Flights are booked, bags are (not yet) packed, wounds are healing nicely, I think it’s about time I joined my husband!
As you know, if you have read my other posts and/or bio, Phil is currently in Boston (Massachusetts, United States of America) and I am currently in Southwick (Sunderland, England). Not that far really, give or take 3174.6 miles. We are not only at opposite sides of the Atlantic, we are living completely opposite lifestyles! He is working hard from morning till night and I am hardly moving from under the quilt recovering from surgery. But this is all about to change!
Phil’s work have asked him to go to Toronto, Canada until Christmas. Now this is something we are just not used to! In his previous job he was undervalued and stuck in the same office day in day out, he could only dream of a job which would see him flying all over the world, clocking up the airmiles. So to say that we feel we should try and make the absolute most of these opportunities that his new job presents is somewhat of an understatement. Which is why, after consulting with my GP and my surgeon, it has been agreed that I should fly out there to join him next Saturday.
Doctors orders are that I take it easy and still rest up until I am feeling 100% again, and that having my husband taking care of me is better than any medication they can prescribe. Except maybe Codeine, that bad boy is just wonderful!
My friends and family have been doing a fantastic job of looking after me – I have moved in with one of my best friends and am never without visitors and offers of help. To put it rather bluntly, I would have been up sh*t creek without a paddle if it were not for them. Between them they have made my meals, washed my pyjamas, changed my dressings, and much much more. My dad even went so far as to give me a private gig! Jim Royle, eat your heart out!
So that is it, I am leaving the UK and heading off to snowier climes! Exciting times ahead, but it also hits home the enormity of the situation, and how different my life is about to become.
Being away from family is going to be one of the most difficult things about making the move. My family are very important to me.
My mam and dad are brilliant parents. They are there for me no matter what silly situations I get myself into, and they would do anything at all to keep me from getting hurt. I have bits of both of them in my looks and personality.
People say they can see I am my mother’s daughter just from looking at us, and I drop in bits of her accent when I speak (She is from Manchester) which I don’t even realise I am doing. I get my caring, soft centred side from my mam, my parents have been foster carers for over 20 years. She was born to look after children, and that has rubbed off on me and my career choice. I also get my slightly ditzy side from my mam, it has to be said. We are both prone to ‘blonde moments’ and have our fair share of embarrassing tales to tell. She is my secret keeper though, and I know that I can speak to her about anything without being judged. She gives great advice. My mam is my hero.
I have my dad to thank for being a tomboy. I have his sense of humour, his intolerance of idiots, his love of sport and his argumentative, stubborn side. We could argue over the tiniest thing, and neither of us would back down even if we were proved wrong, but we always end an argument in fits of laughter. It’s impossible to stay mad at each other as we are just too alike! He has always taught me that following the crowd is the weak way to live your life; make your own decisions, do things the way you want to do them and don’t give a hoot what anyone else thinks. I suppose I could be classed as a Daddy’s girl. Which I am fine about, he might have given me away at the end of the aisle but I will always be his little girl.
I have an older sister and an older brother too, Mandy and Shaun, and a brother in law, Steven. They have their own families now, who are growing up faster than I care to admit! I can often be found advising my handsome nephew Connor that teenage girls can be devious and to be careful, or my niece Leah, that she doesn’t need make up to look beautiful. I see pictures of my brother’s daughter Shannon on facebook and each time I am struck by the fact that my niece is a young woman now. I am a very proud auntie, and sister, and I realise how lucky I am to have such a wonderful family around me. Over the years they have provided me with a place to live, a shoulder to cry on, and plenty of laughs along the way. They will all be fighting to get the spare room once we move though, and I think Leah will be out every school holiday if she gets her way!
Of course, being newly married, I have now got a whole set of in-laws too!! Phil’s family are great, they have been so supportive to us over the years and, although they are very sad to see us go, they know what a fantastic opportunity it is for us and wish us every happiness. His mam, dad and sister Jessica are absolutely brilliant, and really make me feel like one of the family. I really miss having my grandparents around, mine have all passed away, but luckily Phil’s Nana and Granda have taken a real shine to me as I have to them, and I will miss being at their family parties with everyone laughing and catching up. We are back for Christmas and New Year and something I am really looking forward to is having a Stella with Granda Randle. It’s the little things.
I haven’t been away from my family and my home city for more than 14 nights, and even then, no matter how much of a great holiday I have had, I have always been happy to return back to my familiar comfort blanket of Sunderland. And of course, football.
I have been going to watch SAFC play football since I was a little girl and I am under no illusion that we are a world class football team, but we are MY football team. My weekends have been planned around watching the lads in red and white for as far back as I can remember, whether it be at home, at the Stadium of Light,
or Roker Park before it,
or away, at grounds around the country, even around the world, it has been a rare occasion when my Saturday hasn’t revolved around the match. Between Phil and I we have travelled the length and breadth of England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales, as well as Germany, Portugal, Holland, America, Canada and other far flung places in the name of supporting our team.
We have decided to keep our season tickets even though we won’t be here, and we will try and get home for as many matches as possible. We understand that this won’t be very often, but we are both willing to keep paying our money into our club regardless of that. Saturdays from now on will be a strange experience, and one it will take a long time to get used to!
It won’t be bad though – 10am kick offs, early starts at the pub, explaining the offside rule to Americans who don’t know the sport and trying to turn them into honorary mackems! I have to admit it sounds like great fun, just different.
Then there is work. I have had the same full time job since leaving school. Along the way I have taken evening and weekend work too as a barmaid to get some extra cash, and put myself through college and university in my spare time, but my full time job has been the same since I was 16 years old. I am a Nursery Nurse and I work in a nursery class in a primary school. To my American readers, this is the equivalent of a Kindergarten in Elementary school I believe.
I left work just before my operation, knowing that once I was better I would be flying out to be with Phil. My final day was an emotional rollercoaster! Some staff I worked with were my teachers when I was a child attending that school, and some staff are previous pupils whom I taught when they were children! Talk about full circle! There were tears galore as you can imagine. The kids, staff and parents were crying, and I couldn’t speak without my voice breaking. By the end of the day I looked like a panda! Not wearing waterproof mascara was such a rookie mistake.
Everyone was very generous and showered me with gifts, cards, hugs and flowers.
I have made some amazing friends from my years in that job, lifelong friends who I have no doubt I will stay in touch with forever. In fact I am pretty sure a few of them will be out in Boston before you can say ‘half term break’! So walking out of the main doors that final Friday home time was a killer! Every working day of my life so far I have been in that school. To walk away knowing I wouldn’t be returning there as a member of the team anymore was heartbreaking. I know I will always be welcome to visit, in fact I have been made to promise I will, but it is things like this that make you realise what a huge life changing step we are taking.
It’s hard to be excited and really sad at the same time, yet somehow writing this blog entry has made me just that! But I am a strong believer in taking chances when they are presented to you, as you never know what is round the corner.
As the very wise Ronan Keating once said we should be loving each day as if it’s our last, dancing all night and having a blast! Boyzone made a philosopher of that boy, I’m telling you.