brave enough to start

family of five who can, should and definitely will, see more of the world


So, August – what happened?

Conscious that I haven’t managed a single blog post this month and that if I don’t get something up in the next two hours, “August 2015” will never register on the sub heading bar, I am determined to publish something.  The short version is we’ve packed up, handed the house over to our tenant and moved in with our parents and in laws for the remaining few weeks before we leave.  The longer version goes like this:

John has spent the month studying hard for his 11+ tests, attending a summer school 4 mornings a week for 4 weeks and then enjoying the afternoons at ski school where he has learnt both to ski and to snow board.  As incentives go, ski school has been fantastic as the bait needed to get John up every morning and to ensure his homework was done ready for the next day. After many hours on the slopes at the Woodley Skiplex he has a decent parallel technique and can even ski backwards.  He has spent the weekends in Kent with his brothers and many hours swimming and body boarding in the freezing Kent waters!

Teddy and Alex have had 5 whole weeks in Kent with my parents where they have built sand sculptures, played cricket, tennis and badminton, swam in the sea and played mini golf.  We’ve joined them every weekend and seen an improvement in both Teddy’s bowling technique and in Alex’s negotiating skills! Both boys are looking sun kissed.

Nick began the month by completing a long list of maintenance jobs at home to get our house ready to hand over to our tenant.  He cleared the gutters, removed obsolete wiring, fitted a hatch door and all manner of other tasks that never seemed urgent all the time we were living there.  It’s like when you decide to sell your house, suddenly completing all those jobs you have been meaning to do for years to make the property more attractive to a potential purchaser, and then by the time you have one, you wonder why you are moving!  He also researched and organised car hire for both the East and West Coast of the United States and organised for our cars at home to be serviced and MOT’d before being stored whilst we are away.  We managed to get our International driving licences today which, bearing in mind it is a bank holiday, is no mean feat! In addition Nick has sorted out our visas and on top of all that he has, of course, been working full time.

As for me, well, I’ve either sold, recycled, bubble wrapped, boxed or cleaned almost every item we own.  In the beginning I labelled the packing boxes fairly comprehensively but, if I’m honest, when the time comes to unpack we are going to find a number of the latterly packed boxes with the words “more shit” helpfully written across them.  I’ve organised our immunisations and spent hours driving John between cram school, ski school and home again. Post has been redirected, utility companies have been informed, insurances changed and direct debits reduced.  I’ve investigated the best way to convert currencies and set up spread sheets to monitor our budget as we go (okay, arguably Nick did the last of those…) I’ve also facilitated a couple of reunions for some of the antenatal courses that I ran earlier in the year, which, co-incidentally have included a number of airline pilots who have offered to look after us had we been flying on their airlines.  Sadly none of them work for Virgin.  Whilst the staff at British Airways, Easyjet and ANA are busy having babies it seems that families are not on the agenda for those at Virgin – I suppose the clue is in the name.  I guess we didn’t think it through…

All in all, it has been an immense project and reflecting on it now, I can’t quite believe how much we have achieved.  There are still a couple of bits left to do, not least of which is to celebrate Nick’s 40th next week (shhh!) but the list is definitely under control now, the airport taxi is booked and we are all but ready.

21 days and counting….