Thursday, 29 October 2009

Beautiful Piece

RJ of SparrowChat posted in his blog about a piece written by Twilight - both are UK emigrants to the US of 7 and 5 years standing respectively, with interesting perspectives on what it is like to be a Brit in another land.

Twilight also posted a piece of prose by Vicki Silvers. I thought that it was amazing and says in words that I could never express my feelings before we disappear from the UK;

"There comes a time in your life when you realise that if you stand still, you will remain at this point forever. You realize that if you fall and stay down, life will pass you by. Life's circumstances are not always what you might wish them to be. The pattern of life does not necessarily go as you plan...

Beyond any understanding, you may at times be led in different directions that you never imagined, dreamed, or designed. Yet if you had never put any effort into choosing a path or trying to carry out your dream, then perhaps you would have no direction at all.

Rather than wondering about or questioning the direction your life has taken, accept the fact that there is a path before you now. Shake off the "why's" and "what if's", and rid yourself of confusion. Whatever was - is in the past. Whatever is - is what's important. The past is a brief reflection. The future is yet to be realized. Today is here.

Walk your path one step at a time - with courage, faith and determination. Keep your head up and cast your dreams to the stars. Soon your steps will become firm and your footing will be solid again. A path that you never imagined will become the most comfortable direction you could ever have hoped to follow.

Keep your belief in yourself and walk into your new journey. You will find it magnificent, spectacular, and beyond your wildest imaginings."

Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Wordle for Oct

Here's the Wordle for this month - not a huge amount of different to last, but then I've only posted twice in Oct (sorry!) France still dominates, but I think that New Zealand will start creeping into the word listings as of next month ;-)

(As always - image attributed to Images of Wordles are licensed Creative Commons License. )

Time is running out...

Well, we've left work, we've had all of our leaving parties, the flat is starting to look very bare (we have 4 chairs, a mattress and the computer table left as furniture. And a decreasing pile of "stuff"). My luggage currently weighs 20.5 Kg, with a weight limit of 20Kg - I'm probably going to have to throw away (or recycle) a pair of shoes (they are starting to fall apart anyway, as I have worn them fairly constantly recently), and still going to have to layer up at the airport. And give my folks a few things to post for us or to keep till we are next back in the UK (the number of books that I had lent to people that came out of the woodwork in the days after we'd sent everything off was amazing!).

We have a week and a day (and 11 hours) left in the UK, and I think that it is finally starting to sink in that this is for real.

This feeling has been helped by the fact that I now have two interviews lined up before we leave - one Thursday evening (very late!) and one still tba, but it might even be this evening. I know that I can do either job (though the tba interview is with the recruitment agent (who I know from a forum), rather than with the employer - all being well, I'd have a face to face one when we land), so it is a good start!

This time two weeks' time, we will be in Wellington, and hopefully in a rented flat (though I accept that it might not be feasible that quickly...)

Wednesday, 14 October 2009

New Zealand update...

Well, we have 23 days until we fly. The shippers have just left, taking about 250 cubic feet of our belongings with them. We have had our main leaving party (we've both got work leaving nights out to come), we've handed in our notice on our flat and our jobs - the list of things to do is shrinking rapidly! As of the 30th October, we will be unemployed and homeless - vagrants wandering around of no fixed abode...

We still have no jobs to go to - we have had no luck in trying to persuade employers to contact us by Skype (but then, as I've been helping in the recruitment for my position, I probably wouldn't be interviewing someone who wasn't in the country, either!) However, we know that the jobs are out there. We've made contacts, and we are able to apply for a good number of jobs a week, so I'm not worried that we won't find anything. And if we don't get work in the first month or so, then I'm going to start going round the bars and restaurants - it's not as though we are going to be joining people on the general summer exodus this year!

I'm finding that emotions are oscillating wildly - I'm bouncing from being very excited, through incredibly scared and very wobbly about the friends and family that I'm leaving behind. As well as all of the day to day friendships, I'm going to be missing two close friend's weddings, as well as another good friend's first child being born. And these are just the ones that I know about at the moment. Of course, I know that life doesn't stop for everyone else just because we are leaving the country, but it is suddenly coming home to me just how much we are leaving behind.

But then, we have Skype, we have Facebook and we have emails. It is very different for us emigrating now than for two of my great-aunts, one of whom ended up in New Zealand, the other in Australia. For them, when letters took three months to arrive, and you had to arrange phone calls in advance, as not everyone had phones in their homes, emigration really did mean leaving everything you knew behind, with no chance of coming back in an emergency. It will be interesting to see the advances of the next forty years or so - will our children and grandchildren be popping back to the UK using the rocket plane that flies straight up into the stratosphere and lands half an hour later in London? Or will they think nothing of emigrating to the new biosphere on Mars?

For us, here and now, though, we have to focus on getting through the next three weeks - saying our goodbyes (or au revoirs - we are going to be coming back to the UK for holidays, and I know that we will see most people again) and making sure that all of our paperwork is in order before the big day!