Life Happens… then we Finally Remember to Write About it

Well I wrote the below 3 weeks ago (but didn’t put it up on the website) and not much has changed, we’ve been to another wedding, they’ll have some original photos as the fire brigade were called out at the start of dinner, continued our wanders around london including a trip to London Museum but we’re still in the lengthy process of house buying and I’m still looking for work.

Day to day life is speeding by for Robbie at work but he comes home to three caged tigers (his words). My usual distractions are just not working or are still in boxes which are now in storage but we don’t have access to them. Even my enjoyment of cooking for friends was marred slightly by the frustration of trying to figure out what I could cook with limited kitchen utensils and without my usual process of spending hours scanning through my cook books.

I can’t wait to get into a home, rather than just somewhere we’re staying. For some of you, there’s probably no difference but for me its not just the things that are missing but all the uncertainty and a lack of somewhere you can call home and start building a life around. If we do another move, which I’m sure we will at some point, I think we’ll revert back to having a 3 month holiday while our stuff arrives and hopefully next time it won’t be so difficult. That said, looking back it was more difficult though for different reasons. When we moved to NZ it was for two years, but even after that time it had felt like we’d only just got settled and that we needed more time to get a feel for NZ life – I really hope it doesn’t take that long this time round.

27th July

Its official, we are just hopeless at updating our website. As for our current excuses… um err, how about enjoying summer and trying to figure out what the hell life’s meant to look like.

Robbie’s now in his fourth week of a new job, doing pretty much the same as he did in NZ (bad luck for all of you who were hoping to find out what he actually does) and is beginning to realise how much more difficult getting things done can be in a large, global organisation.

Nicola is still looking for work, everything has slowed down significantly and she’s beginning to reconcile herself to the fact that it may take a few more months (large sigh) even if she compromises so that she isn’t as picky about which jobs she actually applies for.

We moved down to London mid June and are currently staying in a flat in Aldgate (for the NZers – its very central only 20mins walk to the city and Robbie manages a 25min commute to work in Canary Wharf). After figuring out the high street banks won’t lend to us (combination of Robbie a foreigner, neither of us having been resident in the UK over the last few years and Nicola being unemployed), we managed to get a referral to Barclays international arm (also hoping to use the benefit of Robbie working there – though not sure this has helped). We managed to get positive comments so we started house hunting in Greenwich. After seeing a few places, we began to get a feel for what was around and eventually put an offer in on a house which has been accepted, we’re now going through the long UK process of mortgage application, conveyancing and surveys. We’ve got our fingers crossed things go smoothly.

So what else have we been up to, aside from a few drinks and dinners the following stand out:

  • Robbie managed to watch almost every game in the world cup, and as we have no TV in the flat, had the unfortunate experience of having to go the pub to watch them
  • We got last minute tickets to Centre Court on Day 3 of Wimbledon – Nicola’s first visit, despite growing up only a few miles away
  • Visiting friends new houses and trying not to think about how long their house purchase process took
  • Nicola’s aunts 50th birthday party with a 70s theme
  • hours in london traffic to go a stupidly small number of miles
  • Enjoying the sunshine at Castle Acre, deferring a trip to ikea to explore Tilbury fort, looking over the docks where our ship is due to arrive on 29 July, games of backgammon on the patio in aldgate and croquet on the lawn in Norfolk
  • Enjoying the not so nice English summer with CJ’s birthday on a very wet day at Duxford (CJs choice) and a cold day in great yarmouth and searching for a roman fort
  • Enjoying London’s music – pizza express jazz cafe for Nicola’s bday and free events at the scoop and canada square
  • Refamiliarising ourselves with london’s streets and pubs

The feeling of limbo is still present, though definitely not as strong as previously and Nicola probably feels it more than Robbie, where her days are filled with the housewifely duties of cooking, cleaning and doing all the reading and research for the house purchase. Some days bring positive news, which makes for a good day, but other days nothing seems to work – but thats life. Our patterns and routines are developing, but hopefully are all about to change….