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Old May 5th 2016, 12:35 am   #1
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Default Throw another shrimp on the barbie...

Two and a half years after writing my Pass the pineapple lumps update we hopped the ditch. I am trying to think which I dislike more: pineapple lumps or shrimps The latter I have to endure from time to time as my mother lives with an Australian who seems to think that presenting us with bowlfuls of the nasty things cold as a meal is a treat indeed

I did finish my course and earned a First Class Honours degree so that made me very happy. It is no small thing to go back to school with kids in tow and get through a four year course (took me six years) and I am quite pleased with myself Working on the 'what next' question right now.

My daughter did finish school and the IB diploma she was studying for. She earned a fantastic mark, which even though it wasn't the 'full marks' (!) her silly school predicted her (hence giving her the fright of her life resulting in her having several weeks of rabbit-in-headlights approach to revision ....), it was more than she needed to get onto the law school she was interested in here in Australia, although she didn't have to wait for her results as she was made an unconditional offer in late November. For planning purposes this was very convenient! She left home before we moved over here as she was travelling with the UN Youth for a month over the summer. Not the easiest way for your firstborn to leave home as we had almost zero contact with her for a month and, being a bit of a worrier, I found it difficult to relax while she was travelling as she went to NYC then flew into Paris and 'did' major sites in Europe and then went to an international conference at the Hague. Obviously this was just when Paris, etc. were on a rather high terrorist alert ... my poor heart!

So three of us packed up the house in a few short days and flew over. Fortunately my husband was successful in getting a job offer, which we received on Xmas eve so that made Xmas much more relaxing. We moved in with my mum while we waited for our stuff to arrive. That wasn't terribly relaxing but my mum meant well and is a good egg really. Now we live in a suburb on the cliffs and I can hear the ocean at night. We have come full circle back to the house we lived in when we had our first stab at Australia 8 years ago. It's fine here. If I ignore the despicable shameful politics then I really do like it here very much. No friends yet, but that takes time. Kids are settling well, which is priority number one. Husband is enjoying his job well enough.

My feelings about family and the UK haven't really changed that much since I wrote Pass the pineapple lumps. My heart has healed, albeit with some significant scar tissue with all that that entails. The difference is that in my two and half years my love for NZ deepened and I appreciated all the more her safety and security; I really do feel a sense of belonging there now and even though I am not living there it weirdly helps me to cope with my dislocation from the UK. But my relationship with NZ is different to my relationship with the UK. Perhaps this is because I was older when it was established or because it is essentially such a different place. It has none of the desperate need to be there that I have with the UK and thinking about my relationship with NZ only brings me joy, not the pain when I think of my first homeland.

In some ways ours is an emigration tale of caution: We have lost so much, more than once; we can almost certainly never return, even though we now know that this would be our preference; it has sometimes been very hard and lonely. But on the other hand we have tried to make the best of where we are and we have made lots of friends and learned a lot about ourselves and each other along the way. We are here in Australia because, for several reasons (not all of them possible to explain here) it is the right place for us for now. So we will make the best of here.

PS, for anyone that reads my previous update, the volunteering role I took on was pretty much a lifesaver so I heartily recommend it. It gave me purpose and perspective just when I bitterly needed both. It possibly saved my sanity.
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Old May 6th 2016, 8:00 am   #2
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Default Re: Throw another shrimp on the barbie...

Thanks for the update!

I hope that you can make it work there.

Just a word of warning - the impression that I have is that Australia has moved on leaps and bounds since the days when they use to use Paul Hogan at a barbecue as a marketing-tool. These days it is all about inviting people around to your house to cook a fancy dinner for them if what I see on the TV is correct.
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Old May 10th 2016, 9:38 pm   #3
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Default Re: Throw another shrimp on the barbie...

Love, love, love reading your updates BB. So insightful and beautifully wise! Very excited for you and your new move xxx
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Old May 11th 2016, 7:35 am   #4
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Default Re: Throw another shrimp on the barbie...

Good luck with your new home in Australia. With your positive attitude it should go well, thanks for posting about overcoming so many challenges and coming to a place of peace with them even when it's not the place you truly want. I look forward to the next update.
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