains have turned dry brown grass to an emerald green; when the poinciana trees are in full, glowing-orange bloom; when the mango trees are dripping with mangoes which will ripen after you have left; when the air is full of the smell of paw paws and jasmine and Christmas.
- Make sure you spend the last few weeks in a house whose windows you cannot open, with two incontinent cats and only one toilet, whose door doesn't close.
- Try and spend as much time as you can, watching Aussie television – especially the news and adverts.
- Chain your 15 year old to his mobile phone....
- Invest in a LOT of tissues.
- Do not spend time trawling the RSPCA adoption websites in your soon-to-be-local-area, if you want your marriage to remain harmonious. (or make an effort not to tell children about it, at any rate.)
- Try not to think about the fact that, after all the farewell dinners and lunches and coffees, you will arrive in England as circular as when you left it, several months pregnant.
- Whilst saying goodbye, try to think ahead - to very much loved family and friends and cosy thatched houses (where the heating, of course, works...) and pubs and satsumas. And breathe.