Late last year, we decided to pack ourselves up and head to England to live and work. I mentioned it here, and then I stopped mentioning it because it was taking so looong to get organized! Anyway, WE ARE GOING! Cue gnashing of friends’ teeth and pouring of ashes upon heads.
We have a million reasons for wanting to go at this time: Sean has been working for an English company and flying through the UK to Africa, so he was in London for weeks at a time. My sister is getting married in January, and is excited to have me closer to her while they start to work on their little family. My grandmother is 92 and has no family living very near. I love her town, on the south coast, so I’d be happy to live there and know that if anything happens to her I’ll be just down the road. The boys are at a great age to move them, with Chas ready to start Secondary School. (Yes, he's giving up his space at Fatima College. Yes, I let him do the exam even though we were "probably" leaving. Some other lucky boy will get his place. Chas will sit another entrance exam in the UK, and he has experience under his belt now.) The education system seems to be friendly, though we won’t know till we‘re in it. The social work that I’ve been doing here for free counts as a “real job” in the UK. I am looking forward to furthering my own work and education in that field. Our family is ready for an adventure together.
My brother and sister both finished their schooling in the UK - My brother from the age of thirteen when he went to stay with our aunt and uncle and five boy cousins. I never wanted to go to school in the UK, and since I got a government scholarship to a “First Choice” and very academic girls’ school, I didn’t need to. (I went to Bishop Anstey, in case anyone’s wondering! Not a Convent girl, can you tell? Boy, are we a brainy family or what?) (Disclaimer: Convent girls are brainy too! *ducks and looks for flying missiles from convent friends*) Then I did hospitality management at the Hotel School here, and that was that. I travelled around, waited tables in the States, enjoyed working in England, planned to head to Nepal, and then fell in love and settled down. The first year that Sean and I were married, we spent in England. I worked while Sean did his Helicopter Pilot’s Licence, and Chas was born. It was a great year. We were happy to come home though. For eleven years, our boys have been warm-weather kids, potty training naked, wearing flip-flops all year, swimming and sailing and snorkelling in all seasons. But now, we are going back.
It’s pretty exciting, and it looks like we’ll be leaving in August. Yikes! Nine-tenths of me is ecstatic. The other tenth is groaning. The Cold!!! I am a tropical flower! I wilt in the grey English winter.
Did you know, the Weather sucks in England? The Weather is what worries me about this move. It’s the one-tenth factor. It might even work it’s way up to a four-tenths by October or November. In my two years of blogging, I have seen my bloggy friends get more and more antsy as the winter drags on, and I know how they feel.
I know that I can DEAL WITH IT. When I was pregnant with Chas, I worked a slightly later shift so that I could walk to work in SUNSHINE at ten o’clock in the morning. That half-hour walk in the daylight was the only light I saw for the day, and it made all the difference. I know that the exercise helped too. In previous winters, I went to aerobics. It helps me! It is so easy to slip into Hibernation Mode, roll up in a blanket on the couch and communicate in grunts from October to May. Eating mashed potatoes. Watching the grey seep in. It doesn’t have to happen though! There is so much to do and NO EXCUSE for drooping. There. I have given myself a good talking-to! You must remind me of this in October, when I start to mildew. The south coast isn’t as cold as the rest of the country, and the summer can be very nice, even if it only lasts for two days. I will take my vitamins, install a sun lamp or two, and get a grip. At least I know what to expect, right?
And truly, I will be better than fine. This is going to be great.