Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Up in the morning and out to school (Chuck Berry)

Rambling Man (You may say I'm a dreamer - Chapter 10 part 5)

Adam (and Jacky) homeward bound via Kuala Lumpur

Across the road from The Grand was a letting agency. They had a three bed flat about to come on the market in Victoria Road - just off the Broadway.

As soon as I walked into the nearly refurbished semi detached I fell in love with the place. It was wonderful and saved my bacon.

Three bedrooms meant Samantha and Jade shared a room, Adam was next to us. We headed off in our newly bought car (from a local dodgy dealer) to buy some furniture and settled in to our new life.

Fanfa, aka 'cheeky face', at KJS, tie askew
Adam had a job at the pet shop but was still missing home and friends. Jade Samantha and I started at King John School.

We bought their uniform and worried for them, particularly Jade. She had been at a very small rural primary school in Cambridge. Now she was in a brand new uniform at a thousand plus pupil English comprehensive! She was also still sick. Somehow, she survived!

The girls first day at King John School was memorable. Very quickly they saw that their proper use of uniform and Nu Zild accents made them stand out like flashing neon!! They had to adjust quickly to avoid more bullying, uniform became skanked up, Essex girl makeup became a thing for Samantha, classes were very different, lunch was had in a dining hall, and....they thrived, making some tight friends along the way.

The O'Neills with Lewis, SWMBO and Adam
It wasn't long before the girls felt like me - it was a school, a home and a life which we could embrace and love.

For Jacky it was still a struggle and it would never feel right. It took a long time before work in London Hospitals as an agency nurse for Pulse would start. We were a long way from Keegan and her family. She wasn't happy. For Adam it was even worse. He couldn't stay, that became very clear. Jacky would take Adam back to NZ, buy him a car, find somewhere for him to live, and start him at Waikato University. That was all hard for her to do on her own. Somehow she did it all!

O'Neills, SWMBO and Adam at Nana Pat's place in Nu Plimf
The day they left was traumatic for the girls and me. We left them at Heathrow's departure lounge and headed home along the M25. I had that horrible empty feeling in my stomach the whole way and Jade cried non stop for hours. When we got home she ran to Adam's bedroom, fell on his bed and continued to cry!

While Jacky got Adam settled we did our best to survive (we had to ring Jacky in NZ to help us cook a roast chicken which turned out spectacularly badly!).

When Jacky returned to the UK we had, for us, a long period of normalcy from 2005 to 2006 . The girls and I went to a school we loved, Jacky picked up work in St Thomas', St Marys' and a number of other London hospitals, Jade had Charlie - a hamster, we got Finn, a little Irish terrior. I did my NPQH which is a qualification for headship in the UK and eyed up possible jobs in Scotland and England. But we were now a long way from Keegan, Jacky's family AND Adam.

Love and peace - Wozza

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