Our farewells began last month when we said bye bye to my parents and sister up in Newcastle. That was tough and it had to take place at the end of September because they were going on a long trip round Hong Kong and China which meant I wouldn’t see them again before we left for Australia. I don’t think I’ll ever forget that tight hug between I-Lin and I in the car park of Dragon I Restaurant with the heavy rain and grey skies. And when I think about it now I still get a pang in my heart.
As if that hard goodbye wasn’t enough to go through; we had some of the most difficult goodbyes take place during our last few days in UK. Adele, Andrea and Helen are probably the girls I spend most my time with and see often and they are all so dear to me so having to put a two year stop on our girlie get togethers was not easy.
Adele is a great shopping companion as proved by our girls’ trip to New York last year. She is extremely fun to be with, has a generous and giving nature and shares my love of pink coloured cocktails. What more could I want in a girlfriend? I've only known her for about 3 years but we've managed to get really close in such a short space of time. Andrea is the girl who will always give me an honest answer or opinion and I always value what she has to say for she is wise and measured and I can rely on her completely. She is a real do-er and keeps me focused and I am a keen admirer of her organisational abilities. We've been through so much together both emotionally challenging stages in our lives as well as more fun times like how to drive two narrowboats down a canal together and what to do when an old man asks you for sex at a car boot sale...(sorry I guess that was a private joke moment). Helen has this irresistible personality which is completely on my wavelength; think high end Louis Vuitton combined with, well if I’m honest and I hope she’ll forgive me for this, complete and utter potty mouth filth. She can spot a fake handbag instantly and is a magpie for anything new and expensive I buy. She is upper crust and knows her Tiffany from her Mulberry and combines that with salt of the earth calling a spade well, a $*@#ing spade".
And then our final goodbye. We spent our last evening with Steve’s family; mum, dad and bro as well as aunt, uncle and cousins. Throughout the time we’ve been planning this trip they have been so supportive helping us out with practical things including a tiler at short notice and painting the house yet we know that this move hasn’t been easy on them emotionally. It’s been difficult to go through the emotion of whether for the sake of our own happiness it’s worth putting our loved ones through hurt. We console ourselves that this relocation will make our marriage stronger which makes us better people to know and love and that it is only a temporary thing.
Steve spent a year in Germany as part of his university studies and he would have to walk to a phone box to call home and there was no email. Steve being Steve would “forget” and weeks would go by without calling home and his parents would have to phone the "frau" who was his landlady to make sure he was ok. There is no chance of that happening now. Firstly, I wouldn’t let it and secondly, it is so easy to stay in touch these days that the distance is less of an issue. This stint abroad for him will be so different to Germany for both us and for his family. For a start we will be in touch always. Also, at least he won’t have to walk across a cabbage field to get to work nor will he have to pack a rucksack of dirty clothes and walk two miles to a launderette every Saturday. Instead we have lots to look forward to. We have each other to share the adventures with and to support one another when the going gets tough. And finally we have the means to share every little details with our loved ones.
So this post then takes us to the next chapter which is all about life in Australia. Please go to the next page on this site. See you down under!