Monday, July 16, 2012

Moving in England

A couple of months ago we received a letter from our letting agent that the landlady did not want to renew our lease, so we had to be out of our home by the end of July. We were a little shocked and dismayed. We contacted the agent to find out the reason, wondering if it was something we said or did. We heard back that the landlady is taking early retirement and wants to move back to Yorkshire from London. With a sigh, we accepted the decision.

House-hunting again was easier than last year, since we had some pretty clear ideas about what we wanted and what we were willing to look at. Wanting plenty of bedrooms narrowed the search considerably. We looked at four or five houses before choosing the one we liked best. Strangely enough, the house is about a three-minute walk from where we had been living and both house numbers are 4. So town is easy to get to on foot and my wife's bus is not much further away.

Old car, new house

Moving our household was a bit of an adventure. We got the keys for our new house on a Friday and turned in our other keys on the following Tuesday. We decided against moving everything ourselves and hired a local company to move the bigger and heavier items. Of course, the company didn't work on weekends, leaving us a few days to move some stuff ourselves (the delicate electronics and other breakables like dishes). Packing everything was quite a challenge too. Luckily, our next door neighbors went through a similar crisis the month before and we were able to use their hand-me-down boxes to move our stuff. Think of it as recycling without the inconvenient reprocessing of materials.

The children were a bit sad to leave the other house. Lucy asked when we would move back. Jacob also asked, because his godparents are coming to visit in August and he was sure they would go there and not to the new house. We let him know that they'll come to this house. He was happy to hear that.

More delightful for Jacob is his upgraded bed. He used to have a simple bed. Now that he has a larger bedroom we decided to move the guest bed (which is a bunk bed) into his room. He sleeps up nearer to the stars now. In fact, I mean this quite literally!

Starry Nap

We've had that canopy since we bought the bed second-hand off Craigslist. We never used it for the guest bed. Now it is a super-fun hideaway. He shows it off to anyone who comes to visit us. Godparents, make sure to react like you are impressed!

The back garden (or "yard" as is said in the States) is a substantial upgrade too. It's all one level with a nice lawn and a swing set and a little summer house.

Our little patch for relaxing

The children love the swings and we've used the patio for dining in fair weather. That is, we used it once for lunch. The summer house at the back will be home to many toys. Also in the picture is the garage. We'll be using that mostly for storage. The back of the garage has a finished room which will be my office. Hopefully I will soon set up the audio recording equipment and get back to Forgotten Tales, my contribution to Forgotten Classics. Also, Sean from Just a Catholic Dad asked for some beer correspondence and he's always asking for mp3 feedback from listeners. This will be a great opportunity for that. Ampleforth Abbey Ale, here I come!

All in all, the move has gone well. Special thanks go to visiting cousin Emily, who has packed up stuff and kept the kids distracted while Mommy and Daddy were doing important paperwork, walk-throughs, etc. She's been a great help and also a great excuse to revisit some of our favorite tourist spots in the area. We'll be taking her to Cambridge, which will be new for us too!

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