T Minus 5
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.
T Minus 21
Very short post today.
Still here in MK – I honestly don’t know how we’re going to get everything done. When you have a big thing to do there’s a reason it’s called a mountain. It’s not just the height it’s the gradient!
T Minus 43
You would think that selling a house where there is no chain, to friends who are going to rent it out, with whom we have a clear arrangement and who have the funds would be straight forward. You would imagine that nearly two months after the solar panel fiasco was sorted we would have exchanged contracts and completed. You would conclude that having answered every tiny little pedantic query posed by our buyers solicitors immediately we would be there but we’re not. For some reason our solicitors are not communicating effectively enough (emails sent last Monday have still not been sent on) their solicitor seems to have OCD (a continuous stream of irritating questions with seemingly no light at the end of the tunnel) . To say all this is driving me mad is probably an understatement. They say that “patience is a virtue” – my patience certainly being tested at the moment. Anita and I have both agreed that we’re never ever buying or selling in the UK again!
T Minus 63
Nine weeks until departure and time to take stock I f where we are.
T Minus 102
A lot’s been going on since January when I got the interview and then the job in 5 days flat for Isamilo School and I think it’s beginning to catch up with me.
Firstly the house clearance – we’ve got rid of a lot but there’s so much more to go.
Secondly the house – on the market, then the viewings and the perpetual tidying (I’m not good at that!), the lack of sale due to solar panels then the dramatic offer of a loan and subsequent purchase ( subject to contract).
Thirdly work with the usual stresses and strains which come this time of year as we push the students to achieve of their best (some more reluctant than others). Today finally the Year 11 and 13 coursework is ready to go.
I’ve been wandering around with a low level headache all day. I’ve kept my health so far this year but there’s a lot happening. So tonight I’m having a night off enjoying a long soak in the bath and keeping well (if I can) for tomorrow. A headache’s not much but I can be prone to migraines at times of stress so don’t need that. I also need to get back into regular exercise which is ironic because this headache is forcing me to miss Badminton 😦
In contrast to the general tone of this blog I refuse to be downhearted and just ensuring the headache continues to subside.
Believe it or not we’re still not half way through the time until we leave the UK. That will be 1 week from now. There’s still a lot of time and a lot of things to do. So batten down the hatches and enjoy the ride. 😉
Had to be done! Since we are literally On the Move from Milton Keynes to Mwanza 🙂
Posted in blogging, Getting Prepared, travel, Weekly Photo Challenge
Tagged challenge, house, move, on the move, photo, postaday, travel, weekly, weekly photo challenge
In 1992 I had the amazing opportunity to spend a week on a Tall Ship (Morning Star) – crossing the North Sea from Chatham, Kent (UK) to Vlissingen, Holland (Netherlands) and then cruising the canals and inland seas before returning. More of these pictures will be available soon on Netherlands 1992. This was very much On The Move but slowly!
View from the top of the mast
Morning Star of Revelation
Reading beneath the Bow Sprit
Moored at an island on an inland sea
Steering the ship
Container Vessel – Freight on the Move
Posted in blogging, travel, Weekly Photo Challenge
Tagged challenge, Graham, Holland, Morning Star, move, Netherlands, on the move, photo, postaday, Tall Ship, travel, Vlissingen, weekly, weekly photo challenge
New Week, New Challenge…..
….. and a chance to display photos taken on the long journey from Banlung to Siem Reap last Summer – over 12 hours in a coach as we crossed nearly the whole of Cambodia
Posted in blogging, travel, Weekly Photo Challenge
Tagged banlung, Cambodia, challenge, journey, move, on the move, photo, postaday, siem reap, weekly, weekly photo challenge
T Minus 113
A week is a long time in politics or so they say.
Twenty four hours is an even longer time in house selling.
T minus 155
Moving house can be stressful at any time. When that house is as yet unknown and over 4000 miles away in a different and developing country. When your probably going to take at most no more that 2-3 large cases each plus whatever you decide to ship. When you need to clear as much of existing possessions as you can before sale the stresses multiply.
The day by day routine of clearing and sorting is getting a bit onerous now and we are feeling the strain. It is the busiest time of year for work for me in the run up to the exams – so extra stresses and strains there. So Anita has done much more than I and her parents have been extremely helpful thus far.
