Last night I went out as Rachel for the last time in the UK. In less than two weeks I, and my family, will be emigrating to Australia and waving these shore bye-bye.
Appropriately, and coincidentally, I wore pretty much the same outfit I wore last October on my first major public trip out - a meal with my wife, brother and sister in the centre of Birmingham. This time I was going out with Mrs Rachel again, but meeting up with the three work colleages who know about Rachel. Oddly enough they were all people who, for various reasons, were unable to make it to my official work leaving-do on Friday, so it was a proper chance to say farewell to them. But it was also the first time they had met me as Rachel, which was an odd experience for all of us. They'd seen photos, of course, but the real thing is always slightly different. Better, I hope :-)
Anyway we had a meal and a drink at a nice pub/restaurant in Ash. They were also fashionably late, which meant that Mrs Rachel and I had a panicked few moments wondering if we'd got the right night or the right pub even. We even both ambled around the place looking to see if our friends had turned up through a different entrance and were sat somewhere else. Guess which one of us attracted the most attention there ...
The last couple of weeks has also seen my last Transdoori curry-night and my last trip to the Surrey Swans. Thank you to all of the friends we have made over the last year. Your support has been invaluable, and we will keep you acquainted with our adventures Down-Under via this blog, my photos and all of the usual forums. But that's it. In a few days 'Rachel' will be packed up for transit to Australia and there will be a (brief) break in her activities. Maybe, if there's space, I'll pack a 'stripped down' Rachel in my luggage, but otherwise she's going in the crate with the bulk of our other possessions, and making a long slow sea journey. So, until she catches me up, bye for now.