By Susan Roberts
When I wrote my previous post for this blog, I had just loaded my Move Cube and sent it on its way. It’s hard for me to grasp that that was a month ago. Today I was going to write about how I got rid of the loads of stuff still sitting around in my cottage that needed to find new homes.
I was going to wax lyrical about how those last two weeks were a frenzy of activity, but that fortnight passed in a blur and now I find that I don’t wish to recall all the traumatic details. Suffice it to say that there was an overriding sense of despair as time raced, there were tears after I said goodbye to my cats and promised them I would see them in three-and-a-half weeks, and there was a growing realisation that my suitcase was not constructed like Mary Poppins’ bottomless carpet bag. I ejected many precious things from my suitcase because they just didn’t fit.
And then suddenly I had said my last rushed goodbyes to beloved friends, and I was on a plane for Australia.
Oh the bliss of being able to relax and sleep on that long flight! Sleep was something that had increasingly eluded me in the months leading up to my departure. I had become used to waking up in the early hours almost every day, my mind racing over some forgotten task to be added to the ever-increasing list, and like Shakespeare’s bloody hero Macbeth, I could sleep no more. But once I was on that plane over the Indian Ocean, sleep settled over me like a comfy blanket and I restored some of those lost ZZZ’s.
For the first time ever on a long flight, I was in the centre block, on the aisle. The other three seats in my row were occupied by two small boys and their father, and whenever the two boys needed to move out of the row, they chose to disturb their father instead of me. Every time I woke up, I did an exercise circuit of the back end of the plane, drank more water, and then curled up like a cat in my seat for another snooze.
My arrival in Melbourne catapulted me headfirst into joyous family celebrations over my youngest niece’s upcoming wedding. There was the inevitable last-minute sewing of beautiful dresses for the bride, her bridesmaid sisters and her mother, and a fun-filled bridal shower that nurtured the bride instead of humiliating her like so many similar functions do.
My sister’s house bulged at the seams, filled with relatives, food and laughter. Madness and mayhem ruled, but for the first time in months, the madness and mayhem were not mine. I happily took my place on the perimeter, where I observed and chuckled, relishing the time spent with family who were finally together in the same country, the same city – and mostly in the same house – for the first time in more than four years since my middle niece’s wedding. Precious times indeed.
The wedding itself was beautiful…
…but gradually the activity tapered off as relatives returned to their various homes around the world.
In the two weeks since I arrived in Australia, I’ve done a lot of sleeping and not much writing, but I still wake up early when the house is quiet and drink tea in bed while browsing the internet and writing e-mails. My cats have arrived in the country and are comfortably settled into the quarantine facility on the other side of Melbourne, and I will see them soon.
My world, despite being in a new country, is starting to return to normal.