We will eventually get through this and the act of clearing will be beneficial (we were great hoarders) but not yet.
The weekend sees an open house / sale for local friends and family on Saturday and a Car Boot Sale on Sunday. Hopefully this will make big inroads into our mountain of goods. As Anita recounted in an earlier blog “How do you eat an Elephant? – A bit at a time”. It just seems the elephant is more like a blue whale!!
Posted in Getting Prepared, MK
Tagged Clearance, clearing, house, leaving, MK, move, moving, Mwanza, Tanzania, UK
T minus 159
It’s a comment I’ve heard a few times.
I’ve never thought of myself a particularly brave, but it is probably true. Others might feel I’m reckless or foolhardy – with these sentiments I can’t agree, though I appreciate the concern.
In truth I could have ‘pootled’ (is that a word?) along for years as I was – day in day out for years to come and reached retirement never having travelled beyond the two-week summer break and maybe the odd World Challenge expedition. I probably would have become increasingly frustrated with the education policy in England but endured it all with Facebook moans to keep me sane.
In an alternate universe then maybe that is what will happen.
In this universe I’m taking a different path and bringing my family along for the ride.
From an early age I wanted to travel the world. I have been lucky enough to see most of Western Europe and a bit of Eastern Europe.
Lord Williams’s School has given me great opportunities to travel to The Gambia and Vietnam/Cambodia, but I want to see more, to travel further.
Since joining WordPress I have read many interesting and amazing blogs written by people travelling throughout the world from Greenland, Norway and Iceland in the North to Laos, Taiwan and East Timor in the East, as well as many from Africa including Tanzania and especially Mwanza itself.
Mwanza is located in the north-west of Tanzania close to Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda and it should be possible to travel there and further afield (e.g. Malawi, Zambia) during holidays a relatively little cost. It is something I definitely want to do whilst out there. Being just 2.5 hours by road from The Serengeti is a major plus. Obviously I am not just going for the holiday but it is all part of the experience and will be affordable in a way it can’t be in the UK.
In the UK most of our income goes to pay the Mortgage and Utilities, Car (inc Fuel) and Food. Whilst in Mwanza, though my wage will be low (by UK standards) we get a house provided and utilities paid. I can’t imagine food will be expensive and although we hope to get a car, fuel won’t be either. Outgoings should be a lot less and so holidays will be more affordable.
Thirteen years ago I made a much braver decision to resign from my Science teaching job and become a supply teacher giving up a secure job and holiday pay. I had had enough of teaching and a bad experience with the school head (being shouted at in a corridor in front of parents – for something I hadn’t done wrong!!!) left me disillusioned and determined to get out of education. Applying for a Web Design course I took supply work to pay the bills. Luckily for me in less than two months I had a supply contract at another local school which evolved to a permanent position after completing my web design course. Reinvigorated in my teaching I applied elsewhere and this led me to my current job and a change to teaching ICT. Ultimately this lead to being appointed Head of ICT and now (5 and a half years later) to the taking job at Isamilo.
I believe God is at the centre of this chain of events – And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. (Romans 8:28 NIV)
Who knows where the chain will lead next?
So bravely we leave the UK in August but we do so confidently.
Posted in Getting Prepared
Tagged Africa, blog, brave, Cambodia, car, Gambia, Kenya, Lord Williams's, Malawi, MK, move, Mwanza, Rwanda, Tanzania, travel, Uganda, UK, Vietnam, Zambia
T minus 172
“tat”, “jumble”, “goods”, “superfluous”, “shipped”, “stored” and “packed”. All phases of reduction we’re going through.
Let me explain….. Continue reading
Posted in Getting Prepared
Tagged Africa, Anita, boot, car, clear out, clearing, ebay, goods, jumble, move, Mwanza, packed, shipped, stored, superfluous, Tanzania, tat
T minus 173
The deed is done! Acceptance Forms have been signed, scanned and sent.
Until now it was unofficial – though I had every intention of going through with this – there was still a get out clause in my part.
That said – I’m not having a wobble, I am not having second thoughts.
No turning back. Onward and upward (or downward in a purely geographical North-centric sense!).
Tanzania here we Come!
