Our first to fly the nest!

Our first born has flown the nest! She’s following her dreams and passion for theatre by undertaking a Bachelor of Fine Arts, in Production Design, at The University of Melbourne.

She flew (literally) on Valentine’s Day, flying Wellington to Auckland and then onto Melbourne, with a couple of suitcases and a carry on bag to start her new life!

Our little dog, left of photo, sensing the changes coming!

Her timing was perfect, with borders reopening around the world as the Covid-19 pandemic starts to ebb. She’d waited to start her degree, holding off due to the pandemic and also due to finishing college in 2020 as the youngest in her year – at 17 and a half. She spent 2021 gaining valuable life experience, working in a couple of retail outlets in Wellington, doing voluntary work, getting involved in costuming for a couple of Wellington theatre productions as well as trying her hand at setting up a little online jewellery making business. She had a great year and the skills she developed, combined with her amazing grades from college in a wide range of subjects, including Physics, English, Statistics, Materials Technology, Painting and Art History, set her up in the best way possible for this next step in life.

We had a lovely farewell dinner and she had friends over the week before she left. We do miss her gorgeous laughter and the sound of her singing. The one thing we don’t missing is standing on all the pins she leaves from her various sewing projects!

Of course we are so very thrilled for her and Melbourne is a great city, but it is going to take us time to get used to her not being at home (particularly us ‘oldies’), or even in the same country! She has been away nearly four weeks and has settled in quickly, enjoying a great ‘Orientation Week’ before commencing her studies at the Victorian College of the Arts (VCA), part of the University of Melbourne.

I can’t wait to visit her, hopefully mid way through the year for her Birthday at the end of June, but am making do with video chats and messages. My husband, Dan, has already visited – in fact he’s still there as I write! Two weeks after our daughter flew out he got the opportunity to head to Melbourne on business. He has been working with a team of people based in Australia, on Zoom calls throughout the pandemic, and was invited to head over to finally meet in person. He’s home tomorrow night, after nearly two weeks of meetings. He grabbed the chance to meet up with our daughter for dinner a couple of times – both of their schedules being very busy – and sent a couple of pics that made my heart swell with so much love for them both.

The beginning of this year is one of big adjustments and change on top of grieving for the passing of my Mum and thinking of my dear Dad and sister in the UK. I feel like every day is one of effort to stay in the moment and not let an underlying sea of emotions take over (this combined with turning 48 next month and getting used to changes that start to happen to women at this stage of life!).

Thankfully I have my wonderful younger daughters (who are growing up fast too!) to keep me focused! Sophie is thriving at high school / college, in year 12, studying Physics, Biology, Maths, Psychology, English and Outdoor Education. Alice has turned 12 and his thriving with a particular passion for digital art and animation. She’s still enjoying home ed life, with some wonderful friendships and a great community, but is thinking of trying high school next year.

I am having so many reflective moments on life right now – I think approaching 50, losing a parent to Alzheimer’s disease and farewelling a child to University in a different country will do that to a person! I find the best way to deal with it all is to get a daily nature fix and – when my body isn’t complaining with aches and pains – I am out the door and running (definitely clears my head – as all I can focus on is breathing and positioning my limbs to propel myself forward without causing another injury to add to the dodgy right ankle, pain in my left hip and frozen left shoulder!).