So, it’s a year since I arrived in Australia, excited and grief stricken, shocked at the distance I was placing between myself and people I love, but thrilled to be having such an adventure somewhat late in the day. I remember looking out of the window on the first morning I woke up here doing a ‘what’s wrong with this picture’ double take as the sun broke through on my right, where East now falls. I’ve got used to that, tho probably will never quite the hang of spring in October, an autumnal Easter and all these seasonal dislocations. But isn’t disorientation the point of travel, removing all the habits and assumptions of everyday life?

One year on I probably have new habits, not sure what they are. Haven’t found my way to the gym yet, so some new habits still need work.. The local Woolworth’s (still thriving here) has replaced Morrisons in my shopping routine. I close my day with Front Row, a perfect nightcap so some habits have time shifted. But I still miss my film group, the Hyde Park, Tuesday Armley, Merlo’s kitchen table, Kate’s yellow sofa, and all the people and places associated with my UK life. People here sometimes assume I’m escaping some trauma, or broken heart, but I often say how much I like my UK life. Confuses me too.

But I think the main thing is work – have just finished a full conference paper, an extended (3k) abstract and a short abstract for conferences in 2013. They contain seeds of next year’s work, and all interest me with their potential. There are meetings at work this month about new directions in all the courses and that;s exciting too. Not sure what my teaching load will be but less daunted this year than last. The next weeks are all about the book and I am looking forward to finishing that, heading back to Europe in June, then getting on with some research projects I have in mind. Busy, busy, busy, but suits me. (Off to watch the eclipse from a tropical island week after next, so not all work and no play)

Two things have changed recently – the trip home reduced my underlying sense exile and secondly I accepted the offer to stay on beyond the two year contract, converting the job to a permanent position. This feels right, allows me to think longer term, unpack my metaphorical bags and settle in a bit deeper. Will still head back to Leeds when the time is right, Inshallah. But this adventure has more to run.