The first six months in London were a mixture of good and challenging times. We moved into our new (rental) home in August and a few weeks later, the kids started to go to a Church of England school in September. Our daily routine quickly changed as the summer holidays came to a close and the kids got used to a new school routine. Their school hours were from 9-3:30 pm and my youngest child went to nursery from 9-11 am. It meant that for 5 days a week, I was constantly rushing in and out of the house to either drop-off or pick up the kids. It worked fairly well though and I was so glad that the school was only 5 minutes from my home and that the regular walking provided much-needed exercise.
During the weekends, we went to church on Sundays and did some sightseeing on Saturdays (and on school holidays i.e. half term). We went to see the London Eye, National Museum, a local farm and play zones. I also experienced seasons for the first time in my life! It was quite hot when we arrived in London mid-July, then it started getting colder later in the year and we had to don more than just our jumpers to keep warm and dry. We saw frost on the grass and experienced a lot of rain. We also realised that at walking distance from our home, was a gorgeous, lush nature reserve. We spent quite a bit of time exploring this place and even got to experience what it looked like at different seasons.
During the end of 2019, my husband and I got to know some of our neighbours a little more through birthday party invitations and housewarming parties. My husband got some contractual work during this time as well so we were both quite busy..me with school events and the home and my husband with his work. We were grateful to get some income so soon after we arrived in the UK.
In between this time, I struggled with homesickness. Leaving Dubai was not easy after 30 years of living there. I found myself constantly reminiscing my life there and sometimes imagining what it might be like to return. Our first Christmas and New Year’s in London was good but bittersweet in a way because I missed Dubai and family/friends. I was grateful for technology though, it helped me to keep in contact with my friends and family(siblings) in Dubai and my parents in Sri Lanka.