A&A: Home Town Recognition and the End of an Era

This week has been a strange one. This weekend will mark my 6 month anniversary starting a new life down under, and with that I’m saying goodbye to a lot of the friends I’ve made since I’ve been here. My shoulder has been acting up, so I’ve been strapped up and iced and not been in work this week: not having those final few days to say goodbye to everyone at the pool is more than a little sad and I’m really not quite ready for this chapter to be over. I’m on to bigger and better things, I know, but there’s a large element of uncertainty. House and job are all somewhat up in the air, and while I know I’ll be fine and land on my feet, there’s small notes of panic creeping in.

My awesome this week is possibly the best awesome so far. Not a huge awesome, but I’m a control freak and with everything so out of my hands, it was really made me feel a bit more grounded again.
Let me explain.
I’d popped into Dan Murphy’s to get a bottle of wine to go with dinner. Sick of the Australian wines (nothing wrong with your wine Australia, it’s just that South Africa do it better) I was looking for something a little different and when I couldn’t find any of the South African stuff so asked one of the chaps working there for some help. After sorting out the wine, I was asked – as I often am – where I’m from. My standard response is to ask if they follow cricket or soccer and respond with Nottingham or Leicester, respectively.
After telling him I was from near Nottingham, he said he wasn’t very familiar, but that he knew Leicestershire quite well, I told him I was from Ashby.
“Ashby de la Zouch?” with a wry smile on his face
“Yes…? Do you know it?!”
“I’ve been there! I have friends who used to live there!”
Queue a lovely little reminisce about Ashby, with him describing Market Street in detail, The Royal, the bath grounds. Turns out they lived a few streets away from me.
It’s a small world.
But it was really nice to talk to someone who knew Ashby. Who’d been to the town I’ve called home for most of my life. Who knew how beautiful it was, but could understand why I’d want to leave.
To share ‘Ashby’ with someone so far away from home was really rather lovely.

This week we also said goodbye to Louisa.
I’ve been sharing a room with a girl for the past 6 months and as much as that has slowly driven me crazy and I have, at times wanted to kill her, I was still sad to see her go. There are things that have been constant throughout my time here, that have become to feel like home, and Wheeze walking into my bed in the morning when she has work, or stumbling into my bed after a tipsy night is one of those things.
As much as I love having the room to myself, and sleeping with the curtains open, it’s strange not waking up to her snoring, or trying to take my coffee order in her sleep…again.
I’ve never been very good at saying goodbye to people, and I always, rather optimistically believe that I will see them again, so the big long farewell isn’t for me.
It was a miserable, wet, British type day. We went to Bridie O’Riley’s for a pub lunch. I had to be off to the pool because I was having a sleepover at Megan’s and Wheeze still had DVDs, guitars and clothes to flog before a final packing check and a mad dash to the airport.
We both had things to be doing, so there wasn’t time for the big goodbye.
It was just how I like it.
An awkward hug at the tram stop and the promise to stay in touch.
We will of course meet up once I’m back in the UK visiting, and she’s popping back to Melbourne with her family in July, so I will see her again.
It wasn’t a real goodbye.
But it did bring it home just how quickly time has flown.


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