Last weekend I said my first goodbye, to one of the few real friends I’ve made in the 8 years I’ve been here.  We had a long, lazy lunch, of the sort that only women friends do, and then suddenly the realization hit that it was time to part ways and since she now lives in another country (she beat me to it and was only over for the weekend), this was it, probably for a very very long time.  We both felt quite sad and teary as we bade farewell.

But that was nothing on today’s parting.  My little sister was over for the weekend –  I don’t care if she’s in her 30’s, she’s still my little sister.  We shopped, we laughed, we drank too much Old Brown Sherry, we giggled, we shopped some more.  We heard some sad news together and shared some sober moments.  And we shopped some more.  I told her she’s too thin; she told me I’m too stressed.  And when I had to let her go at the airport I cried like a baby.  I know it probably won’t make that much of a difference; I only see her maybe once a year as it is, but for the last few years she’s only lived an hour’s flight away, in London.  In three weeks’ time we’re moving to the other side of the world and we’re going to be in a different time zone – 9 hours’ difference!  I’m used to living a 12-hour flight from the rest of my family but it’s kind of been like having her in the same neighbourhood up till now.

It’s  a little wrenching.

So I said she has to come spend Christmas with me.  I think I can cope if I have that to look forward to.

So, yeah, 3 weeks to go.  And yet more goodbyes to come.  Can’t we just fast-forward through this part…?