It is terrifyingly real to say now - only two weeks (actually, 13 days!) until we move to Australia for a year! The past few months have flown by, and it feels like only yesterday Mr C and I were sitting in our apartment and deciding what to do for the rest of our lives. We have packed up our home, and rented it out to another young couple in love. Hopefully they will love it and take care of it and have as much fun as we did living there. I found the packing up really, really hard, but the worst moment was the actual closing of the door as we left for the final time. It felt deeply poignant, hugely significant and felt heart-achingly final. As we quietly closed the door on that particular stage of our lives, I was overcome with emotion. I know it is still ours and we own it and it will be there when we come back, but when that happens, if it does, it won't be the same. We will have changed as people, as a couple. Things will have moved on, though undoubtedly for the better.
We have moved to my parents house, where just over 7 months ago we had our beautiful wedding reception. It is an incredibly strange feeling living back at home - it feels like I have never left. The familiar feel of the bannister, the squeak of the floorboards, and the ability to navigate round the house in the complete darkness all contribute to making me feel like a child again, in the best possible way. Not to mention being back with my amazing parents, who are treating us (and feeding us!) like kings. A rude awakening is going to happen when we leave them I feel!
We now have a two week window in which to pack (not an issue for Mr C, who is convinced he is taking a small backpack and nothing else), say our final goodbyes to friends and family and finish work. Only 9 working days left, and a hell of a lot of emotions are coursing through me at the moment. I cannot wait to get to Australia. It is my spiritual home, the place I feel most myself. I don't know what will happen when we get there, where we will eventually live, work, travel. But I do know that without question this will become a defining moment for me, as a person, and as a wife. Mr C and I are already stronger in a way that I didn't think we even lacked. A sense of complete reliability I suppose. I feel closer to him, deeper even. It's actually rather hard to describe without it sounding a bit seedy!
In order to squeeze as much into our remaining time in the UK as possible, we had the most fantastic weekend. The weather was simply beautiful and we were outside for most of it, and on Saturday night had the first of our leaving do's at a local pub. Highlights included a beautiful walk at Virginia Water lake with my family...
...followed by the most wonderful lunch al fresco with Mr C's Mummy at the Thatched Tavern, a local pub with a gorgeous garden. I had a delicious fillet of roasted haddock with herb crushed new potatoes and a heritage tomato and red onion salsa. Fresh, seasonal and absolutely delicious. First prize has to go to the Surf and Turf, which the others both had. A delicious, perfectly cooked fillet mignon with a gigantic tiger prawn, triple cooked chips and a fricassee of shellfish. Just perfect.
It doesn't seem real that in less than two weeks we will be flying far away from our incredible families and friends and leaving behind the place that we have grown up, fallen in love and made our home for the past 28 years. Our remaining days are to be filled with farewell get-togethers, and I am both looking forward to and dreading each and every one.