Saturday, February 9, 2008

The big move...

4 years ago this week I was in the throes of a major move. My husband had already moved to Saudi Arabia 2 months previously and he had been busy during that time sorting out his residency permit so that he could get the wheels in motion for the visa for myself and the children. He had also been house-hunting, car-hunting and of course, the whole reason for being in Saudi Arabia in the first place... starting his new job!

So, I was in the UK with my 4 children: 8 year old (dd1), 6 year old (dd2), 3 year old (dd3) and 4 week old (ds) minus my husband trying to get everything sorted out for our big move. Just 3 days after my son was born I had to drive myself to the register office to register his birth so I could get the birth certificate as quickly as possible so I could apply for his passport so I could apply for the family visa for Saudi Arabia!

Boxes had to be packed and sent with the cargo company, other unneeded items had to be shifted to the loft, the house had to be cleaned from top to bottom ready for tenants and all odds and ends had to be tied up. All this with a newborn!

So my diary for the week beginning 9th February 2004 was like this:

Monday 9th Feb:
Drop 2 older girls a school
Drop younger daughter at pre-school
Phone Saudi Embassy in London
Phone cargo company
Collect some summer clothing I had ordered for kids
Get on with cargo packing, cleaning and sorting out
Collect kids from school
Take girls to swimming class

Tuesday 10th Feb:
Drop kids at school
Phone calls to.... cancel future swimming lessons, cancel dental appointment, cancel tv licence, arrange for gas, electricity and phone to be cut off at correct time and my account to be billed
More packing and cleaning

Wednesday 11th Feb:
Drop kids at school
Wait for health visitor to come and weigh and check my newborn
Wait for company to come and steam clean sofas and beds
Meantime pack some more, laundry too
Collect kids from school
Swimming lesson

Thursday 12th Feb:
Drop kids at school
Take my baby to hospital for BCG vaccination
Packing, laundry etc
Collect kids
More phone calls - council, Inland Revenue, water company, visa company

Friday 13th Feb:
Drop kids at school
Wait for cargo company to come and collect all the boxes that had taken up residence in my lounge
Postnatal appointment with dr
Collect swimming lesson refund from leisure centre
Collect kids from school

Saturday 14th Feb:
Friend of dh came to help me get unneeded items into loft
Go to buy new shoes for girls
Go to friend's house to say farewell

Sunday 15th Feb:
Drop kids at friend's house to play
Friend's mum came to help me clean, clean, clean.... I remember that this was the day that baby had a lot of colic so we had to take it in turns rocking him and singing to him.
Preparing some snacks for kids - I allowed the girls to invite 7 friends for a small 'goodbye' party

The day we had to leave the house at 3am for the airport was such a huge relief! We had spent almost 3 months without my husband, he had not seen his newborn son and I desperately needed my much deserved postnatal relaxation period.

Our flight was at 6:15am and we had a 5 hour transit in Frankfurt. The trouble with that was, we had to stay sitting almost the whole time because dd2's new shoes were rubbing so she couldn't walk! Aaargh! Eventually we boarded the onward flight to Riyadh with much trepidation. Alhamdu Lillah Allah made it easy for us... dd3 slept almost instantly; dd1 and dd2 kept themselves amused with the inflight entertainment and slept when they were tired, the baby slept most of the way and since the flight was virtually empty I was able to lay him on the seats next to me and enjoy the flight myself a little. The Lufthansa staff were wonderful and did all they could to help.

It was very late when we finally arrived at the King Khalid International airport, Riyadh Saudi Arabia and a whole new chapter of our lives was about to begin...


Rainbow In The Grey Sky said...

Aslamu alakum sister

subhan allah alhamduillah , looking back now i bet you feel a relief, now you are there reeping the rewards of your efforts and in such a fragile time after the birth of your child subhan Allah. Your dh must say mashaAllah to have a capable wife assisting him so much as not all wives are able , which is extra stress for dh , more running around. I feel for you sis 3 days after the birth and having to run around but alhamduilah you drive and alhamduilah for the phone, internet and efficent service of the UK (not always but at the best of times)as not all places have this type of organisation on a public level , it can be chaos. I pray Allah bless you with much ajar for all your efforts ameen. Just to add a big no no in my book, new shoes for traveling , i learnt the hard way lol!!!!

Umm Ibrahim said...

LOL sis, you are so right! :-D