So, first things first, to drag the previous analogy kicking and screaming into this post, Australia has decided it will date us! Yay! Now we just have to decide what to wear and how to have our hair! (Only I have no summer clothes and Jan is in the middle of Movember, so we will definitely NOT be making a good impression.)
Hot on the heels of our visa approval, we were finally able to book our flights. Normal people of course would book flights based on sensible things like timing and cost and luggage allowance. We booked ours on the basis that Jan wanted a go on the new double decker planes that have just come out, which we since discovered have a crappy luggage allowance, so now we have some serious packing decisions to make (Jan refuses to wear his parachute rig on the plane, so it looks like I will have to wear all my clothes at once Joey-from-Friends-style to make room for it). But hey ho, our official leaving date is 26 November, when we take to the skies for the day, then stop at Singapore on the Wednesday, arriving in Sydney on the Thursday morning. We also have details for our fancy serviced apartment - in Waterloo, nonetheless! It is paid for by the company for one month, after which it is highly possible we will be sleeping on the beach.
Since then, it has been a Whirlwind of auf Wiedersehen (or a Tornado of Tschüss if you wish). I visited my dearest friends in Telford/Birmingham for a long weekend, which was a unique form of self-torture. You spend a few days with your favourite people which just emphasises how freaking awesome they are and how much they mean to you, how much of your history is tied up together and how you just wouldn't be sane and present in the world today if it wasn't for them, and then you tear yourself away because you won't be seeing them for a year or two. Ouch. Suffice to say, there were many tears and it hurt WAY more than this:
We kicked off this weekend with a leaving do in London for our friends here, which was fantastic. To have all of those lovely people in one room was so much fun and it was really touching that so many could make it to see us off (or make sure we were leaving?!). It has really made us realise how lucky we have been in our lives here and how blessed we were to make such good friends.
On Saturday I woke up with the worst hangover ever, thinking I might not make it through the day, let alone through another couple of weeks (they lied you know! Beer before wine does NOT make you feel fine. Not at all.) Then Jan's parents arrived. They had driven FROM GERMANY to come and say goodbye in person (and to let us dump all the crap we can't take to Sydney on them). Given I could barely remember my own name, the small talk in German was a bit lacking. At one point I thought my brain had haemorrhaged and was seeping slowly out of my nose as I tried to string the German for "Did you have a good journey***" together.
We will say goodbye to them on Monday morning (another sobfest naturally). This week we have even more goodbyes to say, to friends as well as my parents. Underneath it all there is a certain amount of excitement for what is to come, but for now we are very much still living in what has gone before and working out how to say goodbye to it without drowning it in snot.
* Yeah I know, we don't blog when there's nothing happening and we don't blog when big things are happening - what kind of half-assed bloggers are we?!
** It was a wine/mosquito related incident.
*** It's two words, dammit.