Two years ago – to the day, tomorrow- I sat in my uncle’s living room in Brisbane, writing a blog post. It was the day before we flew out to the other side of the world, with a plan to stay in London for a year, then reassess whether we wanted to stay for the second year of our visas.
Within three months of living in London we had firmly established there was no way we were going back any earlier than two years. It takes months just to settle into church, make friends, find your way around the city. After one year lapsed, we had just started to feel properly comfortable in that wonderful city, had established routines and panicked mildly at the thought that there was only one year left. We made the most of it though, and in that last year crammed in two more 3-week trips, 3 long weekend trips, and 4 out-of-town day trips.
Well, we have said now goodbye to London. Two weeks ago (has it really only been two weeks??) we moved out of our flat in New Cross, London, and moved in with our friends Helen and Guy for a week. During that week we had a farewell church picnic, several farewell meals, I visited the National Gallery (nothing like leaving things to the last minute) and had our last church service at Grace Church Brockley. It was hard saying goodbye to people who have been our family for the last two years and who we don’t know when we’ll see next. Leaving Australia was much easier because we knew we’d be back, and when. We don’t know when we will be back in London.
A train took us out of London itself down to Gatwick Airport. We had our last meal at a Wetherspoon’s pub – Andre is very disappointed to be leaving behind pubs, especially Witherspoon’s – and then boarded a plane that took us out of England for the last time for the foreseeable future. But it won’t be farewell to old England forever.