The Upside Down Household

Today marks a significant milestone.  Our house overseas has been packed-up and put in a container, ready for shipping (well, most of it.  Six years with a growing family increases your footprint a little…).  So it makes sense to write a little about what life is like outside of the house project, when you’re trying to repatriate.

  • House hunt: we scoured the web for nearly three years before the right place came up (admittedly, we had some tight search criteria)…
  • House purchase: it then took another nine months before we completed the purchase (there might have been a few fracking-related concerns)
  • Cohabitation: having made the decision to head home, three quarters of the family spent two months living in close proximity with two other branches of the family over the summer (all quite amicable – “just sayin”)…
  • Distance relationship: Although this has been a regular summertime feature of expat life, our current arrangements are one step beyond… the last stint was seven weeks apart.  This one is shorter, but longer periods loom…
  • No room at the school: Although we live 200m from the school we’d like M to attend, there are no spaces for the time being.  This means an extra four miles of driving for drop-off and pick-up.  Add to that the six miles from the current base of operations, and you’ll begin to appreciate the amount of time Katie is spending in the car at the moment… and that’s before you factor-in nursery runs for B.
  • Job search: And then there’s the search for gainful employ.  For both of us.  Revision, exams, angst.  Soul-searching, the familiar distaste for CV-writing, interviews.  All first-world problems I hear you think… And you’re right – no one forced us to do this: These are our decisions.
  • But finally – Family support: None of this would have been possible without the huge love and support of Katie’s folks.  This year, they’ve pushed the boat out.  But over the last six years I’ve been incredibly lucky to have such stalwart in-laws.  A&P – we’re incredibly grateful for everything you’ve done, and continue to do, for us all.

Anyway, all this is just intended to provide some extra depth to the story.  In time-honoured tradition, here are some snaps to document the day…

A team of packers descended on the house yesterday to wrap everything in copious amount of paper, cardboard and sellotape…

20141013 Packed

20141013 All dressed up with nowhere to go

The container arrives on the back of a huge lorry and you think “there’s no way all our things could possibly fit in there”…

20141013 Ready and Waiting

20141013 Big truck, small box

… And then they start loading, and the space seems to expand like a tardis (those trucks are massive!)

20141013 Inside the crate

Until Finally: Going…

20141013 Locked and loaded


20141013 Ready to Go

…Gone.20141013 Oscar Mike

Jon and Shaun – the container will be at sea for six weeks. The race is on!

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