I’m failing already in keeping up this blog….. 3 days later I finally get a chance to update!  Three days of saying goodbye to friends, some close, some not so, some that I am going to miss with all my heart.  But everyone has been so so encouraging, and that’s upsetting in a way.  What I’m doing is normal to me, it’s what I set out to do four years ago when I went to uni, but to a lot of people, it’s strange/bizarre/odd/weird. 

Saturday night – the last Saturday night I will sit at my desk with my glass of wine and catch up on all the facebook groups I subscribe to.  I’m also conscious that I am frantically posting on updates from friends, as the time for me to leave not only facebook but the english-speaking world is becoming ever-closer.  This time – literally – 2208 – I will be landing in Guilin, where hopefully someone is standing with a board with my name to take me to Yangzhuo. 

The new suitcase took the entire contents of my old one in one side – my parents came up with it today.  So I’m actually left with almost half of a suitcase to fill – do I take my pillow pet which came from a friend’s children and means so much to me.  Do I leave it empty, or try and cram the few clothes I have left into it, as my parents took away all the clothes I’d packed today. 

It’s like camping – literally.  My parents also took away (I volunteered, they didn’t just take!) all the food I had left in the cottage.  Supper tonight was two macaroni pies and beans – comfort food, food I’ll never get in China.  I’ve sort of miscalculated tomorrow, I’ve soup for lunch and then from 4pm I’m saying goodbye to three lots of friends, I’m desperately hoping that one of them will at least offer me a cake or sandwich! 

And, of course, remember the one thing I’d always said I would be on the plane and realise I didn’t have – it came to me earlier – bras 😉  So it’ll be a quick nip into (ex) work tomorrow night between seeeing friends to buy some…. there’s always something!

But I’m there, I’m no longer emotional, sad for sure, but I’m in the right mindset for moving.  Yesterday was a bad day, I woke up with a headache that didn’t shift for hours, but I had to keep going with the packing.  I struggled on and on all day, with a lie down half way through the day.  But I got there – as you do, you never ever know what inner strength you have until you are pushed.  I’m pushed, at 2.15 next Friday I am on that plane.

And it’s always a scary moment when your 64 year old mother, who is more computer literate than me, sits down at your pc to do a “clean”.  This is the woman who a couple of weeks ago, messed around with my memory card on my camera and deleted five years worth of panda photos….. much as I love and adore my parents, I wanted to slap her hand off the mouse and scream “do you actually know what you are doing”….. and the sad thing is yes she does….. and how is that to know that despite being 43 next month, your olds are always always ALWAYS right (it must be a gene that is implanted in you when you have children!)

More wine is required, as tonight is hard for me, in 2 sleeps I move out of the sanctuary that has been my cottage for the last five years.  But it’s time to move on – whether China is my new home remains to be seen, but it’s where I feel that I have to go at the moment.