Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Tying loose ends

The last 2 weeks and a bit has been nothing short of chaotic. Just as we did almost 2 years ago we are packing up our lives and moving around the world, except this time it is with a lot more certainty than I think I can say I had when we arrived in England early on the morning of the 15th of September 2004, almost 2 years to the day since I am writing this.

We have moved out of our fantastic flat in West Kensington, and to Pete & Sueanne's place at Eastcote before we jet off to Poland on Thursday - since moving in here and taking over their spare bedroom we've spent our time sorting through all of our possessions, dividing it up into what we'll take back to Brisbane, out of that what we'll take travelling, and what is going straight in the bin or to the charity shop. Not an easy task when you've been accumulating stuff for two years from all over the place. But when you only have so much space to pack it into for the plane trip, you have a big challenge ahead of you when your better half wants to take home 15+ pairs of shoes!

Between sorting, packing, and cleaning over the past weeks we have also been getting out and seeing some particular areas and sights we hadn't been two yet, such as the backstreets of Chelsea, some more bars around Hoxton we hadn't been to, and yet another afternoon session at The White Horse at Parsons Green to farewell London friend Andrew who is heading to Melbourne. Not to mention my first Arsenal Premiership match at Emirates Stadium on the weekend which I'll be bragging about for years to come..

We spent the last few days cleaning our flat before handing over the keys to the agent yesterday - closing the door on the flat was very hard to do.. while it might have only been our home for 8 months, the times we had there were some of our most memorable in London - i'll never forget that roof with the couch and table & chairs on it (and I probably won't let anyone else forget it either!), shish-kebabs on my little coal-fired BBQ, and many sunsets spent chatting away watching the twilight across the chimney tops. Oh, and then there was also watching the planes fly over heading for a landing at Heathrow - oh I will miss all the planes!

I think today summed up how much we have loved living here, and how the big city just makes you love it despite all its challenges, quirks, and differences. We had made plans to meet some friends at a favourite pub at Knightsbridge, and then onto a GBK for some dinner - so having arranged a time to meet at Green Park, Carly and I headed across town from where were both doing different things, only to find our Tube journeys delayed with various problems (Carly's involved her Tube train actually running over someone while she was on it at Hyde Park Corner!). But yet we soldiered on, making our way to the meeting spot by other means, cursing TfL for the delays and closures but all the while enjoying the challenge of getting around the big city despite adversity - in the end, after facing a second series of peak-hour delays and dramas we all met up and had a great night with Pete, Renee & Chris as we ended up in Chiswick.

We both love this town, and it has been both sad and exciting to realise that we are now definitely leaving.

I guess all that's left is to zip up the bags and head out to Gatwick for that first flight of our European adventures - we'll be keeping notes of what we get up to, and hopefully along the way I can get some late-night spare time to keep up the blogging.

More to come from on the road.

Ciao ciao!

-shane

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