Three work days to go. Then it’s the Christmas break. And after that, I’ll be back at work for four weeks before we pack up our tent and trek northward for the conclusion of the 18 Month Plan and the beginning of our two-year sojourn to the Pilbara.

First of all, where the fuck did the last 18 months go?

It’s Christmas time, of course, so we’re getting together with family and friends who we won’t be face to face with again for our entire time away. In some cases, it’s a hastening of the inevitable– my bonus kids are all adults, and with one of them planning to move over East just as soon as his fiancé’s degree is complete and they can both pursue jobs where the jobs are; and another about to head off to Switzerland to be with the girl he loves and who knows when and if he’ll be back?– we were bound to have our own slow, gentle diaspora sooner or later.

But now it’s us that’s leaving, and we’re taking our pre-adult children away from their adult siblings, and leaving or grandchildren behind– 2 years is a long time to be away from kids who haven’t yet reached primary school. And while we’ll have Skype, and the potential for holiday visits assuming we can save enough dosh, it feels like a fundamental change in the way we conduct the business of family.

So: 6 weeks in which to confirm our new address, enrol the kids in school, finish as much of the day job work as needs finishing, pack, move, get ready for new jobs, start new jobs, transfer everything that needs transferring, organise finances, have Christmas, spend enough time with our family and friends to keep us going for a while, have a bloody good kick-off with all those peers we’ve grown used to in Perth, and all the other things I can’t think of right now because oh my God, how did we have so long and all of a sudden there’s no time at all……?

It’ll be fine. It’ll be fine.

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