Tag Archives: change

Four Become Three

Today we leave the UK and return to Tanzania. We’ve spent a fabulous time in the UK for just about seven weeks. In that time we have travelled the length and breadth of England, visiting friends and relatives along the way, but now our time here is coming to an end. Perhaps because our stay has been fragmented between different locations (our longest stay in any one place was 13 days) time has flown quickly. We have taken a lot in and caught up with most (though sadly not all) of the people we wanted too. Being a visitor in our former homelands has been strange but friends and family have been generous and kind, we have had many meals and shared good times across the land.




One of our purposes here was to prepare our eldest for University. In just over three weeks from now he will start at his favoured University to study a degree in English Literature, History and Drama Studies. The next phase of his life is starting and so will ours. 

Our family has been four for almost 16 years, since our youngest was born. It’s difficult to remember a time when we were three, but even then he was there as a toddler – a part of our family for 18+ years. Now our family must change, readjust, re-balance to reflect the changing dynamic of daily life. It’s going to be wierd, disconcerting, challenging even.

Our son does not cease to be part of the family, but the relationship will change. New experiences for him and for us will undoubtedly separate us a little. This was always going to happen, it’s inevitability established on the timeline from the moment he was born. We have brought our son up from baby to toddler to child to teenager and now to a young adult. We have done our bit and set him up for the next phase of his life. 

The fact we are 4000 miles away rather than 400 miles  or 40 miles (the distance I moved away from my parents) makes this departure more geographically stark, but in truth when you leave home, you never quite return the same person. The next few years are going to be exciting and life changing. We must embrace it and look on the positive side. For today there will be sadness as four become three but we look forward to our reunion in time to come and the stories we will be able to share.

Slipping Right Back In?

I am not sure what I expected upon our return visit to the UK this summer but I’m pleasantly surprised that for me at least it is very much a case of picking up where I left off in 2014. I imagined that there might be a greater discontinuity or even culture shock but it hasn’t as yet been manifest.

Perhaps the effects of Social Media, FaceTime, the BBC News App on my phone and a 4G has meant that a tenuous link to the UK remained even though I was well off the beaten track in Mwanza.
We are in the midst of a week long return to MK and yesterday had a great time catching up with old friends at St Mary’s Bletchley. Whilst much had changed in the Church Yard, it seemed to us that it was very much the same SMB we left in 2014. It was good to be part of that community again.  MK itself seems little different – a few new buildings in this ever changing new city but familiar nonetheless. 
We have all got older of course and the changes are most apparent in the friends of our children and in the older folk we have met. Even so most people are as they were. Here lies the most obvious difference. 

I suppose the past two years for us have opened us to a very different way of life and a plethora of experiences. Yet perhaps outwardly we have changed little too other than a slight tan and the use of a few expat colloquialisms. Yet sitting here in MK, we are visitors, curious onlookers no longer residents.

I wonder whether the longer we are away from Britain, the bigger the differences will become.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Changing Moon


In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: “Change.”

In week when the moon changed – how could I not?IMG_4014 IMG_4022

Viewed from our garden on the night of the 27th/28th September. For more pics  from the night click here

 

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Change (of perspective)


In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: “Change.”

So often when I take photographs in my Tanzanian garden I do so from one position on the front porch/veranda. There is a comfortable bench and the viewpoint is a good one.

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But today I moved a chair and sat in a different place – a change of perspective on a familiar place.

Black Kites and African Paradise Flycatchers were the highlight as I sat beneath the tree

Weekly Photo challenge: Change (of Focus and Perception)

In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: “Change.”

In this set of pictures a change of focus from the plant to the fly which is sitting on it.

I hate flies, pesky dirty little bugs – but even a fly can look beautiful in the right light (a change of perception)

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Weekly Photo challenge: Chameleon Change

In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: “Change.”

My last post was all about the Chameleon in the garden earlier this week – a perfect example of change – so here it is again.

Life Lived In Phases

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As we leave Lincoln I reflect that as awesome as the change we are about to make is; it is after all just another move, something I have done several times before.

