Wow, what a crazy first day. We shivered through breakfast, unaccustomed to life without humidity, and left the warmth of the apartment for a first look at the house.
I used to live in a neighbouring suburb and I’d driven along the streets many times in the long, distant past. But nothing felt familiar anymore. In fact, I really struggled to get my bearings.
The house is fantastic and the kids loved it. Even completely devoid of furniture, they had a great time exploring, plotting and planning about where our things would go. And it was wonderful to see them just simply running out to the backyard – a freedom they haven’t had for the last three years.
We took a drive past their school and decided on the spur of the moment that we would take the kids inside for a look-see. There was still a week of classes to go before the holidays and I thought it would be good for them to have a sneak preview before starting next term. It took a bit of a push to get them over the threshold, but it was worth it. Sometimes it’s the simple things that count, and particularly important for H, she got to see exactly what, from the uniform list, the other kids were wearing. It’s hard enough being the new kid without turning up wearing something completely different to the others.
We were given a tour of the school and the kids were asked if they’d like to go in for a couple of hours later in the week. We thought that was a terrific idea; the kids begged to differ, but the seed was planted.
Next stop was the supermarket and as I wandered along the aisles, I felt quite overwhelmed. Here I was, in a massive grocery store where the shelves were bulging – something I’ve dreamed of for ages – and I was paralysed by choice. And I’ve noticed that since we’ve been away, the two main supermarkets are selling many of their own brands now. But where does their food come from? Is it local produce or imported? I’ve always tried to support local growers no matter where we’ve been, so no shop will be a quick shop until I figure out where things come from.
So much like a move to another country, coming home to Australia feels new and exciting – and just a bit strange. It’s going to take a while for us all to adjust, but whatever the case, it’s still good to be home.