Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Thinking outside the brown cardboard box

'Heaven knows I'm miserable now'

'You've got everything now'
(and for a bonus point, name the album which I have never owned but am strangely referencing in these captions)

The decorations in our house are down; the Christmas markets have been dismantled; and yet yesterday, for one day only, it was Christmas once again. For finally our big, annual box of Christmas goodies arrived. And there's nothing more fun than opening a giant box of presents you have already opened when you haven't seen them but have longed for them for ages*  (*or just over a week which can seem like ages to a 3 and 4 year old.).

This year we shipped one box less than last year. Not for any reasons pertaining to the recession, but because Stevie is starting to resist allowing new things into this apartment given our potential return to the UK in just under 5 months time. Still, very little can dent the joy of enthusiastic parcel receivers like Orla, Hamish, and myself, and we were more than satisfied.

The only dampner on the day was the news from work headquarters that we may not be able to request a years extension to our secondment. Stevie, immer upbeat, says that "this just provides us with more options". But still, I feel a little sad. I am just not ready to go back to Derby.

While I do miss my friends from there, I now feel like I have some really good friends here. People who I not only want to keep as my friends for years to come, but also whom I wish I had been able to have met sooner. People who share my new, altered view of the world; people who understand how awful & amazing all at the same time it is to live here and make me laugh like mad about it; people who...I am beginning to feel settled with. And the thing is that I would miss them terribly in a way that I didn't have to miss my Derby friends, because then I was departing on an unknown adventure, and the excitement of that offset those feelings, whereas a return to Derby feels like a trip into the known, and not much of an adventure at all.

BUT, of course there are things about a move back that I would love. So in fact, I am not wholly against the idea. In fact, let's face it, the fact alone that I have known that I would/could return is the reason I have been able to enjoy my stay in a foreign land so much. I could never deny that I have adored my little safety blanket.

And now, we have options. And more than likely over the course of the next few months, I'll start talking about what those are for us. In the mean time, my job is to investigate them and see which ones would realistically work for us as a family. And options are good, for in the very least I will have loads of big brown boxes to open somewhere, be it in Derby, Berlin, or somewhere in between.


  1. Ohh, is the song by The Smiths? Sorry - no idea of the album.
    Infact do albums even exist anymore in this day and age of i-tunes? Don't we all just buy songs now?

    And you ship boxes? Seriously, you guys must bring back a LOT of stuff. We flew back with almost 100kgs of luggage, but maybe next time I will spread the joy and post us a box too.

  2. We don't take luggage in the hold. It's cheaper to ship it. Have a look at www.parcelsplease.co.uk if you are shipping within Europe. It cost me £21.60 to send 30kg in that big box which is the maximum dimensions, but I could have sent it for £18 if my parents had a computer and a printer or if I had arranged it so that I sent the printed paperwork which goes on the box back to my parents first.

    And yes, after that long sales pitch for Parcels Please, it is The Smiths, and of course you still get albums! At least you did when The Smiths released this.

  3. I LOVE the thought of not taking hold luggage, so thanks for the link to parcelsplease. They look great, but sadly Switzerland is as expensive to ship to as Australia, for some weird reason.

    It would actually be cheaper for us to pay for excess baggage on the flight, so there go my visions of calmly waling through the airport with no bursting at the seams suitcases!

  4. Gosh, yes, I just saw that Switzerland is 'from £40+VAT' that's a pain. However, if I were you I would look for swiss-based parcel companies. Lucky for me, it was one of my friends here to did the hours of research to find the best prices for Germany!

  5. Oh wow, well fingers crossed that whatever happens is awesome, as I'm sure it will be. A bit sad at the thought that you might be out of the country before I ever get a chance to meet you though.

    1. Ah, you never know! If the weather around Easter is nice we might swing back down to Legoland or something and come back via Mainz/Wiesbaden to see you and Frau Dietz and of course THE LONG-AWAITED....Peanut! (Doesn't feel long now!)

  6. Crikey, I am on tenterhooks!! You have such a brilliantly positive attitude that I think you will be happy whichever way things end up. And YES PLEASE COME TO SEE US, ALL OF US, ESPECIALLY ME.

  7. Oh, I don't know that I feel that positive! I am fine with the prospect of not really knowing if we'll be staying or going until very likely a couple of weeks before we would potentially leave. I guess it'll all work itself out anyway.


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