After a lengthy blog hiatus (not a writing hiatus, more about that later…), I hopped on to find the draft entry below. It was a bit surreal to find a post listing all the things I was looking forward to in the UK, and the things I’d miss about Australia, especially since we’ve been living here for over two years. The funny thing: the post was spot on. Now I’d probably add ‘bare shoulders on a warm summer’s night’ to the Australia list, and I’m sorry to say other than the odd flake, we haven’t had a snowy UK Christmas (yet!). I haven’t found a local patisserie to rival the one that produced my favourite pie back home (although I did have an incredibly tasty slice at Brussels airport), but I’ve learned to bake my own, and we have a cheeky pair of chooks who provide the eggs.
It hasn’t been two years without its challenges and life in the UK has delivered more than we expected (good and bad), but it’s comforting to know that there are some things I can count on, like an enduring love for lemon meringue pie. Oh, and I really do love the tube…
A few of my favourite things… [drafted early July 2015]
Earlier in the week we cracked the forty day countdown mark to our UK move. The house is filled with boxes, there are blank-spots where much loved pieces of furniture once lived, and our voices bounce off tiles and blank walls. It’s starting to feel very real now. There’s a lot still up in the air: jobs, a place to live. “No biggie”, I say, wiping the sweat from my brow. In the midst of all the administrative chaos, I’m still madly trying to complete the first draft of my YA contemporary, Cam and Sticks. It’s going better than expected, and I’m sure it’s providing a much-needed outlet. Like the move, I have to believe that every little step in the right direction will result in a finalised draft. They’re very similar things: moving and writing. If you think about the big picture, it’s really easy to freak out and psych yourself into thinking it will never happen. But if you just focus on the next task on your to-do list, one day you wake up and you’re hopping on a plane, or you’ve got a completed book. This is what keeps me going, fingers crossed…
Aside from the nuts and bolts of the move, and writing process, the rest of my time at the moment is spent looking at my little family and thinking of all the things we’re leaving behind and the exciting things we have to look forward to. So I thought I’d spend today making a list of my favourite things (and people) — both in Australia and the UK.
Things about Australia I’ll really miss:
1. Family and friends — I don’t think I can comprehend how much I’ll miss my mum, dad and brother. And through school, university and work, I’ve been privileged enough to discover the funniest, diverse, alternative-thinking bunch of friends a person could hope for.
2. Blue-sky winter days
3. Amazing fusion food — Australia’s multicultural reputation has slipped of late, but what our diverse population delivers best, is an amazing meeting of cultures through experimentation
4. Excellent indie music (though I’ll find a way to tap into that, I’m sure)
5. Having coffee and lemon meringue pie at our local cafe, while chickens scuttle underfoot (our cafe is located on a farm)
6. Being able to pop down to the beach or local pool and have a swim whenever I feel like it.
That’s what springs to mind at the moment. I’m sure I haven’t listed half the things I’ll truly miss once we’re away.
Things about the UK I can’t wait for:
1. Going to see West End musicals and visiting all the museums and galleries with my family
2. Being able to go out in the middle of the day without burning to a crisp (thanks Mum and Nanna (Dad’s mum, so the dice were truly loaded) for the red hair and fair skin )
3. Christmases to match the movies (ie cold, snow if we’re lucky)
4. Autumn and falling leaves
5. Snuggling up in a comfy jumper with a pot of tea when it’s freezing outside
6. Catching the train, riding my bike, and walking everywhere rather than driving so much (I’m even getting excited about the tube, crazy I know!)