Week 52 – There and Back Again

August 18th to 24th, 2014

Be grateful for the home you have, knowing that at this moment, all you have is all you need.- Sarah Ban Breathnach.

So after the great Sabretoothed Chickens Tour we are finally home.

One small family back from our one big year…

Yes, we felt some mixed feelings in the week before we headed home but by the last few days our positive excitement grew. We were pleased to be processed at customs and immigration by friendly staff who had Aussie accents. We exited the arrivals doors to be greeted by our loved ones, despite our late arrival. Here were family to embrace us and welcome us home. Perth at last.

If I were asked to name the chief benefit of the house, I should say: the house shelters day-dreaming, the house protects the dreamer, the house allows one to dream in peace. – Gaston Bachelard

Home10Many times on our trip we all thought of this distant shore. We are happy to be biased and in love with our home. The familiar, the known, the comforting, loved filled images of home. Sunny blue skies, the smell of eucalyptus, ghost gum trees, white sand beaches, coffee on the Freo cappucino strip, summer concerts, the southern cross and BBQ’s with friends.

The ordinary acts we practice every day at home are of more importance to the soul than their simplicity might suggest. – Thomas Moore

On our travels we all had bouts of homesickness. We at times longed for news of it, glimpses of it on some TV show, sounds of it in familiar bands, calls from those we loved, emails and chat from local friends. Now we were back here amongst it all. All so close and within our grasp again.

Where we love is home – home that our feet may leave, but not our hearts.
Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

We never left because we wanted to leave it. Perth was always our beloved home and continues to be so. Who could not be mesmerised by her sunny face, her quiet beauty and her many local secrets. This city has always been beloved by us – travelling in the world and seeing so many wonderful sights, makes us love it all the more. We appreciate more than ever how lucky we are, that some accident of birth has landed us here. How fortunate and grateful we are to return to concepts of political freedom, equal rights, clean streets, free education and affordable medical care, when we have seen so many places that deny these very ideals.

Home1Our first night brought all the pleasures of settling into our temporary home at Grandma’s. (We would be cleaning and painting our residence before returning home next week). There were new clothes and Lego sets for the boys. Welcome home cards and treats for all.

Our first week back saw us feasting on favourites such as, roast dinner with-the-lot and a traditional Burmese Ohn no khao swè feast. Back to “Grandma Food” as our boys would say. Home2

Then hitting the ground with both feet running as the week began. We got to school early and after all the i’s were dotted we were shown the boys classes and introduced to their new principal and new class teachers. (We had previously enrolled and communicated with their teachers and new principal via email). Spent the day checking school supplies, clothing and shoes. Before we left we were told, “By the way it’s Book Week Parade tomorrow”.

A visit to the school dentist to update them on all things teeth and book the boys in for check-ups. A dash around the shops and digging up costume boxes to muddle together the requested Harry Potter, Gandalf and Octonauts Explorer outfits. The next day brought a school full of costumed children and teachers!

Felix started pre-primary and his first week of full-time school. We immediately signed up for Felix’s parent roster on Thursday and next Monday. We signed up for the Father’s Day camp out. Musical performance incursion on Thursday. Farm incursion on Wednesday. Felix’s first day did involve a teary moment when confronted with a difficult writing exercise but it wasn’t long before he landed on his feet. By Thursday with mum there for the morning he was full of smiles and excitement. Reuben had a few tears on day two. Luckily by the end of the week, they had all found their school stride.

Next month will bring the annual Royal Agricultural Show, Fathers Day celebrations and the school sports carnival…

 

On Tuesday, Graham started work again after a year away. Same job, new office. It wasn’t long before it was Friday and there were welcome home drinks at the university tavern.

Prunella started sorting the family home. Moving back in. Gardening. Preparations to paint the boys bedrooms and prepare Lucas his own big boys room. Re-organising and refining.

If you want a golden rule that will fit everything, this is it: Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful. – William Morris

Our full circle gathering was where our send-off had been one year earlier – Clancy’s Fish Pub. Now newly renovated but still one of our favourite Fremantle haunts. Western Australia put on some perfect late winter weather and as the children ran on the grass, the grown ups munched fish and chips whilst sampling the local brews. A wonderful end to our first week back.

Love begins at home, and it is not how much we do… but how much love we put in that action. – Mother Teresa

Afterwards it was just us five. We drove down the majestic Swan River and up to Kings Park. As we looked down on the city, we couldn’t help but be happy, to be home. The end of a great year away but the start to a new exciting page of life – reflecting on our new wisdom, ideas and a wealth of memories of our dream trip – The Sabretoothed Chickens Tour.

Home9

It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end. – Ernest Hemingway

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