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Following hot on the heels of moving house, is my second interview for a fantastic job. Which is this afternoon. If I get it then that’s two of my major life stabilisers in place in one month. It feels like this is it, for all sorts of reasons.

Since we don’t have internet at home yet, and work has been busy, I’ve not had much time for internet communication. What spare time I have had has involved research into London’s waste and recycling situation.

Hopefully this should all stabilise out tomorrow.

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What a week! It’s generated it’s own Things That Are Weird post (forthcoming), on estate agents and renting in general. I’m a veteran renter, but this was well outside my experience, quite confusing and stressful.

But first (finally) the weather: Winter has hit. At least the start of it has. After a very mild, quite lovely Autumn it has turned to a cold and rainy winter.

I’m sure you’ve read about the downpour that hit parts of the UK. None of that was near us, it was much further north and west. I don’t think any of it affected Jed’s parents either, as they are rather high up, despite flood warnings in their county.

Nevertheless it has been wet. Reminding me of those horrible wet weeks you get in June in Sydney, where it doesn’t stop raining for days. Where you have to avoid puddles and running water in the streets. Where you will get saturated if you are out in the rain for more than 4 minutes, despite your umbrella. Add to this the cold temperatures, it was reasonably horrible. Thank goodness for central heating.

Luckily there was one clear day in the midst of all this rain, on the day we moved. It was cold, but all our stuff stayed dry, and we warmed up once the lifting and carrying started.

Which brings me to the move. Sheesh! Well, to be fair the move itself went smoothly, thanks in a large part to the help of Poki and DiscoDoris at short notice.Tthe majority of our stuff was into the house at 3.30 in the afternoon, and we had a bed set up in time to sleep.

The sheesh! part is our estate agents. At 5.30 pm on Monday, the day our lease in the Redhill was up and we had to move somewhere, they finally agreed to let us sign the lease so we could move. After a month of miscommunication, loss of paperwork, conflicting information about what would be required, and the most rigorous background check I have ever been through I was about ready to shoot someone when they decided that yes, by statement of savings would be sufficient to give us a 6 month lease in case one of us lost our income. GAH! After I’d been expressly told a week earlier that this was not possible as “I might spend it on a car tomorrow” – OR I might decide having somewhere to live is more important than a car!?

It was horrible, we were facing the possibility of continuning to live in Redhill in a less than ideal situation for another couple of months until I could secure permanent work OR staying in a friend’s spare room for the same period of time, with most of our stuff in boxes.

But now it is all wonderful, (if you ignore the half unpacked boxes in each room).  My kitchen is unpacked, out of the boxes it went into back in January. My plates, and my cutlery, and teatowels, and serving dishes and… yay! The kitchen itself is slim, and doesn’t have loads of storage, but it is lovely, usable and well-lit. You can see what you are washing up. It reminds me a bit of the house in Glenhaven, the one in Chelmsford St and my sister’s former apartment in Chiswick.

The bedroom is very large, almost too large, although I’m sure that will be less of an issue once we have everything in and arranged properly. There’s space for a bed for L, which we’ll be getting soonish. She’ll have the small alcove at the end of the room, which made her smile when I mentioned it. Possibly as it’s obviously a space unto itself, or that she’d been thought of already and included in the plans, or both, or something else. Whichever it’s a better situation for all of us for sleeping.

The bathroom is white, tiled, large and has a proper pressured hot shower with separate taps to control temperature. Not a dial. You don’t realise the things you take for granted until they are gone. My shoulders are telling me every morning how happy they are to be getting proper hot water pressure again. It’s a lot like the bathroom I had the last time I lived in Croydon (albeit in Sydney, not London), which was one of the things I liked about that house.

The living space is enough, not huge, but also not small, and is attached to the kitchen in a sort of open-plan way. It suits us well. There’s a large bay window with a door leading onto the private garden out the back.

All in all, it will do nicely for a while until we’re a lot more stable in other areas of our life and L needs a room to herself when she stays. Photos will follow once there’s no boxes to be part of the shot.

Let the next phase of this adventure commence! It should be a good one.

Housing limbo

It’s 2.51pm on a Monday afternoon. Technically we’re supposed to be signing a lease today.

We’re supposed to be out of our current place in time for an inspection on Wednesday evening.

Currently, we are still waiting the landlord’s permission to move in, as there was a mix up with our guarantor forms going to the estate agent. It sat in her spam folder for 4 days, and it’s taking more than a working day to check the references.

