The Long Goodbye

Well, it’s been a busy couple of weeks. Everything is coming together and we are finally on the last legs of our journey here in England. I say finally, but I don’t mean that in an exasperated sort of way. Rather, it’s just been a long process of logistics and farewells.

We kicked it off with Steve’s leaving do a little over a week ago. I’m fairly certain that if there is a shortage of Pimm’s that my bestie, Liz, and I are at least partly to blame. Next, came a quiet night in with family and friends. That was followed by lunch out with the girls on Wednesday – though, that wasn’t technically in celebration of me.

The waterworks kicked in on Thursday during Sian’s toddler group, as I discussed here. Later that afternoon we had to say goodbye to good friends at Sian’s ballet class. Sian’s goodbyes aren’t as difficult at the moment – she doesn’t really get that it’s going to be a very long time before we see any of these people again.

Friday was my final School Quiz Night. Again, the fearsome foursome got together – aka The Superstars – and managed to not quite dominate the quiz, but we certainly put forth a valiant effort. Even if I did get the only US geography question wrong. If anyone asks, Alaska is actually the largest state by landmass, not Texas. I can’t help it if I’ve got Texas on the brain!

Saturday was the grand send-off at Chez Smith.

Fun times with straw.

Many friends came by throughout the day to wish us farewell. I was treated to several surprises by the Superstars – London bling and sentimental things. Thankfully, there were no tears, unless of course you count those brought on by the enormous quantities of straw bits in the air. The thing is, I thought it would be super cute to have hay (straw) bales in our back garden for our party guests to sit on – they did it at the West End summer fete, so I thought it would easily work at our house. Well, the children thought differently, and we ended up with Strawpocalypse 2013.

Strawpocalypse 2013: The Morning After.

On Sunday, we went to the Strawberry Fayre in Bisley. This is a quintessentially English summer experience – complete with carnie rides, Pimms, strawberries and cream (of course) and Morris Dancers. Awesome. After the fayre, we went for a an enjoyable and relaxing dinner at our friends’ Sam and Andy’s. Meanwhile, the chickens and fish were being carefully packed up and transported to go and live with our friends Sheren and Adrian.

One thing is astoundingly clear to me. I’ve got great friends. I can’t even begin to properly express my gratitude to them, nor can I fully understand how it’s possible that I‘ve made such an impact on so many people. Sometimes people come in to your life, and you don’t really know where they came from or how they got there, but you know that your life is much richer with them in it. I have found several of those people  – people who will forever hold a space in my heart – here in England, and damn if it isn’t difficult to say goodbye.

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