Well hello there!!!
Hasn’t that been a rapid start to 2020, almost like the last 2 months have up and vanished into thin air! Now on some days off I thought it best to take some time to recap – or as Miranda Hart says “previously in my life”…
19 GEMS FROM 2019
- In January we found the perfect house for us to rent in Kent, England and moved in. Although with only two bedrooms it presented as much smaller than our 3 bedroom with study home back in Australia, it came with the benefits of being in a nice area, within walking distance to Mackenzie’s new school and public transport. The inclusion of a parking space at our front door was also one of the highlights, and lets be honest, the crowded-with-parked-cars look of the street made us feel a little like we were still on the Sunshine Coast of Queensland.
- I commenced my OSCE training to make me proficient and prepared enough to sit the OSCE test, which is the test to be registered as a Registered Nurse in the UK. It was a tedious training course but completely necessary since you only get two very expensive shots at the exam.
- Kevin started a his first job in England only to find out on his first day that the company had lost the tender and he would likely have to find another job. In a situation where we are earning horrifically less than in Australia and our expenses are more, it was a massive blow and made us all a little nervous.
- After a short time off, Kevin landed his current job and was soon made permanent after working on a zero hour contract for a little while. He is still there and enjoying it, although he has been encouraged so to speak to take up his previous position – more money and sweet hours, but may involve a lot of time at a computer.
- We experienced our first falling of snow! Kevin, Lauren and I had previously experienced at least a little snowfall, but Mackenzie hadn’t and this was far more than I had ever seen. To be honest I was like a small child, excited and bouncing – the kids were almost as excited as me and Kevin just found the whole thing amusing.
- In February Lauren received a promotion at work in her retail job after only being there for a couple of months, and she was blossoming in her new career she had chosen whilst in England.
- We began in March having bbqs at the beach again, although they are somewhat different here in comparison to back home. Here it is a foil tray with charcoal beads inside and a thin steel wire rack on top, since they are one use only you never have to worry about cleaning but they come with a lot of smoke and I cringe at the waste.
- Lauren experienced heart break with her and her long time boyfriend deciding that their goals and dreams for life did not align and parting ways, I have never seen her more heartbroken before and it tore me apart to be honest. She did however take it all in her stride and see that it was for the best – I’m still a little jaded because I adore his mum – but we still adore her and her family and remain in contact.
- In June we experienced heart break and deep sadness for two reasons – firstly we lost Kevins dad on fathers day just as we arrived at a beautiful park to celebrate with a picnic, but also due to the emotional attack we received by a family member back in Australia that absolutely broke my husband and I. Unrelated, we decided not to go back for the funeral because of the enormous cost, and because we had said our goodbyes to him before we left knowing it would likely be the last time.
- I sat my OSCE test and although I thought I had failed and spent hours sobbing my little heart out, I had actually passed and was granted my nursing PIN to practise in England.
- In June we welcomed my beautiful friend Sandi with her mum and daughter to stay with us and explore England. Sandi had come over for my birthday the next month and arrived early enough to enjoy England, and her mum would be staying at our house with her daughter whilst we gallivanted around Paris for a week.
- In July I met my cherished friend Lyn in Paris for my 40th birthday with Sandi and my daughter Lauren, for a week of bliss. We enjoyed the usual sightseeing monuments and art exhibitions, along with eating loads of delicious food devoid of any guilt, and spent time with these incredible women in my life connecting on a deeper level.
- Lauren goes against all my motherly input and meets a boy on tinder – although he has been such a wonderful part of her life and certainly the type of partnership she needs in life. Someone to challenge her and her stubborn ways, they balance each other out and Jack has become a beautiful part of our lives.
- We went and explored Brighton for a couple of nights with my niece Tarryn and our daughter Mackenzie, such an incredible place to visit and so vibrant – we even had a fellow Aussie serve us afternoon tea! Then we explored Wales with our other niece Mia staying the first night in the most incredible place near the mountains, then the second night in an absolute dive complete with dirty knickers under the bed that Kevin so joyfully walked past and got caught on his foot…insert vomit here!
- In September we welcomed my cousins daughter Hayley (who is more like a niece to me) from Australia for a visit. It was so incredible having her here and spending time together – after growing up together their whole lives, her and Lauren are an absolutely hoot together! It was like having a little piece of home here with us.
- We did two trips to visit friends for different reasons but both worthwhile and memorable. The first was Mackenzie and I on our first solo flight together to Edinburgh Scotland to visit with our best friends Kath and her daughter Caiti. Although it was to fairwell one of their family members, there were many silver linings and we made such beautiful memories with the girls. The second was to one of Mackenzies friends in Ireland – she had made a friend who was in Australia temporarily and we were invited to visit when we moved to the UK. The trip was incredible and we really enjoyed getting to know them more and exploring Ireland.
- In November we welcomed one of my best friends daughter Raquel to stay with us a few weeks. Raquels mum and dad and I met in hospital when the girls were born – they were born only 43 minutes apart and share the same birthday, and have been friends since birth. We managed a last minute weekend away with her and visited the Netherlands, Bruges Christmas Markets, and France – all by boat and car in only 2 days!!!
- In December we had the pleasure of hosting Laurens best friend Amr from Australia for a short time, honestly he is like the son I never had and we all enjoyed his company.
- We experience the craziness of our first new years eve in London – my goodness it is a dogs breakfast – totally insane. However it was nice to stay overnight in the city with Kevin and Mackenzie and explore a little. The NY Day Parade was the highlight of it all and went for the longest time.