Deane Murray was born and raised in Timaru. He has lived in London for the past five years. He originally moved for his OE when he was 22 when he met his Polish wife Agnieszka through a mutual friend. They moved back to New Zealand at the end of 2008 and lived in Timaru for three months with his parents, before moving up to Christchurch. They lived through the earthquakes and aftershocks of 2010 and 2011 and Deane became a father for the first time in 2012. In 2015 he decided to make the big move back to London, stopping off in his wife’s home city of Gdansk in Poland to get married. The Murrays currently live in southwest London with their two children, Sophie and Lucas. The Courier‘s George Clark caught up with him to see how his life has changed during the coronavirus pandemic.
Q Hi there Deane, thanks for talking with us. Has your life changed with Covid-19?
I was out of work for five weeks as construction slowed right down and decided it would be best to stay at home with my family than risk getting on public transport every day. It has been great to spend time with my kids that I wouldn’t normally get but I started back at work last week. Central London is eerily quiet. Tubes that are normally packed full of people are near empty. I walked down Oxford St to go to work the other day and there was barely another person in sight. It was surreal.
Q Is living overseas much like home?
Living in London is much more fast paced than living back home. It takes a good three months to get used to the pace of life here. I am constantly getting told to slow down by my wife when we are out walking with the kids. Most of my work is in central London and I am always rushing about trying to get to multiple jobs.
Q How is Covid-19 challenging you?
Apart from the obvious financial challenge with being off work, it was really hard to explain to my daughter about social distancing. She could not understand why she was unable to hug her friends when she saw them on the street as she normally would. As a family we have learnt to be a lot more patient and understanding of each other, being in a confined space for long periods of time.
Q What do you want to do when coronavirus tension eases?
Simple things like taking the kids to the playground. Taking my daughter to the cinema/arcade. Also a pint in the pub with my mates will be top of the list.
Q Do you miss home?
Going down to Caroline Bay was always good. I miss being close to the beach, getting a round of golf in at Highfield golf course. My wife and I are always talking about how good it would be to have a May’s pie. Of course I miss my family who still live in Timaru as well.