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Our new home: We moved to Australia!

We Moved To Australia

Dear friends, and readers. It’s been a while since I last posted, but life has been pretty busy of late. I apologise for leaving you all in the dark for nearly a year, but as you know, one of the core values here is that family life comes first!

It may also come as a surprise to some of you, but I don’t share “everything” about our lives here on this blog. With most things I am pretty transparent, but there are certain boundaries that are healthy to have. There are so many elements to our lives that I have no business sharing, and I really respect the boundaries set in place by my husband and members of our extended family. As it happens, I sought permission to share this news with you from my husband, not every facet of our lives and those in it are “blogging fodder”. I have always kept much of what I’ve written here solely about “me” and from the perspective of my part in my marriage, and my role in the home. You have to be careful with what you share, and I’ll admit that having stepped away from Instagram - I realise it crosses so many boundaries, and warps how you view yourself and the world. Not every moment of a family’s life is a photo-op for others to see. I needed a while to step back, assess, make peace, and decide how to move forward.

I very nearly gave this all up, but the moment I got here I had an email request to speak to a New Zealand based magazine. It was unusual because I’ve never had much to do with the media this side of the world - it felt like a little “nudge” to keep going, despite my bruised heart.

But I’m back! This blog is my passion project, and as we settle into a routine I want to continue sharing my experiences, home, heart, and personal journey as a homemaker with you…

However, it would be really hard to keep blogging, as I fully intend to do, without being honest about my whereabouts. Some of you may not care, some of you are very kind and are genuinely interested in our story, (and others care a bit too much) - but I just need to let you know for practicalities sake! Sharing pictures flooded with sunshine and parrots in the garden would seem rather out of place without context!

He Called Me Out Upon The WaterSo near the Ocean now: You call me out upon the waters...

Why we decided to move to Australia

My husband and I have always known that at ’some point’ in our later adult lives we would live in Australia, it wasn’t a case of “if” but “when”. I haven’t ever felt it was something I needed to share on my blog, because until it happened, it wouldn’t have been relevant - and I’m only sharing it today because my seasons will be a little upside down now! The outlook is a lot brighter, literally and figuratively, but my values are still just the same as they were. All that has changed is the location of my keyboard, and my confidence!

If it were my husband’s choice we would have moved many moons ago, he spent 10 years living in Sydney, and considers Australia his home. His business is also set up in such a way that he can work from anywhere, and most of his clients are international. If he has a computer and internet connection, he has everything he needs.

My Father has also lived out here for 25 years, with my lovely Step-Mum and two brothers, but despite this, I didn’t feel quite ready to make the leap. However, last Summer a series of events happened that I just knew in my heart were the nudge I needed to take a leap of faith and finally “say yes”.

This was always our plan, but it happened sooner than I expected. As it turns out - in God’s perfect timing, but we’ll get to that in a bit.

Our hearts were no longer in England

We almost bought a house back in Gloucestershire, it was a lovely 1930s “doer upper”, but in truth, it needed so much work it would have been like purchasing a job. My husband works full time so the process would have been painfully slow, labour too expensive on top of the mortgage and materials costs, and I am not exactly the best at DIY. With the housing market the way it is too, it would have been a bit of a chain around our necks - and as I think it’s probably evident from our lifestyle choice for me to stay home, “lifestyle” means more to us than anything. While the house was lovely and would’ve been a great project for those more experienced in renovations, in truth our hearts weren’t in it - and it really felt like a sideways step.

I was also in a situation whereby I felt a little nervous in our old home. I deliberately chose to use a generalised location for blogging and media purposes, but my privacy and safety was ultimately violated. We lived on the edge of the Cotswolds so that’s where I’d say we lived, and it in truth our lives were actually in it. Every weekend we would spend our time enjoying all it had to offer, we’d visit gorgeous pubs, and stately homes - but our village wasn’t one of those “posh ones”, I never said it was… Our old village was large, and our garden backed onto a main road, the house a 3-bed 1960s semi, and certainly not “Pinterest worthy” but I loved it, made some amazing memories, and certainly the best of it.

The village was the best part as it had a wonderful community feel, I absolutely adored our neighbours, and it felt like we knew everyone. But someone on the internet had decided to ruin it and share where I lived on a gossip forum! This shook me to the core, because while they felt they were doing no harm and just being “snarky”, it would only take someone who had bad intentions to use that information to find me. I was quite active in our community so they could have asked around and found me very easily. I’m still mad about it to this day. Grown adults hiding behind a keyboard putting a family at risk like that?!

The house we were planning to buy was just down the road, and it didn’t have enough distance for me to feel safe.

Overall 2023 was our “Annus Horribilis”

We almost bought a money-pit. The economy was getting everyone down. We barely had a summer at all. To top it off, a few things in my social circle really made me question certain people and their intentions. I have a pretty charmed life, but I realised that the moment I really needed my friends around me, they were too busy making jam. I had left Instagram so I guess I was no longer useful to them, and they moved onto bigger fish.

It really puts things into perspective when you form friendships that are based on “aesthetics” and someone’s (fake?) persona on the internet. You get a real shock when you discover what they are really like; prone to a set pattern of behaviours (the same that have since affected a few other people in the community in the same way) - behaviours that are not aligned with your values at all. That’s all I’ll say on the matter. It’s disappointing to feel used, but if I’m honest, a relief to be free of taking pictures “for the gram”. Oh and I parted with the Beryl too, it made me feel sad to look at it… plus I felt it should stay in England, and be loved by someone who would really appreciate it.