This is cutting it very fine. Almost too fine. The Newtown rental market was never this bad.

Everybody cross fingers. Please.

As my lovely sister pointed out, I’ve not done an update in a while. Sorry, work got really busy and involved, which reduced my time and brain power for writing here. Which, in turn, is a shame for communicating with all of you, and fantastic for feeling a lot happier at work.

This mirrors my current headspace in general. Life has become much happier and more stable in recent weeks. It feels like I’m definitely out of the adjustment-freakout period of moving countries and into the wing-spreading and sorting-out-finer-details period. It’s lovely. Continue Reading »

Wheel of the Year

No, not a car performance award 🙂 This is a continuation of an idea I blogged about in September 2006 (for those of you around at the time, that post might be an interesting reflection of our lives then, and things that have changed) as well as a continuation of the October 30 post, in which I start to think about the coming year.

It seemed timely to talk about how my contemplative year is structured, the way it has naturally evolved and creates some balance through the year. Time to be active and time to stop.  believe in living a balanced life, where all aspects are giving proper times and weightings. Not the same time or weighting, but the proper amounts.

I also tend to observe patterns and cycles and structure. (I just had a manager state that I had a mind that could bring structure to an idea, I should put that on LinkedIn).

For the past few years, I have observed that my contemplative year tends to conform to the follow cycles:

Wheel of the Year

This is represents the phases that my attention to my journey through life goes through. Blue is planning/reflection, yellow is social/festival time, Orange-Brown is getting things done time, stuff that relates to the yearly theme, stuff that relates to living.

My year seems to align with the solar cycle. This is not deliberate, or a pagan thing, it’s more that I’ve observed these points as markers in my year.

These are not mutually exclusive states, more broad themes, and permissions to be in a certain headspace, or not at certain times. For instance during activity phases my nose is not to the grindstone to the exclusion of everything else. Right now I am allowed to have very little idea of goals and plans, as its a time to incubate them, consider them, try them on for size and fit.

So, between now and sort of mid-December I find that I am generally reflecting on where I’m at, who I am, where I am going and what my hopes are. There’s social fun and relaxation in there too, Turkey Day for instance – although I suspect there will be less of that here in winter, than in Sydney when this is the beginning of a busy social season.

Then I put that to one side in my head over Christmas/New Year’s as that’s a time for sharing with friends and family.

February 2 is a special event with water and flowers and asking for favours from the greater universe over the coming year, so becomes the point at which everything is more solidified and specific.

Chinese New Year feels more New Year ish in terms of activity than January does. Don’t know why.

Then there’s sort of a period of time which is neither hugely social, not hugely reflective. Stuff tends to get done, but not because I am pushing, it’s just that’s what tends to happen.

Then, here, summer happens, and this year  I noticed that summer flew by as we were enjoying light and warmth and long days, hence I was more focussed on social aspects and relaxation than I would have been in Australia, and I expect this will continue

Then, again, another inbetween period, autumn, until October 30 when I celebrate being free and light and happy and living the life I dream of.

Holding Pattern

It’s Tuesday. I don’t deal well with Tuesday at the best of times. However, today I have the added distraction/frustration of waiting for the (real) estate agents to confirm we can move in this weekend, and hoping to get a call about a 2nd interview for the job I want.

Not dealing so well with the waiting, the holding pattern. Just want these things to fall into place, now, so I can get on with the other things I’m supposed to be doing.

So this is me, a bundle of anxiety in the corner waiting for the blessed change to come through. Desperately wanting stage 2 to start. Soon.

————–

Edit:

Well, one holding pattern removed, and one added. we were rejected for the property we applied for, because we’re both working on contracts, so we were deemed a risk for rent default. However, they also would not accept a guarantor and did not contact our personal references, or take into account that we’ve never defaulted on a rental payment. Really, really frustrating.

So, back on the finding a house treadmill 😦

Really unhappy, frustrated and grumpy.

In short #1

(as an antidote to the long posts)

  1. I find I get inordinately offended if anyone implicitly questions my honesty and honour.
  2. I inadvertently ate some fresh chillis at lunch. Now I am all spacey and concentrating is a particular challenge, but it also feels like I am incredibly focussed and skillful. It’s a very strange intolerance that I have.
  3. I just found a tiny muscle under my jaw that is tight on the left hand side, but not the right. Evidence that my back/neck issues are also jaw related, something most practictioners have never picked up on.
  4. Reading the free papers available at train stations makes me depressed. Reading WIRED magazine, or a proper broadsheet paper does not.