An Open Christmas Letter (for those near and far…)

I don’t quite know when it happened, but it would appear that we’re getting to the age where a Christmas letter seems appropriate. Having never penned one before, I wasn’t quite sure where to start, so naturally took to Google to find the ultimate Christmas letter construction. Google advised I needed to start off on a positive note, avoid bragging and that shorter was sweeter.

Bugger.
Better not tell you about our new talking pet goose, the 6 bedroom house we just bought or my blossoming business selling ice to penguins.

I’d only just got used to the idea of swapping my Christmas jumper for a Christmas tee-shirt and my big winter boots for a more comfortable pair of thongs (oh, God, I said thongs). Still, perhaps next year we can all go for a jolly along the beach! Spending Christmas in Australia last year was a different experience: hot Christmas is very bizarre when you’ve grown up with the idea of snow, but there isn’t the same sense of ‘festive fatigue’ that inevitably grips us before December 25th here.
I am, however, incredibly excited to show Zac a ‘real’ Christmas.

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Because what else are we going to in the giant tumble driers?!

Oh. And of course that happened.

It is, perhaps, slightly silly writing the details here, given you already know I was booted back to the motherland with my living Australian relic.
I say relic: let’s address the cougar in the room. Although, there are perks to having a spritely 21-year-old toy boy, or so I’ve been told.
Despite the continual age jokes (of which I’m getting increasingly more sensitive), we’re doing just fine being thrust into what’s arguably one of the most trying situations for any couple – let alone a fledgling relationship: living with my parents.

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I love this photo: we were tired as hell, and Zac’s allergies were puffing his face up, but we were stupidly happy, road-tripping to go and watch his nephew play footy

In a spontaneous whim after a particularly testing day at work I asked him to come back with me, but I didn’t think he actually would.

Naturally, I’ve done this all with my usual efficiency and come Christmas we’ll have know each other for 8 months, been official for 7 months and living together for 6 months.
I’m a woman who knows what she wants.

He drives me mad sometimes, I’ve forgotten what it feels like to have time to myself and he’s incapable of cooking anything more exotic than microwave lasagne, but I wouldn’t be without him. He treats me like a Princess, buys me flowers because he missed me at work, falls asleep hugging me and let’s me steal his pre-workout (sometimes).
I am, and we are, in this moment, incredibly happy.

We are of course hoping to come back to Australia.

For good.

There’s been talk of weddings and families and there’s all the heartache that comes with knowing a part of you is forever going to be in the wrong place.
It’s going to take longer than we were both hoping with a best-case scenario having us back around May/June time – just in time for winter. Joy!

It won’t be an easy process. Least of which the financial commitment in terms of a visa (donations will be kindly received), but I do think it will be worth it.

Nothing worth having ever comes easy, and when was Zac or I one to back down from a challenge?

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Our ‘traditional’ pose, while we were doing The Great Ocean Road

For now, we’re both making do. We’re back with my parents, working at the call centre in Ashby as the best damn E-on Prepay Electric Agents you’ve ever been put on hold by, scraping together enough to eat and explore merry old England. This of course made all the more difficult by the fact my first pay check won’t hit my bank account until January. For the time being, Zac is the breadwinner; a title he’s a little too proud to be sporting, but one I’m begrudgingly letting him bear.

I’m still looking for something with better pay, more along the lines of Travel or Health and Fitness again, but there just isn’t the work available. When there is you’re fighting 40 other applicants, most of whom have more industry experience that you’ll never manage to get without someone taking a chance on you.

All the more reason to come back, eh?

I had a health scare earlier on in the year. It would seem all the sunshine in Australia did something to my insides. They’re still unsure what happened and the scarring they found on my brain is likely to be normal damage from my migraines.
For now I’ve got the all clear, just my usual clumsiness: we’re fingers crossed it was just a health blip and nothing more.

I’m still suffering with my head and I’ve been put back on to migraine medicine, which I’ve been assured by my friend who works making pharmaceuticals is ‘hardcore’ – all I know is it makes me queasy.

We both miss home. We miss family. We miss friends.

I miss the sunshine and the heat.
Zac misses being able to watch all the sport all the time.

I miss the coffee and Tim Tams and fawning over the puppies in the pet shop.

But it just makes me more determined to make sure when we come back, we’re staying.

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I always makes me smile how enthusiastic Zac is about England.

In terms of the New Year, it’s going to be an exciting one, full of adventure and uncertainty – we’ll see how well my inner control freak copes with all of that. The end goal is Australia and I want it to happen in 2016. If it doesn’t, it will all be down to things that are out of my control and I’m learning how to be patient about that.

Zac tries to help, but often his effervescent optimism is incredibly mistimed.

As he always says: “We got this.” but his mantra does little good against the full force of the Australian Government.

So Merry Bloody Christmas.
The Happiest of New Years.
And all that other festive shite.

Google didn’t tell me how to sign off on these…

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