A year ago today, there was rain.
We packed our suitcases, dropped off a duvet and a kettle at our friend Gina's house, and clambered aboard a National Express bus for the two-hour ride to Heathrow and the 28 hour flight home.
Everything felt a bit odd: exciting but with the kind of slight stomach-churning you get when you're on the cusp of a big, scary adventure.
It's only been a year since we left Bristol but it feels like a lifetime ago. So much has happened and I feel swept away, grinning and willing, by the rhythm of our new lives.
I think back to the post I wrote this time last year, about Bristol, and how restrained I tried to be in not bagging the terrible economy, the horrid flat we lived in and how miserable I was. How my life has changed, how I have changed! When I got home, New Zealand poured me a big glass of perspective and I now realise how very fortunate I am to live in a country with few people to ruin the view, with a strong(ish) economy and better wages, where I can be a big fish in a small pond and own a house I could never afford anywhere else.
Of course, I miss my beautiful friends Anita, Frenchie and Yoma – I have yet to find such cool chicks here. And I will always yearn for the nearness of exciting European travel destinations. But as I get older, things like decent housing, a lack of crowds and the state of the economy get higher up the totem pole of importance.
As I type this, I am anticipating a return visit to the UK, which fills me with joy. But a year after I left, I can't believe my luck in landing in a place that fits me so snugly. I am very happy, and proud, to call Wellington home.