Last November Adam and I spent a few days sorting through all of English belongings, trying to work out what we wanted to bring back to Australia with us. Although I hadn’t really acquired all that much, Adam still had a lot of household things that he’d left in Worcestershire, which we inherited back when we moved to England in 2016.
In the end we whittled it down to four big boxes and a suitcase. Our English life packed up neatly. We farewelled our things and, at the time, found it hard to believe that when we’d be reunited with our stuff again, we’d back in Australia…
This year I’m going to be lucky enough to enjoy Christmas with two families, in two countries, in two hemispheres. December the 25th will be spent in Wagga Wagga, NSW, Australia – Adam and I will be in our old home and we’ll share a festive meal with some of his distant family that live in town.
Our English family wanted to celebrate with us though before we flew back to Australia, so on December 3rd we had ‘early Christmas’…
Over the weekend Adam and I celebrated our one year anniversary of moving to England. I can’t believe how incredibly fast the last 12 months has gone. I can still vividly remember walking into the arrivals hall at Birmingham Airport on October 29, 2016, exhausted after almost 30 hours of travel, and meeting Adam’s family for the very first time…
For as long as I can remember being alone never really bothered me. Although I’m fairly sociable by nature, I can easily entertain myself for hours with books, music, films, cooking and daily chores. Before Adam and I met, I’d lived by myself for a number of years and was quite used to the peaceful solitude ‘flying solo’ provided. Of course life changed (and for the better) when we moved in together, and while I love being in a couple and living with my significant other, I still relish snippets of time by myself.
The nature of Adam’s work means he’s often away for a few nights a week, so I regularly still get a little ‘me time’. This week however he’ll depart for a three week long stint abroad. It’ll be the longest we’ve been away from each other since we met and I’ve got mixed feelings about the separation. I’m going to miss him like crazy but am trying to focus on the positives and the extended ‘me time’ I’ll have.
I’ve started mentally compiling a list of things I’m looking forward to doing…
After teasing us and offering up a warm day or two here and there over the last few months, summer arrived in England this week.
We’ve had a solid six days in a row of temperatures in the high 20s, low 30s. It’s even prompted official government warnings, about beating the heat. Friends and Adam’s family have been asking all about how we Aussies cope with weather like this for months at a time.
Lots of people come to Australia hoping to see a kangaroo or a koala. For me in England it was a badger or otter. I daresay my fascination stemmed from the childhood classic, Kenneth Grahame’s Wind in the Willows, and more specifically the 1980s stop motion television series of the same name, which I can remember watching as a child. Animal people who drove cars, dressed in snappy outfits and had wonderful adventures – what wasn’t to love?!
Adam has always had a bit of a soft spot for badgers. He even gave me a badger mug at Christmas! The vineyard he lived at before moving to Australia was frequently visited by badgers and an allotment he maintained near the village of Cradley, west of the Malvern Hills, was near a woodland where badgers lived. His stories of watching badgers snuffling about seemed magical and he was keen to share the experience with me.
So one evening last week, we made the short journey to Cradley to look for badgers.
Adam and I played host to our first visitors from Australia late last week. Kerri and Adrian have been friends with my parents for years – the sort of people in your life you can never remember not knowing.
They’ve been in Italy, Malta and England on a lovely long holiday and made the time to spend the day in Malvern with us.
I was chatting to a stranger the other day about moving to Malvern from Australia and it dawned on me that Adam and I have been in England for six months now. The time has truly flown ever so fast.
Malvern really feels like home now. Old buildings that I caught myself staring at in awe are now just part of scenery and picking a posey full of flowers from our rambling cottage garden seems second nature.
I know short cuts around town, can recommend pubs and cafes and am starting to sound a little bit English… well in a way!
Over the last few days I’ve been watching from afar the build-up, impact and effects Tropical Cyclone Debbie has had on Queensland. The category four storm bashed into the Whitsunday coast between Bowen and Airlie Beach earlier this week, with my hometown of Mackay (just over an hour’s drive to the south) copping its fair share of destructive winds and torrential rain too.
When you move to a new place it takes time to settle in. You don’t instantly know where the best place is to do grocery shopping or buy a nice coffee, but after a little while you start to find your way around. Things that previously seemed challenging or that made you second-glance or stare in awe, suddenly become normal.