Enter Stage left, one rather reluctant
From this moment - with his brief to watch over us
- life became hectic for our Guardian Angel. Not his own, but he
came up trumps, and somehow on that first day he shepherded us to
the head of a queue of fellow Antipodeans waiting for temporary
accommodation. We were given the last "B&B" (Bed and
Breakfast) available for that day!
The "Bed and Breakfast" was in the upper
class Kensington area of London - a fact of which I was acutely
unaware - to the extent that my snooty landlady rebuked me for decorating
my upstairs bedroom windows with our washing. I had thought this
would be a good way to dry our clothing! Not quite "done"
in leafy Kensington, so I learned.
Not surprisingly we did not last too long there, and
my harassed Guardian Angel soon found us a huge old house in another
London suburb - a house which we shared with a group of other "Kiwis"
and Aussies. The children attended the local school, and here we
spent two happy years.
To cut a long story short I eventually I obtained
a permanent visa, and we moved into our own home. The children have
now grown up and flown the kiwi's nest. Somehow they have survived
our various escapades, seemingly without a scratch, and we are all
very happy living here in England.
The English people, although fairly reserved, have
come to know and like us, with all our antipodean idiosyncrasies,
and thanks to our ex-pat forbears we seem to be universally liked
in this part of the world.
I love the people and the land, especially the vivid
city life which is so different to life in New Zealand - but you
cannot compare the two. They each offer different things, and life
is what you make of it wherever you are.
I have been back to New Zealand a few times recently,
but something always draws me back to the United Kingdom...possibly
a lot to do with the fact that my close family is all now in this
part of the world.
What about my poor, overworked, stressed-out Guardian
Angel?? Well, I imagine I have used an army of them!