Setting Sail

Aussie yachts on Sydney Harbour this week

Sydney

Thanks to everyone for the kind comments on my last post.  Like the yachts on Sydney Harbour, we’ve been sailing with and against the wind in recent weeks.

Blogging and Real Life

In the two years or so I’ve been part of the global blogging community, I’ve learned a key aspect of making it worthwhile, at least for me, is to participate in a two-way – or ideally multi-way — exchange of communication and ideas. More specifically, by this I mean if I’m going to post on my own blog, I feel a ‘reciprocal responsibility’ to read and comment on other people’s blogs as well.

Part of the reason I’ve been quiet here is real life has left me little time to spend on these interactions, and I don’t really like blogs that are mostly one-way (‘I did this, then I did that; I think this and I think that; aren’t you just fascinated with me, me, me!?’). Blogging by definition is often rather self-focused, but still, for me the ideal scenario is one in which there’s an exchange of ideas and responses — as there is in the blogs I read and comment on — as opposed to a one-way outpouring.

It’s All Happening

Our new adventure is indeed happening, as is real life in our widely-scattered global family. When Clive brings me my nice cup of tea in bed, he says, ‘Time to board the removal express.’ (Of course, he’s already been up for hours and returned from a sunrise walk with our neighbour and it’s only 7 a.m.) We have a lot to do, so I do need to rise and shine!

On top of an overseas move, I recently had to travel to the U.S. due to a medical emergency with my father; he’s more or less stable now but the situation could change at any moment, as it could with my mother, also in the U.S.; Clive’s father, in England; and his mother, here in Australia.

On the opposite side of the generational spectrum, Clive’s son and daughter-in-law are expecting their third child in early November – but the first two were very early, and it’s already October … so needless to say, every time the telephone rings, we wonder who it is and pray it’s not bad news about an elderly parent (or anyone else) but joyful news about the birth of a child.

Stuff, the Internet, and other Priorities

I hope to post much more in the coming days about this particular overseas move.

For now, suffice it to say I have a lot to say about stuff.  We’ve also discovered a new Internet wifi device for staying connected and in the meantime, try to keep our heads above water with daily life in Sydney – you know: food, laundry, communicating and getting together with family and friends. Although I’m in Australia, I’ve become daily ‘communications central’ for my father’s geographically-dispersed U.S. family with respect to his condition, which proves to me if nothing else, once again, that 1) frequent communication is indeed possible, even when 10,000 miles apart; and 2) our need for a reliable Internet connection, no matter where we are, is as basic as food and shelter. I wrote about this in ‘A Wireless of One’s Own’ and now find it truer than ever.

My next post will be more on the scintillating topic of Stuff.  My son says Clive and I are singlehandedly supporting international commerce – shipping lines, movers, the U.S. and Aussie post office, and soon to come, British Post.

So we set sail on our new adventure, headed to the English seaside, to the coast of Suffolk, in a place called Felixstowe.

June 2010, Thames barge on the River Orwell near Felixstowe, Suffolk


Cheers and more to come.

13 Responses

  1. I can’t wait to hear more as things progress and I’m glad your dad is stable. It must be scary to be so far away when parents are aging and might need you at any moment. I can’t imagine the stress you must feel when the phone rings.

  2. I know what you mean about blogging, Carolyn. Interactions are key amongst writers and readers, as is having things to say. I know I always enjoy coming here for a lot of both. Looking forward to more!

  3. Elizabeth, thanks and I know you understand (as do many international bloggers!) it’s sometimes more difficult than others when you’re geographically far from loved ones.

    Paris Paul, thank you too for your understanding! I know we all have times when all we can do is post ourselves, but I always feel better when I can also make time to read and comment on my favourite blogs as well (and reply to comments on my own blog!), so I feel part of the broader community!

    Cheers.

  4. “Time to board the removal express” — I love it!! It’s really happening! I can’t imagine what all you have been up to.