T minus 177
When we leave we will obviously be flying. Looking to squeeze all our remaining possessions into all the bags we can take and still keep to luggage limits. The next few weeks and months will be spent disposing of much of our possessions via eBay, car boot sales, jumble sales, charity shops etc. This will be a challenge but one we must continue to work through……..
On a lighter note believe it or not there is a website which plans out a road route for you should you wish to take it.
I must stress we won’t be doing this but nonetheless…..
They even provide road directions.
I would not recommend this route given the 11 countries and the areas of unrest through which you would have to travel. Let alone the petrol for the 10000km trip over 6 days (non stop!)
UK –> France –> Spain –> Algeria –> Niger –> Nigeria –> Cameroon –> Chad –> Central African Republic –> Democratic Republic of Congo –> Rwanda –> Tanzania
Only for the truly adventurous I imagine. 🙂
Posted in Getting Prepared
Tagged Africa, car, clearing, Getting Prepared, house, Milton Keynes, MK, move, Mwanza, plane, route, travel
T minus 181
Not much to do today so taking a rest. Chilling out watching the Lion King – we’ve not seen it in ages – but it seemed a good time to watch it.
We have caught up with family too – it was good to see Mel and the cousins this afternoon and to good chat
We are resolving to make more opportunities to catch up with family and friends. Bex in particular had some excellent quality time with good friends from church.
The morning was spent at St Mary’s where the sermon deliver by Emlyn was right on target and confirmed in us that we were making the right choice. The image of Moses stretching out his staff across the Red Sea and not knowing what was about to happen was very powerful. We had done excellent chats with folk after the service and feel encourage. Thanks to Emma and David; John and Sue; Gill and Rosemary in particular.
For those who remain troubled by our choices we appreciate your care and concern, though we remain resolved.
On the preparation front yesterday we eventually got around to clearing the lounge cupboards – more to dump and sell. Anita is planning an eBay frenzy in coming days as well as using local methods to advertise items.
Back to work tomorrow – probably a break in blogging for a few days too.
Until next time!
T minus 182
For those who have followed this blog for the past week, you may know we have deliberated long and hard about whether to let or sell our house while out of the country. After a long of discussion and prayer, visits by three Estate Agents and three letting agents (actually one did both), a lot of ‘umming’ and ‘ahhing’ we have come to a decision.
We have decided to sell!
Anita shared with me a story the other day. There are three times in her life when she had a very strong feeling about something that would on the surface seem somewhat ridiculous, but later….:
- Once at the age of 7 she was coming home from school and heard a sort of voice in her head saying “One day you’ll be working with people in Africa!” …. then some 14 years later, she went to Malawi with Emmanuel International, for 2 years teaching children preventative health (1992-3).
- A second occasion in early 1994, she was walking down the stairs in my house having only recently met me, when she had a very strong thought in her head that “One day you will live in this house!“, she thought that was a bit mad as she’d only just met me, but the following year… we got married and she moved into my house!
- The last occasion is one she had never shared with anyone until now: As a child she accompanied her parents with friends who were emigrating to Australia, whilst at the airport waving them off, she had a very strong feeling that when she grew up, she would also emigrate with her family somewhere …. and now 30+ years later, we will be selling up and moving to Tanzania this summer, wow!!!
Whether and when we return to the UK may be something which will be revealed in time but for now we are going with the flow. As Christians we believe God is in this and that He will be with us in all that we do. For some of you that may seem barmy – but there it is.
We are really grateful for all the support and help of both family and friends over the past few weeks.
It’s been a whirlwind but we are both remarkably calm about this and both in agreement.
190 Days to departure. (T minus 190)
What a fortnight!
Wow seems to be the most used word, as I have let the world know of my new job.
Two weeks ago I hadn’t yet applied for the Head of ICT at Isamilo International School. Within 4 days I’d had a Skype interview and a job offer. Now we’re off to Mwanza in Tanzania this August. There’s a lot to do as we disentangle ourselves from the UK. This blog will chart our progress and life in Mwanza from August. It’s going to be an adventure. Wow!
Posted in Getting Prepared
Tagged Africa, Anita, Graham, Graham & Anita, International, Isamilo, Milton Keynes, MK, move, Mwanza, School, Tanzania, wow