I’d like to start this post with an apology. Up until now, I have been happily adding a new blog each week, but for the past 12 days I am sorry to say I have been physically unable to get to a computer. I would like to tell you that I have been climbing Kilimanjaro with a host of (other) celebrities, raising money for comic relief – but as I am not quite well known enough for anyone to care, I will tell you what I have really been up to.
A couple of weeks ago, I received an emergency phone call, it was the news that anyone who has migrated to Australia would dread. It was my sister – to tell me that our mum had been diagnosed with cancer. As you can imagine, we were both overcome with sadness.
Now I wouldn’t dream of broadcasting this information for the sake of being morbid or looking for sympathy, but the reason I have decided to write about it, is because when you receive a call from the UK of this nature, all you want do do is run home.
So run home I did.
I booked a flight with Emirates and within a few days I was flying to Dubai to get a connecting flight to Manchester with a pocket full of soggy tissues; a suitcase of confused clothes and an 18 month old toddler, all polished and shiny ready to meet his Nana for the first time.
As if the trauma of visiting my poor mother wasn’t enough, I also had to leave behind my other two children which had been a further heartbreaking experience. As I departed through the gates at Brisbane airport with my five year old daughter sobbing for her mummy…. it was then made worse – no sooner had she been suitably consoled by my husband, than I re-appeared because I had gone through the wrong gate, causing her to be distraught all over again when I bid goodbye for the second time. The sight of her tear soaked face pressed against the glass lift that I was displayed inside, will be etched into my memory forever.
I had 10 days to recover, re-energise and reminisce with my sisters and my mum. Emotions were at their peak and for most of the time I was blubbering uncontrollably, the overwhelming excitement of my new book was so far away from the reality I was having, but I felt so lucky to have had the time to spend with my mum… and the oncologist, district nurses, ‘fleabottomists’ and GP’s that traipsed through her street door.
This may all sound rather depressing, and it is not my intention to bore you with tales of illness and sadness, but to show you that even when you are faced with the biggest dilema that living on the other side of the world gives you – you will get through it, it is possible to pop back – even though it may cause emotional scars…
And when it’s time to return to Oz?
Everyone is going to find it difficult to say goodbye, especially when you are not sure when you will see them again. But Australia is a fabulous country, and the positive sides far out way any negatives in my mind. So hop on board and come back ‘home’ – it sometimes may feel unbearable to be away from your loved ones, but going back to visit the UK is also a wonderful, comfortable slippers feeling, that I doubt you would be able to fully appreciate if you hadn’t moved away at all.