Things had been rosy for so long, and the one thing I felt at the time was keeping me rooted in England was taken from me in such an abrupt and aggressive way that it almost felt freeing! I was being given the opportunity to have a fresh start. I see that now, even though it left me reeling, and crying (a lot) at the time.

Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, and expecting different results. Albert Einstein

Despite the negatives we were experiencing, we had the power to change it! The whole premise of The Darling Academy, and especially in Ladies Like Us, is about making positive changes and starting afresh. Living in God’s promises… He didn’t want us to be sad, so He gave us a nudge! An abundant life isn’t just about riches and fame, it’s about the little things that you need to live a life that’s right for you, even if they seem insignificant to others.

My husband loves adventures, big open skies, the ocean, and is a warm weather creature. The hotter, the better for him! I wanted to wear dresses every day, and as pathetic as it sounds, I really wanted a pretty house with a lot more space. We couldn’t quite afford the Georgian houses that are advertised on the front of Country Living Magazine that I used to swoon over, and the architecture within our budget wasn’t exactly setting our world on fire. Arlo just wanted to play outside - he has, at the very moment I’m writing this, returned from a bike ride and showed me a video he took; his first time seeing Kangaroos in the wild! Oh, and he wants to learn to surf, of course. Australia just seemed to make sense when we sat down and discussed what we wanted out of life.

I hadn’t lived anywhere but Gloucestershire or London, had never had a big experience exploring the world outside my comfort zone - The opportunity presented itself, we had the financial means, and I knew it would make my husband and son happy too - and so here we are!


Having moved internationally before, my husband said it would be cheaper to buy everything new as shipping costs are so high. So only our sentimental and “most loved” items were packed into a crate, and are still on a ship on some ocean bound for Oz.

I set about selling everything on Facebook Marketplace (what a trial of patience that was!), and donated so many things. The house slowly emptied, and while we certainly had emotional moments, we had such a sense of peace in the whole process - that God was in this - and it was exactly what we were meant to be doing. I can’t share much more because it’s too private, but there were many things that happened in our personal lives that felt like a “severance” to that chapter of our lives, and too many coincidences - ones that could only be of God, or fate, or the Universe (however you might like to understand it for yourself).

I did mention an international move in my Facebook group, so many of you were aware of us emigrating, and I was coy about the location at the time because I really needed to pray about whether I would even continue blogging. Many of you thought it might be America, and it nearly could have been because of my husband’s work, but Australia is where we will be for now. Will it be forever? I’m not sure - no one is ever really certain of what the future holds, but that’s what makes life exciting!

Homemaking (and writing) somewhere new

I love blogging and writing, I really do, but certain experiences and people I have met have really put me off it lately. As such I have taken time in the past few months to reassess my own boundaries, and I’ve decided I’m going to blog like it was in the “early days”, before Instagram and TikTok influencers were a thing. Just me and my keyboard, and hopefully you with a cup of tea or coffee in hand, and popping by whenever you like.

The content will very much centre around homemaking, and a few “heart to heart” pieces here and there. What I don’t like about social media these days is the focus it puts on people looking a certain way, or having the right stuff in their homes, and pretending life is perfect and rosy all the time! Worse still when it encourages people to perform to a camera for “likes”, or free stuff…

It’s not a true representation of the human experience, or a housewife for that matter! What place does a tripod and camera have in our kitchens? Show the cake you’re proud of, but do you really need to show yourself off in the process? I’m really embarrassed that I used to partake in that myself. I’ve really been humbled over the past year, and feel like my eyes have been opened to the vanity of it all.

What you read here will always be honest, but with healthy boundaries, and hopefully an encouragement to you too. I’ve always been honest in that I’m not a perfect person, or that I lead a perfect life. I’m just a housewife who is happy (and lucky enough) to stay home, and is making the best of it - wherever it may be!

Oh and Anglophiles, fret not! This blog isn’t about to lose any of its “Britishness”, I can imagine I’ll be upping the ante when it comes to keeping the culture alive here, so as to make it feel homely. I’m fully expecting to lean into the ’Pom’ stereotype quite quickly… Christmas in July, anyone? ;)

I’ll say goodbye for now, as the laundry needs sorting and I have a pantry to organise (squeeee, yes, a walk-in pantry!).

Picket Fences And BasketsI have always wanted a picket fence

I’ll introduce you to the house next time if you’re interested? She’s rather a pretty one, she reminds me of a Doris Day movie with white weatherboarding, a white fence, and a bull-nose verandah, (and joy, a separate games room for the boys’ and their videogames), but it was the brick path that made me realise that this house had been gifted to us because He knew the desires of my heart - but that’s a story for another time.

With love from Down Under,

Alena x

Didn't get mail?

While we were moving, we decided to de-activate the mailing program from this blog as it costs us every month to email these posts out - a waste of money if you’re not currently writing! As such, this post will not have been emailed to you.

I’m aiming to get it up and running as soon as possible, (which, in translation means “as soon as my husband can get to it alongside his paid work”).

If you’re not already on the list and would like to subscribe for future blog posts, you can do so in the footer of this page.

As ever, thank you to everyone who has supported the blog and my writing over the years. Thank you for being a part of this community. I hope you enjoyed this update, if you like our values here at The Darling Academy and found this post useful or inspiring, would you kindly consider supporting the blog.

Alena xxx


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