It was bittersweet leaving Canada and heading across the pond for this year (ish) in Oxford. However while Oxford’s colour is dark blue, I don’t expect I’ll be experiencing the “blues” this year. It was wonderful to be back together with Malcolm (as he was describing, two weeks is a nice vacation, but beyond that the missing-you’s set in). Our little family made the move so that Malcolm could be here to do a year Masters and row in the prestigious Oxford-Cambridge Boat Race. We decided to bring along our cat Basil. Some of you may have seen my social media posts lamenting the cost and hassel of bringing a cat to the UK. Apparently the UK is one of the most complicated and stringent Countries in the world in terms of ‘importing’ animals. We were shocked by the cost of a company to receive the cat. Then when I attempted to pick up Basil after his long journey over I was told that the Rabbies product name was missing from the form and until our vet in Canada had sent a new form he would have to remain at the Animal Reception Centre. Oh jeeeeeezzzzzz. Thankfully our vet is a family friend, and generously came to our rescue on the Sunday of the Thanksgiving long weekend!!!! I have to say that for all of the expense, the worry of shipping ‘our baby’ in Cargo, and the aggravation of the paper work/returning to Heathrow again – it was all worth it! Basil seems to be adapting well, albeit cautiously. I love having someone (errr ok, something) to chat with during the day, and of course top notch cuddles. He seems quite grateful for us, or at least has been even more affectionate than normal!
Ok, ok, enough about the cat. The jet lag is taking it’s toll, but I have felt pleased with my productivity when I’ve gotten my butt in gear. The nesting bug has hit me hard (and no, I’m not pregnant). I’ve rearranged the furniture in the living room, bedroom, and all of the cupboards in the kitchen too. I’ve been out and about trying to pick up a few more essentials and familiarizing myself with the city.
My initial impressions of Oxford are: holy students batman. It makes me feel at once young (because I could be one of them and likely look very much like them) and old (because it’s been nearly 10 years since I graduated from University – really?!). It’s also adorable. Walking through the streets I wondered to myself why I do I think cities in Europe are so cute/quaint? Perhaps it’s the history, perhaps the size? There is always interesting architecture and historic elements to revel at. Speaking of which, I should get out of the house and go explore this new city of mine.
BUT, I couldn’t write a post and not say how extremely touched I was at the kindness, generosity and love that surrounded me in the various goodbyes/send-offs. I feel so blessed to have made such incredible friends in Victoria, and leaving you all feels all too much like leaving my dear friends in Ontario as I did just a few year prior. However, as one of my favourite movies Steal Magnolias says “I would rather have thirty minutes of wonderful than a life time full of nothing special”. Or another ‘goodie’, “It is better to have loved and lost, than never to have loved at all”. What a happy predicament to have developed such wonderful relationships that you are sad to leave for the time-being. To those of you who have left your imprint in my heart (both in BC and in Ontario) – thank you. Thank you for opening your lives and your hearts to me, thank you for the thoughtful words you shared during my departure, and thank you for the fuel supporting my courage as I embark in this new adventure. Please keep in touch, and hopefully this blog will help share what our Oxford experience is like…
“It’s not who you are that holds you back, it’s who you think you’re not.” – Unknown