I was not born here, but moved to Lincoln just before my 7th Birthday. At the time it was probably the most traumatic change, uprooting and moving half way across the country, settling into a new school, half way through the year, with a South East accent ‘Up North’. Nonetheless Lincoln became my home and though I lived here for less than 12 years I feel it is my home from home; partly due to the fact mum still lives in the house.
When I left Lincoln, it was for University and I didn’t move far. Nottingham became my home for the next phase. Another major upheaval as I was suddenly confronted by hundreds of people I didn’t know in a Hall of Residence. You make friends quickly in such circumstances! Nottingham in various rooms and flats and houses was my home for 4 years.
Leaving Nottingham to get a job brought me unknowingly to Milton Keynes, my home for almost 26 years. In that time I have rented and owned property; been single, in a relationship, engaged, married and had kids; worked in four different schools; attended two churches (one of those for virtually all of the 26 years!). As we speak Milton Keynes is the place we call home more than anywhere (Anita lived here a year longer than I although she lived in Canada, Jamaica and Malaŵi for 27 months).
Although this is a phase it has probably been several phases in reality, demarked by changes of job and circumstance.
I think that the longer your in a phase the more dramatic the change is when
it comes. We lived in the same house for 17 years, I have been in one job for 11 years and so the last 11 years has been a phase in itself. Getting up at 6:15am, out by 7:15am and on the road for the 50 min journey for start of work by 8:30am. Returning back home from between 4:00pm and 6:00 pm (7:30pm on Parent’s Evenings). Badminton for me on a Monday; Woburn Sands Band for the others Tuesday to Friday; Saturday Park Run and the Weekly Shop; Sunday Church at 11am. Life has been routine!
Currently we are between homes and have been touring the country, but this short phase is coming to a close and the next phase is about to begin!
Change is happening, more do than ever before but change has preceded it and in the end the new will become the new routine, a house will become home and a new life will ensue.

Last Trip to Lincoln

T Minus 9

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Our grand tour continues as we make our way to Lincoln. Although not the place of my birth – it is the place I grew up in and now we have sold it is the closest thing to home there is (for now). A house I moved to in 1972 with lots of memories so a good place to reflect ahead of the move. I will feel the leaving of this place almost as much as my own home (perhaps more so as this was such a rush in the end).
It is a place I lived in until 1984, and came back to throughout the next four years whilst at University; rather like this visit with a tonne of washing (following our 10 days under canvas!). Even after 1988, it was still a home from home – especially in those years before 1993 when I bought my own house. Now we are homeless (in the UK) at least it has reverted to it’s prior role for the first time in 21 years.
Lincoln is the place I transitioned from
childhood through teens to adulthood; the place I became a Christian. Similarly MK was the place I transitioned from young adulthood to middle age; single to married to parenthood.
Life lived in phases (the seeds of another blog in that phrase alone!).
The next phase is rushing upon us – where will it lead and how will I (we) change?
For certain the next 5 years will see the transition in our family, as our kids finish school and start out on their own careers / university / college courses, becoming young adults (as I was when I left Lincoln). You never give up on being a parent but things will change, whether we go to Africa or not.

Changes

T minus 181
Back home after a busy working day today.
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In a sense today was more about life in the present rather than life in the future. Getting up at ridiculous o’clock for morning commute, travelling in the light (for a change), then assessing, planning, carrying out break duties and bus duties, sorting out emails, meeting with colleagues, drinking filter coffee! The usual daily mundanity of the routine of a teacher/ Head of Faculty. It is strange to think that some this well practiced routine will soon be changing – not the tasks themselves but the location and the routine, and definitely the commute where a 50 minute car journey will be replaced by a 10 minute walk!

I am still very excited about this change and what it will mean,
it is difficult to concentrate on the present when the future looms large ahead, but I need to. Tomorrow night is Year 9 options evening, a new experience for me as ICT has hitherto been a core subject. My team and I will be aiming to recruit as many as we can to both ICT and Computing. It is strange that I will not be teaching them, whilst thousands of miles away, in Mwanza, other students have been or will be making a similar choice, students I have yet to meet – such the nature of change!

More changes.You may have noticed the countdown (T minus ??? ) has gone up. It’s not a time warp as the date for flying has moved back. This still to be confirmed and complicates things a little as my sister in law’s (Fiona’s) sister (Janet) gets married on the same day – meaning it probably will not be possible to be seen off by family sadly 😦
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So the new date for flying will be the 23rd August – which will be after Matthew’s GCSE results which will be good 🙂 Hopefully good for him too!

I keep promising not to post and wasn’t going to today but who knows what will grab me next?