We are only 2 weeks away from leaving St Helena, all our belongings have either been sold or are now packed up in a container, we won’t even have a tin opener! I checked our shipping record from when our container arrived on St Helena, we had 102 boxes plus various other items. We now have just 43 boxes and 5 suitcases! It’s quite cathartic giving our things away and selling others.
It is a slightly odd situation for us as Matt and I still don’t have jobs. I will do bank work for a while until Matt’s job is sorted before deciding what I would like to do. Being here has made me wonder if I should change direction but I don’t know where to yet! The kids all have school places and we are looking forward to seeing our house again soon.
Cooper is not quite sorted yet, he will hopefully go on the container ship, the MV Helena to Cape Town in August and then fly to the UK from there. The governor is going to look after him for us until he leaves, hopefully. We can’t leave him, he’s part of the family and we can’t imagine our lives without him now! (despite having to re-mortgage to pay to get him back to the UK!!)
It is Winter here now, however, the weather this week has been great, warm and sunny and it makes it really hard to think about leaving. (since writing this blog the weather has deteriorated rapidly!) When we leave; we will miss the weather here on St Helena but there are other things we will also miss:
• The view from our house. It is amazing, every day we see a fabulous sun rise and stunning scenery.
• Waving – When you are driving in St Helena you must wave at every car you pass, not just if someone pulls over for you. The desire to wave at people when driving in the UK is overwhelming sometimes!
• Saying hello! – it is considered rude on St Helena if you don’t say hello to everyone you pass when in town or walking along the road. You really notice the difference when not in St Helena.
• The stars – amazing clear, dark skies and amazing stars, who knew there were so many!
- Mac sitting on the wall – Every day when I walk the dog I have a chat with Mac who sits at White gate.
• Hills – Not really, I’ll be glad if I never see a hill again!
• Boat trips – it is lovely to just phone Johnny and go on a boat trip if you fancy it on a weekend.
- Going to SHAPE to help make crafts and jewellery.
• Whale sharks – they are gentle giants and truly amazing!
• The pace of life – life is much slower on St Helena and it took us a long time to slow down, now we will have to put our foot down and speed up to get back to the pace of life in the UK.
• The peace and quiet – it is really quiet on St Helena, properly quiet……..
• Family time – I suspect that the pace of life in the UK will reduce the amount of family time we have together. Family meal times may also become a thing of the past.
• After school swimming in the pool in Jamestown – A luxury after work/school.
• Cooper playing with Dusty, his mum and his siblings – it is so lovely to see them playing together, dog training has also been great fun!
• Diana’s peak – our favourite post box walk, and the highest point on the island. Stunning 360-degree views from the top on a good day or only being able to see your hand in front of your face on a bad one!
• The people – St Helena has many kind and friendly people and there are many people we will miss.
• The music on Saint FM, Country or reggae versions of pop songs!! a particular favourite is the song “just an illusion” – A classic St Helena tune, so bad it’s good!
• Matt will miss sitting in his office with the warm breeze through the window and mango trees in the office gardens.
• The challenge of shopping for weekly food and being inventive with the weekly veg bag… it has really made us appreciate how convenient everything is in the UK and how you can get anything you want whenever you want.
• The kids will miss Mum’s ‘elephant’ in the meals…. How she has disguised Pumpkin into nearly every meal without them noticing.
• Fresh fish – Tuna, Wahoo, Grouper, Dorado, some of the best fish we’ve ever eaten.
We are going to make the most of the next few weeks and will always have great memories of St Helena.
Lots of love from Jo, Matt, Isaac, Ruby and Archie xxx