london

Today marks one full year since our arrival in the UK and man, what an awesome year it was.

So let’s back up a bit to reflect on what happened in the last year:

Oct 2015:

  • Arrive in London and stay with family in Colchester
  • Work through a ton of paperwork – opening new bank accounts, registering with the Health Service, getting a National Insurance Number,  etc
  • Do some sightseeing in London
  • Watch the Rugby World Cup Semi-Final between South Africa and New Zealand live at Twickenham
  • Andre starts working at Barclays (HQ) in Canary Wharf, London (seconded from Absa)

Nov 2015:

  • Elaine goes to a last-minute interview at a fantastic architecture firm…and gets the job!
  • Elaine starts working in London
  • Andre resigns from Barclays
  • Andre does 3 interviews with 2 different companies in Ipswich, both unsuccessful.

Dec 2015:

  • Andre applies for a job in London, is invited to 2 interviews and gets the job less than a week later!
  • Celebrate our first Christmas in the North – unfortunately, we had no snow
  • Nico and Thandiela visit us in the UK
  • Elaine receives her first pay check in Sterling – believe me, it’s a great feeling

Jan 2016:

  • Explore Colchester and Norwich with Nico and Thandiela
  • Andre starts working in London
  • House hunt for a new flat
  • Gets a 1 bedroom flat in London zone 3 and move in

Feb 2016:

  • Watch our first West End show starring ‘Chandler Bing’
  • Lauren visits the UK to see Elaine on her birthday
  • Join Hillsong church

Mar 2016:

  • Hylton and Petro move to the UK and we have lunch with them upon their arrival
  • Celebrate Andre’s birthday and St Patrick’s day in Dublin, Rep. of Ireland

Apr 2016:

  • 6 months in the UK
  • Watch Charlie and the Chocolate Factory on West End – probably the best stage production we’ve ever seen
  • Take a trip to Edinburgh, Scotland

May 2016:

  • Head up to Loch Ness and Urquhart castle in the Scottish Highlands
  • Have a catch-up dinner with Ruan and Michelle – two other South Africans that recently moved to the UK
  • Visit Malmo in Sweden with Lauren and Abe
  • Visit Copenhagen and Svendborg in Denmark with Lauren and Abe

Jun 2016:

  • Off to France we go, Eurostar to Paris
  • We experience a massive moment in history as Britain votes to leave the European Union (Brexit)

Jul 2016:

  • Have a ‘date afternoon’ as we take half-day off one Friday to play tourists in London
  • We do a photo shoot (as models) for a major global brand’s new head office – was fun 🙂

Aug 2016:

  • Visit friends in Sacro Monte, Italy
  • Mia visits us in the UK
  • Join SA Gemeente Londen
  • Travel to Rio in Brazil for holiday

Sep 2016:

  • Watch Billy Joel live at Wembley Stadium
  • Abe visits us in the UK and together we explore Greenwich

Oct 2016:

  • Watch the 30th anniversary show of Phantom of the Opera in Her Majesty’s Theatre on West End
  • Celebrated 1 year in the UK
  • Celebrated our 3rd year wedding anniversary in Ibiza, Spain

It’s truly been an exciting year, 9 countries visited and still 2 more to go. Next month we’re off to Wales to support the Springboks at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff and then we’ll end the year with friends and family in South Africa.

I’d like to take a moment and thank God for His incredible love, grace and blessing on this journey. If we look back at the year we can see His hand in every event and we won’t, not even for a minute, take any of it for granted.

Since we made the decision to embark on this journey, we’ve been blessed over and above, above and beyond – all glory to Him!