There are a couple of curses in the expat experience. From browsing expat blogs this weekend, I’ve seen mention of never fitting in to one’s adopted homeland; finally settling into a new life just to have to move again and not being able to gain employment at the level previously achieved.
This weekend I’ve experienced personal heartbreak and the worst expat curse of all: having one’s loved ones move back home. People often emigrate to new shores in groups and it’s never going to work out for everyone. There will always come a time when some of the group go back.
So for their last weekend in England, Sara, Donovan and Keira spent the weekend at my house and I followed them around as they wrapped things up.
We went through to Guildford Cathedral yesterday. Guildford Cathedral reminded us of The Voortrekker Monument in Pretoria, South Africa. They both have the same really ugly architecture on the outside but at least the cathedral is reasonably pretty on the inside. We went there because Donovan was performing with the joint Guildford Choral Society and Guildford Philharmonic Orchestra’s production of Verdi’s Requiem. They had a four-hour practice yesterday afternoon and I was fortunate enough to sit through an hour of rehearsal. It was majestic!
Keira enjoyed watching her daddy perform but she didn’t like the loud drums! Her daddy has always been a good singer and attended the Drakensberg Boys Choir. I uploaded a short video of the practice to YouTube.
We decided to save Keira’s nerves and ears and we went through to Guildford Town Centre so that Sara could go to the bank.
Abbot's Hospital [taken on my Nokia N70]
It really is a picturesque little town and I enjoyed taking some photos from the roof top of a parking garage while Sara and Keira went to the bank. I definitely think we’ll go back there one morning and hopefully visit Godalming too.
We then went and finished packing up the house and handed the keys to the estate agent.
Today was a little more serious. I woke up and immediately wished I hadn’t. It took me a while before I felt like facing everyone and then I had to rush back upstairs as I started crying.
It wasn’t properly explained to Keira what was going on but she picked up on all the tension and she looked as sad as I felt.
Stephen took this photo of me watching Keira and I was pretty miserable! Actually, all I could think was “do NOT cry in front of the three-year-old”. Anyway, as they were taking three massive suitcases, there was no room for me in the car. They left around 1pm and by now they will be in the air. I’m very sad.