    Sorry that you had a scare with your father and glad he is stable now.

    Here’s to your support of the international shipping and mailing companies!

  5. I wish your dad all the best, Carolyn, and hope that phone call is always good news!
    Good luck with the move – I will be doing the same soon!

  6. I love what you have to say here: “Blogging by definition is often rather self-focused, but still, for me the ideal scenario is one in which there’s an exchange of ideas and responses — as there is in the blogs I read and comment on — as opposed to a one-way outpouring.”

    It is very true, and something I observed in my first foray into blogging on the now-closed social network Yahoo! 360°. It is very much a reciprocal thing, and the thing I like the most about it all.

    I’m really glad for the update on what has been going on with you! 🙂 It is nice to know what is happening in your life — one of the side-effects of that reciprocity is this feeling of connection and wanting to know how others are doing, sometimes more than I want to write about my own doings, lol.

    “So we set sail on our new adventure, headed to the English seaside, to the coast of Suffolk, in a place called Felixstowe.”

    Yay!! Oh best to you and Clive as you accomplish this gargantuan task. Best with all the parents, and children, and future grandchildren — best as you go through these things. I hope you will have the energy to do them all, and that everything for everyone goes very, very smoothly. 🙂

    Looking forward to reading all the posts about your new home!

    Be well,
    Karin

  7. Good luck on the move. I hope it all goes well. I know what a big job it is.

  8. Kim B, greetings! and thanks for the support re international commerce – we need it! 🙂 Hope all is well with you and your Parisian life.

    Res, hello and thanks for your kind thoughts. It’s so exciting you’re also on the move – cheering you on with the new position in Switzerland – impressive!

    Paris Karin, your wishes are sincerely appreciated; I know you understand about connection and interaction (you’re a master of the art!) and you’re a great example of how to do it really well.

    Linda, great to see you too — I’ve enjoyed your Provence (and Italy!) posts so much and I know you also had a recent move in Paris!

    Cheers all and I hope I’ll be lucky enough to see/meet you all in person in Paris sooner rather than later.

  9. Hello Carolyn … I don’t know what has happened ,as I left a message over here for you .

    I do hope that it all goes smoothly for you and Clive, the move to the UK … I do try and understand, as we have never been that far away from family. I cannot imagine how hard it is for you both when the phone goes .. I am very happy for you that your dad is stable now, what a huge relief.

    How great was it that Elizabeth met Kim .. 🙂 .. I have yet to meet Elizabeth hope to one day .. and you must too 🙂 Take care and love to you both.

  10. Oh btw I have also met Karin but not Paul .. we had a lovely few hours together in September. 🙂

  11. Anne, thanks for the good wishes. It is hard to be far away at times like this, as so many of our wonderful blogger friends understand — always wondering ‘do I get on a plane now …’ etc.

    It’s so cool you’ve met everyone — maybe we’ll meet Elizabeth at the same time, someday, somewhere …

    In the meantime cheers and happy travels.

  12. Carolyn and Clive,

    My heart is with you both as you set sail on a new chapter in your lives!!
    I am excited for you both, as I am anxious reading about all that is going on in your lives. What a beautiful example of how the internet is a marvellous tool for keeping family and friends together and in touch despite the miles.

    I was so sorry to hear about Carolyn’s father having health problems. I pray that he is better, and that your parents are all strong.

    I know that vists with friends take second place for the moment. But when you are all settled and are ready to hop over the Channel, let your friends in Paris know.

    God bless and lots of courage for the coming weeks.
    XO

  13. Hello Barbara and thanks so much for your comment. I appreciate your nice thoughts and agree it’s wonderful how technology keeps us all connected.

    We will definitely be in touch with our Paris friends when we get ‘up there’! 🙂

    [I’ve just returned to Sydney from another week-plus seeing my father (and mother) in the U.S. Thank you for your prayers. I hope to post something about this soon but am not sure time will permit.]

    Take care yourself and I hope to see you soon.

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