I started this blog after we’d already been in France for a few months but for most of the time we’ve lived here, it’s been a sort of travel-meets-expat blog, with forays into parenting and politics and writing and all sorts. However, we are leaving France in less than two weeks and so things will change.

I will write a little something, I’m sure, about re-adjusting to New Zealand, about going back, reverse culture shock and all that jazz.

And I’ll still be writing books. One day, some of them will be published, so this website will remain my home base online. The flavour and frequency of blog-posts will change, but this feels a little like goodbye.

Mind you, everything feels a little like goodbye this week. I went to my final writers’ group get-together last Friday night. I hosted my final Friday morning prayer thing (which never got a name but will continue without me and might yet…). I’ve been to my final french class and tomorrow I teach my final English lesson.

writers' group

This is the kids’ last week at school and halte garderie. The thank-you pressies and cards are sitting on the bookshelf will all the other things I must remember to give or give back to people.

Several large pieces of furniture have been dismantled. The basement storage space is empty. Our house is full of boxes and lists and my next job is to go through all the lists and pull it all together into one big list of all the things going in the container. I have an episode of ‘Call the Midwife’ all lined up, ready to keep me company while I do that scintillating job. (Hopefully it won’t have me in rivers of tears like the last one did. Wonderful catharsis though it is…)

So here’s the plan:

Monday 16 Feb – moving out of our flat

We’re staying in a hotel in the vicinity of Paris and taking advantage of things like Disneyland, sometime in here…

Sunday 22 – flying out of France

Tuesday 24 – arriving in NZ (the length of the flight is having a similar effect as ‘Call the Midwife’)

We’ll stay with Luuk’s folks in the Waikato for a couple of weeks and we will spend a couple of days in Auckland, and maybe in Tauranga too.

Then we’ll drive down to Christchurch… exact dates yet to be confirmed. We really must get onto that – ferry tickets and whatnot.

Right, on with the packing then. (Have I suddenly started sounding like something out of 1950s London?)