Moving day is here!
Today is my last day in Berlin – I’m flying back to the UK this evening.
Moving abroad in stages
We’re relocating in stages. I have some meetings and other appointments in the UK; visiting potential senior schools for daughter, a photo shoot, a meet-up with friends amongst other things. My diary is groaning with the amount of entries in there.
This is the most complicated move I’ve ever done!
We have to leave from the UK for family and business reasons, while the animals have to leave from Germany for quarantine reasons. They won’t be going into quarantine because we have completed all the blood tests and paperwork that are required to avoid this. Fingers crossed.
So the plan is this: I go and do my stuff in the UK while staying with my equally busy mum. Then husband will drive over next week, via Frankfurt, in order to deliver the pets to the airport. They’ll be on a plane on the 2nd July. Unfortunately they will have to stay in kennels in South Africa until we arrive. Not ideal, but our only option.
Daughter finishes school on 4th July. I can’t wait to see her again! I’ll scoop her up and hug her for a very long time before heading onto the next round of entries on the to-do list.
Our car is also moving to South Africa and that has to leave from the UK too. So husband will deliver that on the 5th. We’re not quite sure how he will get back to base yet…
At some point we need to do a spot of shopping for clothes for daughter. And toiletries, and tea bags. And have a birthday celebration for my mother. And…and…and…
We fly to South Africa on Sunday 7th July
Getting to this point has been more stressful than other moves and I don’t know why. The sorting, decluttering and packing has been much harder, yet I can’t work out why this would be so. It’s not like it’s my first time! All I can think of is that normally we know our end-date so have a year or two to start ‘downsizing’ our possessions. You know, not replacing non-essential items when they’ve run out. This time we only had a few weeks’ notice.
Anyway, it’s done now: the majority of our belongings were packed last week and are now heading for a ship somewhere. Or they may even be on it already.
Packing day was stressful
The crew were supposed to arrive between 8am and 9am. But they started leaning on the doorbell at 0645! I was still asleep. Not a good start to the day.
Because we live in a rented, furnished house, the fixtures, fittings and furniture had to stay. The packers had to keep asking, “Is this picture going?” Yes. “What about this mirror?” No. It must have been hard for them.
So far I’ve spotted they’ve packed a wastebasket that should have stayed (thankfully empty) and left a cushion that should have been packed. It could be worse.
In South Africa we don’t have a house available to us yet, so we’ll be in temporary accommodation for a couple of months. This means, as I think I’ve mentioned before, that I won’t have a proper internet connection for some considerable time. I may not even have any internet at all, I just don’t know yet.
Glossing over this rather terrifying prospect, I am tremendously excited about the move. And I’m looking forward to having a proper rest, and weirdly, I’m looking forward to my enforced internet-free time. Our summer holidays this this year will be very special indeed. Right now I’m not looking too far ahead – I’m definitely living on the ‘one day at a time’ principle.
Before I sign off I’d like to say a huge and heartfelt THANK YOU to the members of my Facebook community who have donated articles and guest posts to keep the site interesting and informative during my unexpected relocation. I really can’t thank you all enough; there is no way I could have done this without you.
Goodbye for now! See you on the other side.