So, I know it’s been about a million years since I shared our adventures with you but life has been running away with me recently (how can it be June already?!) and since so many of you have taken the time to get in touch and check we haven’t fallen off the face of this side of the earth, I wanted to let you know we are still here!
But, I can’t write this post without saying how heartbroken I was to hear about the Manchester bomb. I watched the terror unfold throughout the day on 22nd May and like so many other ex-pats no doubt, all we could do was wait for England to wake up to the horror and make sure those that we love were OK. To see our home town so damaged and bruised felt really personal and despite being miles away, our hearts were right back there on the streets that we still call ‘home’. Our thoughts are with anyone who has been affected by the tragedy.
I would say life in the second year of our move is a complete antithesis of that during our first. When I look back on last year, I can’t believe what we went through and still came out smiling! It’s been a lot of hard work, a lot of ups and downs, successes and failures, moments we’ve wondered if we’ve made the biggest mistake of our lives while searching Right Move for places to rent back home then the very next day looking at new houses to buy around here! So much to navigate and work out while getting used to being alone for the first time in our lives and not having the security your family being around you brings to pick you up when you’re down or pick the kids up when you need a break (taking three kids to an emergency dental appointment to fix my broken tooth is an experience I never want to repeat!) The kind of stuff that makes you feel all vulnerable when it hits yet pretty invincible when you manage to figure it out.
Since Ste works in the city, the destination was at the top of the kids ‘to-do’ list (along with going out for ice-cream any time, any place, anywhere) so a couple of weeks ago we decided to make the most of the beautiful winter sunshine and take them on a day out! Melbourne is one of my most favourite city’s in the world but living on the Mornington Peninsula we have about an hour’s drive up so it’s not somewhere I can get to often (in fact only three times since we arrived!) Most of you will probably know it’s where Ste and I spent a lot of time when we lived here back in 2007, so to return now married with our three kids made us feel pretty lucky (and a little bit old if I’m honest too!)
Our first stop was a demonstration at the fire station.The kids listened intently while fire fighters told them the number to dial in an emergency (000 – yeah that was news to me too, I was still on 999!) and they even got to spray a poor guy dressed as a clown stuck in a make shift house on fire with a hose pipe, which we had to drag the kids away from to let others have a turn!
Even though, we had a fair bit of walking to do to reach our next stop – Melbourne Museum – the kids did great on the day stomping the bustling city streets, happily distracted by the height of the buildings as they towered above us up into the sky.
The museum is free for kids, which we think is fabulous! Kaira absolutely loved the human body exhibition (though she looked ever so slightly terrified at times) and Kian couldn’t get enough of the dinosaur relics that he gazed at for ages before asking if they were held together by blue-tac (the way kids minds works is just the best isn’t it?) and Ariana spun and danced in the children’s play area for so long, we seriously considered installing the equipment at home just so we could sit down for a decent enough length of time without being interrupted. I could have taken hundreds of pictures in there but only being in the city for the day, we had to keep moving!
With the Eureka Tower providing the perfect backdrop as it’s the place that Ste proposed to me ten years ago (“yeah mummy, you’ve already told us!” thanks to Ariana for making me feel like a typical mum!) we stopped for a little lunch at Federation Square. I honestly thought I took some pictures of the two police officers that were stood next to us kicking footballs around with some young lads beside the restaurant but I can’t find them (damn iphone storage making me delete my pictures every other day!) I just wanted to let you know despite the worry I’m sure all parents have about being in very busy public spaces at the moment (if you watch too much of the news that is) the whole vibe was so chilled and as the sun shone, we shed our coats and relaxed wondering how on earth this could be the middle of winter – we would have been happy with the heat during summer back in Manchester!
One thing we learned during our trip was that the kids are NOT afraid of heights! As the lift reached the eighty eighth floor of the Eureka Tower, they all went running toward the glass to witness the view that made my head spin for a few seconds! The beautiful city that we can now call ‘home’ was even more breathtaking with the family we are so lucky to have created. If you’d have told me we would be back here in ten years with three children when these pictures were taken, I don’t think we’d ever have believed it…
What an adventure it’s been. Thanks for being with us, I promise I won’t leave it so long next time!
Love from Leyla