Flying back to the UK for the interview in Catterick was a leap of faith. I had already given notice of my intention to leave Hong Kong, so if I had not been successful I had burnt my bridges. However while back in UK for the week the 'jungle drums' had alerted other schools that I was in the country. So I actually went to look at other schools after messages got through to me via Hong Kong. However it was clear to me that the job in Catterick was the one for me.
The decision to leave Hong Kong after 18 years was a huge one. In 1989 I had become Deputy Principal of Bradbury School, an international school on Hong Kong Island. However I had always wanted to have the opportunity to become a headteacher and lead a school. Leaving was not only a momentous decision for me but also one that affected the futures of Lynne, Louisa and Susanna. I found it particularly helpful to think about this life changing opportunity when on my prayer walks up on 'Sir Cecil's Ride'. This contour walk on Bo Ma Shan led me to what became a very special 'prayer tree' looking out across much of Hong Kong's eastern landscape. (Find out more about 'Sir Cecil's Ride' in the 'Travel Journals' section of 'Beyond the Sacred Mountains')
So why the photo of crocuses on the Stray in Harrogate?
On my return to the UK for interview I remember being amazed at the bright colours of the crocuses on the Stray. During the interview week I stayed with my sisters-in-law in Harrogate. It was the first time I had been back in the UK during springtime for 20 years! I even bought a disposable camera to take photos of the spring flowers to show people back in Hong Kong.
So today I extended my usual Valley Gardens walk up onto the West Park Stray. The sun was peeping through so the crocuses were just about to open up. Truly beautiful. I then walked back to Valley Gardens where the daffodils were out at the side of the Elgar Walk.
Hope you are enjoying the spring sunshine today!