The land of sheep and chocolate

Sunday, July 23, 2006

The Land of Sheep and Chocolate

New Zealand is notoriously a land where sheep outnumber people by 8 to 1. Or something like that. That's the main fact people seem to know about the country I am about to make my home and there is no doubt that there are lots of sheep there. However, it would be tiresome to go on about it and in my opinion, if New Zealand deserves to be famous for making anything, it is chocolate. It's just ordinary Dairy Milk, but made with much creamier milk from happy cows and is far and away better than anything you can get in the UK; it is reason enough to move over in itself.

I am writing this the night before leaving. Emigrating has involved months of planning, weeks of packing and days of saying goodbyes and there are now just hours left for me in the UK before I leave the country for a new life in New Zealand, the land of numerous sheep and fantastic chocolate.

Getting to this point has been harder than expected and by far the hardest thing I have done, but not really for the reasons you might expect. The goodbyes are emotionally draining and the doubts ever present, but most of all its been months of hard physical work, slimming down our possessions into twelve cardboard boxes and what we can take onto the plane. I feel like I've been moving house for a year and I can't exagerate just how fed up I am with carrying things into the car and then out again at the other end. By contrast, actually going is a breeze and I can't seem to get worked up about it in the slightest.

I don't have any worries about having made the right decision. Jo and I have thought carefully about what we want from life and it seems to be very hard to get it in the UK, with its all working, all drinking and shopping lifestyle and overpriced housing.

And there's more. As far as I can tell from reading the Daily Mail, the streets of our cities are full of gangsters, crack-whores and knife wielding hooded teenagers loitering with intent. Clearly that's not the kind of place I want my little Lily growing up in.

So, New Zealand is the right decision. It's a lovely green half-empty land full of nice people doing nice things and being nice to each other. I just can't wait to get there!


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