The Bittersweet One


Writing all of this down suddenly makes it all the more real. Realizing that only one hand full of weeks is left before it happens makes me startle up in surprise. Watching the chaos we are currently living in is all the evidence I need to figure out that we are actually doing this, sooner rather than later.

After LOTS of thinking, planning, worrying, excitement, note-taking, emailing, calls, sadness and happiness, we have decided to return back to The Rock.

The decision to return back to Malta was more tough to take than the one coming here. We arrived in England without any real responsibilities and we wanted to try this new life out. We both felt that it was something we could do at the time be it for whatever period of time. Although we always knew that we were not going to settle here forever, we had no fixed date of return and always said that when the time came for us to return, we would somehow know and go from there. Then suddenly one time early last year we started talking about possibly moving back to Malta, and without even realizing it back then, we had set the ball rolling. Of course talking a ‘potential move which will happen sometime next year’ is one thing. Sitting down and deciding when and how you will leave and announcing it to everyone else, is something totally different.

Hence my cryptic posts as of lately dear friends. I decided not to say anything before today only because we still had some final things to settle and I did not want to say anything before we were 100% sure of things. And now we are. We are living in a tidy ground-floor with a scene of an explosion upstairs. We have started packing, sending our things, contacting services to let them know of our decision, and making do with strangers coming into our home to view the house. We are remembering new things to do everyday and are trying to do them as calmly and quickly as possibly. Peaceful nights are being interrupted by not only Cesca, but also by panicky thoughts which somehow make themselves felt during the early hours.

The Husband has a last day at work. We have a last day here at our house. We have all but finalized The Move and although I’m very excited, I’m also scared as hell. There are the obvious fears and thoughts. Is this the right thing to do for us and for Cesca? Will we come to regret this decision? Is the time right? Then the idea of not living here in Canterbury anymore comes to mind and I feel desperately sad for I love this city. I love its’ history, its’ kind population, the cosmopolitan University crowds, the Italian and even Maltese tourists we would see (and hear) on Saturday mornings, the well-mannered population, the rivers, the walks, the shops, the supermarkets, the proximity to other beautiful cities and villages. And then of course there are the people I’ve met. I will miss everyone but some much more than others. I will miss my darling N, who has become my sister here in Canterbury and whose baby I won’t be able to see as regularly as I would want. I’m scared of the opportunities Cesca will miss out by moving back to Malta. More than anything I will probably miss the life we have here as a family, the cozy and familiar routine we have, our lazy and easy-going weekends, the ‘us-time’ as a couple, and the fact that we have to now get used to sharing Cesca, something I yearn for every couple of days but worry about on others. We have a million and one things on our minds, and while all this comes to mind, there is also the plus-side of things which has shed light and hope on various days of worrying.

Cesca will get to grow up surrounded by a family who adores her and who will get to enjoy her company more than from a Skype session. She will start enjoying play-dates with children of my friends, maybe even going to school with them. She can grow up on a safe island with people I know and trust. A and myself can find more of our precious time as a couple. We can decide to go out have a coffee at 7pm and know that we will find all places open. We have missed our friends and catching up with them on a regular basis has proved hard when the majority of our visits to Malta has been for just three days. As for me personally while I have absolutely no regrets and considered myself very luck being able to take care of my Cesca and being able to do so for every day since she came to us, I can not say that I am not looking forward for days and even hours when I can have her grandparents care for her and have some me-time. It has been my most challenging job. I have cried and despaired at times when she was teething. I panicked at times when she wasn’t eating. I was worrying when she took her time at crawling and walking. I am always wondering whether we are doing the right job with her, and have sometimes badly wanted a word of encouragement from my mother but would not want to worry her with my call. During terrible teething and sleeping periods, the thought of an imminent visit to Malta was the only thing that kept me sane and moving on.

Whenever I tell anyone in Malta that we live in England, the first thing they always seem to tell me is that we must really miss Malta. And lots of people have assumed that the reason for our decision to return back to Malta is that we could not live  in England anymore and were terribly homesick. We have received that pitying look and knowing-nods in Malta so many times. So many people have told us that they could never bring themselves to leave the islands. However it was not all like that for us. Yes we have missed our families and life in Malta, but we will also miss England and the life we set out for ourselves here. I was lucky enough to stop thinking about Malta the minute we arrived at MIA and cease thinking about England for the whole of our Malta visits, and for that reason I was always happy at the place I was at. Luckily enough for us, we have no feeling of regret whatsoever.

So dear friends you may now begin to understand my latest writing and irregular posts. We have so much going on and it was becoming very hard to write without mentioning all this. You now know.

Three years of living in Canterbury and five years since I started visiting every four weeks, I know that I will miss this life. We were very very lucky to have stumbled upon Canterbury as a place to live and gone from there. Our lives are that bit more rich because of that decision way back in 2008. And now I’m stopping because I can feel a wave of tears coming forth…

Small steps, big breaths...

Small steps, big breaths…

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8 thoughts on “The Bittersweet One

  1. yay!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. You know my opinion about this…I would love to leave the islands, if only for a couple of years. I think you did the best thing you could have done, starting your marriage completely isolated from family and friends and this place. You have had the time to build a solid foundation, without any interference from others. On the other hand, I look forward to catching up more regularly and for R and C to meet a little more!

  3. I agree with Maureen, its something i wished i had done before, but when you have kids its difficult! I can understand that when you have kids its nice to have family close by, it helps alot, but it must be difficult to leave your life back. Good luck in your new adventure, it will be nice seeing you around!

    • It will be hard adjusting back to life in a small place like Gozo, but we’re both quite good at adapting ourselves, so hopefully it won’t be as bad! Thanks dear x

  4. Reading this brought all those raw emotions back. I sympathise with every word, and no it’s not easy and you will miss it. But once you’ve made your mind up, it’ll be easy to deal with and Canterbury will always be there to visit. I am still in mourning over leaving Rochester, I still well up when I think of certain spots. It’s been by far harder to leave than Malta ever was, but I have so much more here.

    And as for sharing Cesca, you know I had the same concerns. Well all I can say is that it balances itself out. People told me this and I don’t know that it helped much at the time, so I don’t know if it will help you, but I’ll say it anyway: you’re her mother, that doesn’t change. If anything my relationship with Emily has become even better because we now get a sometimes much-needed break from each other. Try not to let it worry you x

    • You are my main point of reference in all of this Clare! I’m reading your move-posts and only now do I really understand your worries and troubles! So a BIG and hugely heart-felt thank you x

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