And so I find myself in England for a few days. House hunting. How on earth did that happen?
Out of the blue, Paul has been offered a new role in London. And after much consideration, we are on the move. I have a whole cocktail of emotions going on. Excited that I will be spending time close to family and old friends. Eager to visit all those English gardens and European cities. Cautiously looking forward to living in London for the first time in my life, with all that it has to offer.
But on the other hand, I have deep, deep sadness to be leaving Australia. A country that I have grown to love in a way that I never felt about England. Of distancing ourselves from all the wonderful friendships we have been so lucky to have made over the years. And a genuine fear of leaving blue skies behind.
This week we have awoken to fog, walked under grey cloud and dodged the rain, almost every day. I’m hoping I will soon slot straight back in again; after all, I did live in the UK for 33 years. But gosh, we are giving up so much in Sydney.
November is probably not London at its best. Whilst relatively mild, it is past the romantic stage of autumn and on to the damp, mushy, tired looking beginnings of winter. Search as I might, it has been extremely difficult to find inspiring plantings of any kind. The one saving grace has been a very happy ten minutes at ‘The Chelsea Gardener’ nursery, before meeting a friend at ‘Bumpkin Garden Restaurant’.
It’s going to be much harder to surround myself with green here. It’s going to be much, much harder to get out of bed on cold, dark mornings. But I am determined to embrace all the wonderful things about this city and this country; to appreciate them in a way that I failed to do in the past. A few days in and I already feel less of a stranger, more relaxed and excited to be experiencing some of the wonders of London. Driving along Embankment last night, seeing the lights of the London Eye and Oxo Tower, then past Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament, you can’t help but feel invigorated by this magical, historic city.
We’ll be moving here in London’s spring, so until then, I’m going to enjoy every minute in Australia, stock up on vitamin D and visit as many new places as I possibly can.
And we’ll definitely be back; I have an Australian garden that I need to create for myself: I can see it in my mind and nothing will stop me ensuring this vision becomes a reality one day.
But for now, I had better get on. Gosh, I have lots to do!