A day of mixed emotions. Earlier today, the last major obstacle to our move abroad disappeared when we received a call to say that our solicitors had finally exchanged contracts on the sale of our flat. This means that, barring unforeseen circumstances, the shippers will pack and ship our entire home contents on the 5th September and we’ll move out on the 6th, the day before we leave the UK for the first leg of our trip to New Zealand. An hour later, the upbeat mood had evaporated as, oblivious to the traffic noise and rain, I hugged my father goodbye at Kings Cross mainline station. He was returning home to Yorkshire after a three day visit and, although we knew this moment was coming, I doubt that either of us were certain in the knowledge of exactly how we would feel when the time came. Speaking for myself, I feel numb and more than a little off-centre, as I keep hearing him saying ‘have a good life’ as he walked away from my without looking back. It was a simple statement without side but it resonates inside me still. His words drive home the fact that our decision to move abroad, fuelled by a desire to offer the kids a better family life than we can in the UK, also means the inevitable estrangement of our nearest and dearest. Whilst we have often discussed such partings and what the effect on those involved might be, I sense that it is only when faced with these moments of separation that we truly know what is in our hearts and how we might cope.
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