A year has passed. That's 365 days without Melbourne in our lives. Without our friends, the babies, the coffee, the football.
I couldn't let this milestone pass without a blog post. Another chance to capture my thoughts because I know I will enjoy looking back on them in the future.
We've had a wonderful first year back in the UK, filled with family and friends, quality television and convenient eating. Our lives are no longer punctuated by long distance facetime calls, and Sienna's grandparents, aunties, uncles and cousins are firm features in her life.
The move was hard, Sienna was tough, and the winter was long, but it was without doubt the right decision. But that doesn't stop me getting nostalgic for the things we left behind.
We miss our friends, and I pretend in my head that the children have not grown up and nothing has changed. I pine for Melbourne the most when new babies are born to our old friends. Andy and Stacey - little Harriet was the first and oh how I longed to be there with my camera!
We miss the delicious and healthy take away options that were on our doorstep in Port Melbourne - Hunky Dory, Thomas Dux, The Greek place, Foxes Den and of course Crust (ok that's not healthy). I have no idea if Bay Street still looks the same and if these places still exist.
I miss the convenience of walking everywhere with Sienna - the park, the beach, all of her little classes. Don't even mention Monica from Albert Park storytime. My heart pines for this woman! Please come and train up the UK librarians to be even half as good as you. Carla please send videos... lots of them! (Special request from Sienna for Wheels on the Bus or Open, Shut Them)
In leaving Australia I left behind my colleagues and my job of ten years. It was a second home and a second family, one which gave us so much opportunity and supported us through good times and bad. Flying the nest to go it alone in my own business venture has not been easy, but so far it is paying happiness dividends for our family. Sienna has taught us to measure success in smiles, not dollars. Daily life with a toddler can at times rival the stress of a city commute however!
You could argue that Tom left behind even more with his job. His 'dream' job. Boy did we pick our time to leave, right before the Doggies make the finals. Tom and I have an agreement that if they make the Grand Final he will hop on a plane. I'm not sure Qantas take smiles as payment so lets hope their exponential improvement levels off a bit...
We, of course, miss our friends, but have been so fortunate to see so many of them in the year since our return to the UK. Richard, Matt, Lucy & Claribel, Lucy & Martha, Seb.. thanks to all of you for fitting us into your busy travel schedules. I hope I haven't forgotten anyone...
Whilst Melbourne will always have a place in our hearts, our return to the UK has taught us that fitting back in really works. Our friends have welcomed us back into the fold as if we never left, and we have made plenty of wonderful family memories in the last 12 months.
We look forward to visitng Melbourne again and showing Sienna the place she was born. We can't wait to visit old friends - Sam & Lou we hope *that* house is built before our first trip over! For now however, I've stopped coverting pounds into dollars, I've lost my Aussie-twanged 'no', and we are falling in love with another place called home, all over again.