This time last year we had left our home in Adelaide and were living in a motel room without a car. The only familiarity we had was each other. We couldn't search the city to look for our new home so we huddled together in our room crafting together, occasionally walking a little to find some food and explore our new surrounds.
Canberra had given us a horrid welcome at the airport. With three children and two adults we needed to ensure we'd all fit into a taxi along with the driver. So we prepared well and booked ahead as the usual taxi sedan would not provide adequate seating for us. Apparently you can't book taxis to collect you from the airport (although no-one thought to advise us of this when the booking was made). They assumed we referred to the Airport Hotel. Whether that actually exists or not, I am still uncertain.
So on Friday evening at dinner time, bereft of everything familiar, we stood outside the airport with our hungry little girls trying to find a cab which could carry us. Vans were few and far between, some we saw were apparently on other missions, others were backed up in the queue of cabs waiting to transport travellers and couldn't leave the queue to assist us. As you might imagine, it was very unpleasant with tired, hungry, homeless children, not knowing where they were, having been uprooted from their home, with tired, stressed parents also not knowing how we could get them to our accommodation. As we reluctantly considered the extra cost of hiring two taxis which also required us to be split up in an unknown city, we finally found a van which could carry us. Thus commenced our journey into Canberra.
We arrived at our accommodation after dark and decided to put our littlest pair to bed without tea. At least I was fully breastfeeding my baby so this didn't impact her greatly. My middle Eee also rarely eats tea but loves her sleep so we decided sleep was more important for her than a meal. We found a brochure to order some Italian food from somewhere local, ordered via mobile phone, got locality details and waited. My Generous Gentleman set out on foot in the dark, in an unknown area to collect our takeaway. We hoped he didn't get lost and that the directions the restauranteur had given were accurate. Fortunately he arrived anon without too much difficulty and we sat down to enjoy some food in our little motel room which was to become our home for much longer than anticipated.
At least we were together, our possessions were en route, or in storage, simply waiting for us to find another place to make our home. We would find a place... eventually... little did we know the journey that would be ours in the year that lay ahead.