The countdown begins

25 Mar

Ok, take a deep breath. Breath in slowly… breath out. Breath in slowly… breath out. Here goes… as the end of March approaches, Matt and I have come to the stark realisation that we have only three months left in London. Yes, we knew we were only going to be here for a limited time but where did that time actually go?? Last we checked it was Christmas and we were on a sleigh getting pulled along the snowy ground by mighty husky dogs in Sweden and saying ‘six months left’. It seemed like forever. Now, all of sudden we’re researching shipping companies to ship home our accumulated goods, looking into renewing our travel insurance for the last time and making plans for the trip home. We’ve even booked our flights back to Oz (shock horror!) and now there’s no turning back. Or is there?

Lately we’ve been thinking about how lucky we’ve been in our lives in the UK, or more specifically, London. London has given us throngs of possibilities, opened doors for our careers and thrown us into some of the most memorable experiences we’ll ever have, all without even asking for it. I don’t know how people feel back home, but I don’t think Toowoomba, or even Brisbane, is going to live up to the benchmark that London has set for us. Where in Brisbane will we be able to meet a Prince, shake hands with celebrities on more than one occasion, walk past the most beautiful century-old buildings on the way to work (hell, I even work in one!) and experience exclusive ‘London only’ opportunities like running in the brand new London Olympic Stadium (six days to go!) and to be official photographer at some of the most prestigious events for one of Britain’s ‘2012 CoolBrands’. For some reason I’ve walked across Waterloo Bridge quite a lot recently and every time I look to the skyline and see the magnificent dome of St. Paul’s cathedral, I sigh and feel sad about the thought of leaving a place that is so stunning and that has been so good to both of us.

But then I think of what awaits us back home. Without a doubt, the one key thing about going home is the chance to see all our family and friends again. We have four babies to meet – some yet to be born – and missed witnessing the marriage of friends. There’s no explaining how much we have missed these experiences and more importantly, the very important people in our lives to the point that we feel it has really come time to leave. We are also excited about the possibilities in terms of work – our CVs have been enriched by our experiences here and we cannot wait to settle down and make a home for ourselves again. For the chance to drive and to visit the beach and to experience sunshine for more than one consecutive day in the row will be absolutely lovely to make part of daily life again.

However, I cannot help but take notice of that nagging question still running through my mind… what if we stayed just a little longer? Now don’t go getting all ‘up in arms’, you don’t have to worry, of course we are coming home and I don’t think we would change our minds at this stage. I just think that it’s taken this long for us to actually feel part of the city and we’ve gotten to know it quite well. Sure we’ve merely scratched the surface of things to do here but it takes time to immerse yourself into a city and to set up a life. Only now do we feel that we’ve gotten to that point and it makes me wonder what our lives would become if we were here for a couple more years. Where could London take us given the chance? I guess my consolation lies in the fact that we could always come back, alas not on a working holiday visa, but perhaps if we get to the point where we could be ‘highly skilled immigrants’. The enticement of further possibilities in London will mean that we may never really rule that possibility out. At the moment however we are on that plane back to Australia and are very much looking forward to it. But in the meantime, we’re making the most of our last three months in London and we cannot wait to make it the best three months ever!

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4 Responses to “The countdown begins”

  1. Carol Edwards March 25, 2012 at 10:56 PM #

    What a beautiful blog Matt and Mel. So glad you’ve had this experience of a lifetime and the opportunities that are yours. We so look forward to you coming home – all your grandparents in particular are so eagerly looking forward to those first hugs and kisses. Every time I see London on TV or in a magazine one of my favourite memories is of the first day we arrived in London and walking over Waterloo Bridge and the throngs of people there as it was summer and so many tourists around. I’ll never forget it. It was so exciting. So enjoy what time you have left there. You are only young once!

  2. jane cook March 26, 2012 at 9:58 AM #

    All I can say is, you made me cry. Love You Mum.

  3. mmeblog March 26, 2012 at 8:31 PM #

    Naw… don’t cry! I’ve got to say, the major highlight of the next three months will be your visit!! Love you too.

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