Like most Kiwis, it had always been our dream to do our ‘Big OE'. It seemed that life had other plans for us but we were finally able to move three quarters of our family to London at the end of 2003. We made this plunge after returning from Thailand in October when we were stranded in Paraparaumu, an hour from Wellington, because bad weather had washed the road away. There was no way in to Wellington and no way out!
By the end of October 2003 we had booked our flights and had begun the scary task of finding jobs in good old Blighty. We had no idea where we were heading. We settled on Canary Wharf after Michelle was offered a teaching position in East London expecting that Scott would be working in the city. It was a good choice. Canary Wharf is a vibrant area with excellent links to the rest of London.
Before we could leave though, we had to sort through five years worth of stuff we had somehow come to accumulate! We quickly discovered that the two days we had allowed was a gross underestimation. As was squeezing the essentials, incase we decided to come back home, into a storage unit the size of a garden shed. Mum came and collected us four days later with one suitcase each destined for the UK and the rest of the 4WD crammed with things to be looked after at her place. Scott, Whetu, and Eimi had to return to Palmerston North by bus while Mum watched the rear mirrors for Michelle driving.
After an evening celebrating an early Christmas with Whetu, Mum, and Andrew we bid farewell to our whanau and flew to Auckland to spend Christmas Eve with Scott's whanau. It was the first time we were able to relax and realise what we were embarking on. We were fed and watered on Christmas Day with a gorgeous lunch with all the trimimngs and then set on our way to London .
We are now in to our sixth year in England and when we look back over our time here we are amazed by the changes in the children and ourselves. Eimii is no longer the baby with curley hair and Whetu gets taller and taller each time she visits. Then in February 2007 the giant Stork paid us a visit and left behind a beautiful baby girl! We had given up on having more children...but just when all hope seemed to have gone along comes Katherine Hirini Rangimarie to brighten our lives.
The latest chapter in our lives is our move to Cambridgeshire at the end of 2008 where we have bought a house. Eimii goes to one of the best schools in the district and Kate reckons she should be able to go with her big sister too!
Scott, Michelle, Whetu (when she is with us) Eimi, and now, Kate.