Oh gosh, we're still here. I hadn't realised how long it's been. The last few months have flown by in a whirl of cleaning, packing, kitchen installing, bathroom installing, de-cluttering and painting. But it's still all on track and we're edging closer and closer to the big adventure.
One very important step happened last month, when we took the girls to the Island for the first time ever. Up until that point this had all felt a little like it was mine and Jim's big adventure, but suddenly it all became a lot more real, and just a bit more scary.
The weather was pretty terrible on the ferry over to the Island, with very choppy waters and high winds, so I was prepared for the girls not to immediately fall in love with their new home, but I needn't have worried at all. As soon as we drove off the ferry they both started cheering and shouting about how lovely it all was, even on a dull, wet day.
The first place we took them was to see the house that we're buying. They've only ever lived in one home, so I was nervous that they would be disappointed, especially as there's a lot of work to do on it before it really works for us. But again my fears were unnecessary because both girls loved everything about it.
I was kind of glad that the first day was overcast because it meant that the girls didn't think that everything on the Island is always perfect. The second day though really was the Island at it's best, with beautiful sunshine, beaches and countryside.
We started our second day with a visit to the girl's new school, which was another hit. It's absolutely tiny, particularly in comparison to their current one. Lily's year has a total of 12 children in it (13 when Lily starts!). And the fact that they can walk to school (through a churchyard) in 2 minutes flat is causing much excitement, not least from me, (my days of driving to and from school are well and truly numbered).
We only spent two days on the Island, but spent almost every minute of it exclaiming about the fact that this wasn't going to be a holiday, this was going to be our actual life. It still doesn't seem at all possible and the closer we get to it happening, the less I believe that we're going to do it.
One of the things that we love about the Island is how close everything is. Being able to decide on the spur of the moment to go to the beach for a swim, without having to then spend two hours in the car is incredible.
One of the things that I've struggled with in the last few years since losing Mum is the feeling that everything is flying by and that there's just not enough time for anything. Feeling the need to not waste time puts such a strain on everything. If we go to the beach now it's a big deal if the weather's not great or if we don't enjoy it, because it's an entire wasted day. But while we were on the Island I realised just how much that's going to change. The beach is 10 minutes away, so there isn't the pressure for the trip to be perfect. Which means that I'm so much more relaxed, and able to enjoy it all more. And that's the point of this move. To allow us all to relax a little more. And to allow us to do so much more.
Before we got the ferry back we went for a walk in a beautiful forest (because the ferry is only 25 minutes away and the forest is only 15 minutes away - see, time to do more!).
We didn't want to leave. And we can't wait until it's time to return for good. Which is hopefully in 3-4 weeks time!