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Posts Tagged ‘moving’

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.

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Moving to England – part 1

Visa application went in on Monday. According to their guidance notes and anecdotal evidence it takes 45-50 working days for them to process Tier 1 migrant visas. This means I am likely to get it back in the week starting 9 March. 10 weeks from now.

Today I booked my ticket for the 10 March, which is cutting it a bit fine, BUT I can change the date on the ticket for a $50 fee, and it makes more sense to buy a cheap ticket now, than an expensive one later when I have dates.

I *think* I will tell work that I am finishing on 6 March (officially on 11 March with my accrued leave taken into account). This part is scary, I’ve never been unemployed.

I’ve spent the week sporadically working on my CV, which I find to be a daunting task, along with job hunting in general. It’s one activity that saps my confidence. How do I find the people that will want to give me a job and where I’ll be happy? Actually, at the moment I’d sort of just be happy with a job. Luckily I have a list of professional contacts/organisations to target. This is the first step. Well, after I just take a deep breath and decide that my CV is good enough. I’m falling for the maxim that the perfect is the enemy of the good. Actually, does anyone have experience reading CVs and wants to give me some feedback. Previously I’ve only applied for government jobs which is slightly different to fishing for a position.

The shipping leaves on Wednesday and Jed and I are in the midst of packing. There’s boxes all over the house. I find it satisfying that there will be more things left over that I’ve not felt the need to take with me, than things in those boxes. Getting the crap out of my life. On the other hand, this means I now need to find a home for them…

My lease ends on February 27 and I move in with my sister the weekend before, until I fly out. This means that all that stuff needs to have found a new home by then, BUT some of it, like my bed, will be a bit tricky as people can only come and get it in that week, hence the moving in with my sister part, to give me some breathing space to get rid of those sorts of items and to clean the house. (If you want anything, let me know. I’ll be posting a list of stuff soon)

I have to sell my car. This is daunting. I’ve never sold a car let alone bought one. I really, really don’t like the idea of putting an ad in the classifieds and then taking people for test drives, it scares me somewhat. But I don’t want to trade it in for a new car, and I suspect if I just take it to a dealer I will be substantially out of pocket. (Anyone want a Magna for around $2500?)

There’s a whole heap of smaller things I need to do in the next 10 weeks, but in all, apart from the car and finding a new house for the stuff I own, it seems to be mostly in hand.

Here’s hoping the visa people don’t sit on my application. I made it as easy as possible for them to see the documentary evidence and therefore approve it (lots of coloured tabs). I’ve not worked in government and administration for years without knowing how to do this.

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I’ve met a man who makes my heart flutter. Full of future and promise and happiness. There’s a slight hitch. He lives in the UK. So I’m moving.

Some of you may know about this, some may be very surprised. We met on my two trips to the UK in 2007-08, and kept contact in between. He came to visit me in July for 3 weeks to see if it was something we should pursue, and the unequivocal answer is YES!

So I’m moving in May next year (current proposed date). It’s a big decision to make, and might look impetuous, but actually it just feels ‘right’, a good gamble, as my flatmate has characterised it. We’re planning on trying to live somewhere between London and Brighton (Hi J & Scruff, want to have a beer/gin/pimms?), but it will ultimately depend on where I can get work, as I have a ‘career’ to pursue, he has a ‘job’ and can shift.

Firstly: Yay!

Secondly: For those of you who have moved overseas before (I’m looking at Coz and Ob, J&Scruff and Nik in particular) what do I need to know? What advice do you have for a person packing up their life and moving to the UK? Stuff to do before I move that would make life easier over there, stuff to do while in the UK, cultural differences that I will need to know about that no-one else will tell me, etc.

Thirdly: I’m here for 9 more months. Is there anything we ever talked about doing together that we should try to do in the next 9 months?

Fourthly (is that a word): I need to get rid of ‘stuff’ starting with my SCA gear, and then on to various other things. I’m happy to hand things on to friends that will actually use them before I try to sell or donate. If you have ever coveted something I own now is the time to speak up (especially SCA gear, no, really).

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