Monday, July 17, 2017

A Repatriation Sing-a-Long

I would say we were “established” in our new home, but that would be a big fat porky pie (lie). We are here with some of our things, and they’re mostly lying in various piles all over the house. But, we made it safely, as did the dog. 

I've already had a washing machine "incident". whereby it washed the dog blanket and then refused to drain, spin or otherwise relinquish the darn thing. I eventually managed to get the door open (with minimum water splosh) and the machine then happily continued the cycle on its own. Foolishly, I assumed the problem had been temporary so I put another "load" in. I use the term "load" with caution and derision since it consisted of about 7 garments. Yet again, the machine came to an abrupt halt at the drain cycle and I was forced to retrieve sopping wet clothes and perform the rinse and spin elements by hand. 

But yes, we are lurching around, trying to get things to work and trying not to make complete fools of ourselves in public. And of course, I wrote a little ditty about it. (Sung to the tune of “My Favourite Things”.) So get yer Julie on and sing along. 

Unfavourite Things

Washers that break down and dryers that half dry
Front doors that don’t lock no matter how I try
Laminate flooring that’s like an ice rink
These are becoming “unfavourite” things

Pause 2, 3, 4, 5, 6
Pause 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

Light switches not in the rooms they are meant for
Dog nails that clack on the “nice” laminate floor
4am wake up from birdies that sing
Quickly becoming “unfavourite” things

Chorus: When I can’t open the windows
When I’m feeling mad
I simply remember that shipment of things
And then I don’t feel so bad

Rubbish collectors that come once a fortnight
Showers that barely fit hub, my it’s so tight
Centigrade measures that make my head spin
Add to the list of “unfavourite” things

Pause 2,3, 4,5,6
Pause 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

Suitcases empty but no place to store them
Clothing unpacked but, OK, on the floor then
Three plastic beakers from which we all drink
Complete my list of “unfavourite” things

Pause 2,3,4,5,6
Pause 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

When the noises in the kitchen
Make the doggy sad
We think of that shipment of favourite things
And then we don’t FEEEEEEL SOOOOO BA-A-A-A-D.

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Three More Sleeps...........

I'm writing this sitting in an echo chamber of a family room. We gave the giant sectional/corner sofa to a young couple, the wife of which is a Brit I met in a Brit-in-Chicago Facebook group! They have two teeny children so my 12 year old worn-but-in-great-shape furniture was perfect. PLUS -  the seat covers come off and can be thrown in the wash. Score! 

Another young woman is taking some of my small appliances (different voltage) but she doesn't actually arrive in Chicago till after I've gone so a friend is coming over to pick them up. I have had more strangers in and out of my house in the last few weeks it's a miracle I haven't been abducted. 

And I've been stressed and not sleeping. The dog paperwork and health visits are something to reckon with until you do it, and then realise that most of the "panic" is caused by the plethora of rules and guidelines on various UK and US web sites. At the end of the day I took two documents out to the USDA office to be stamped. She has a tape worm test tomorrow (UK requirement) and then we take her to the Cargo place at O'Hare airport 3-4 hours before the flight. They have to check that she's fit to fly and not under the influence of medication or sedation. 

Twice in the past week she has been bitten by something in the garden and various sides of her face have swelled up. Last week it was the whole side of her face and muzzle. She had obviously snapped at one of the many bees on my catnip. Quick call to the emergency vet to get the anti-histamine dosage, checking her throat all the time, and she was fine. Today one of her eyelids is swollen but I've given her anti-histamine in the dog food and will keep an eye on her. Poor thing. I will just have to keep her indoors on Wednesday as they will surely question a dog with a swollen face. It's always something. 

So am I sad? No. At this point I'm still very stressed by all that there is to organise. I will miss my friends here but I know from experience that we will mostly all meet again, and in some cases, in the very near future. I'll be living a stone's throw from Heathrow so NO ONE has any excuse. Everyone must pop in for a cuppa when they fly to the UK. 

Will I miss my house? No. I'm not a house person I've discovered. I don't get emotionally attached to houses; in fact, living in the same house for decades makes me feel slightly claustrophobic. We've been in this one for 13 years, and our previous house for 10. We will be renting for the immediate future and then, who knows? 

What I will be sad about, as usual, is yet another milestone. This was the house where all my kids lived. This is the house they really call home, and I'm robbing them of it. Ok, I'm not really as the two big ones have flown and were unlikely ever to live here again. But still.....  the guilt. 

We are now three, as far as a living unit goes. We will have a smaller house, with guest rooms to make sure that when the big kids visit, they have a room and not a bed on the floor. That's important. It won't be their "home" but I want them to feel "at home" and not like a guest. And not sleeping on the floor. 

And breathe. Next time I post, I will be in England as they're cutting off the 'net tomorrow. Gulp. 

Sunday, July 2, 2017

What I'm Not Looking Forward to in England #2 - Looking like an idiot

I've blogged about this many times, but only when reflecting on my summer visits to the UK. Not knowing that the 50p I handed over in Tesco had been out of circulation for a few years, avoiding the shopping trolleys because I couldn't work the pound coin deposit thingy. I could get away with it then. I was in the UK temporarily; the embarrassment of having to ask about such things in an English accent, was acute, but I could flee back to the "safety" of the States where anything I didn't understand came with the cushion of "not being from here". (I can still pull that one off after 27 years btw.)

That flee-dom (mis-spelling intended) is soon to come to a screeching halt. An unwillingness to rush out on Day Two and buy plates etc. means that we will be forced, I mean forced (not), to buy M&S micro-wavey meals for a while, which in turn means you'll hear me in the prepared meal aisle exclaiming about things that normal Brits take for granted. "Oh my goodness, look, Yorkshire puds", and "Ooooh, Cumberland sausages". You get the pic. Meanwhile, normal Brits are giving me the old side eye and thinking that perhaps there's something not quite right. 

And there's the other part of not-knowing-what-the-hell-you're-doing-in-your-country-of-origin - My fellow Brits jokingly, (not), take me to task for it. How the heck am I supposed to know the ins and outs of the London Congestion system? I go to London every summer but I certainly don't drive a car into the center/centre. 

Ditto Newcastle, my home town - last time I drove into the city center I ended up driving the wrong way up a street which was pedestrianized years ago. 1) No cars allowed (just buses). 2) Only buses going in the opposite direction. Realizing my predic, and seeing two coppers watching me, I parked, leapt out of the car, played the "I haven't lived here for decades" card, and escaped their withering derision - a lethal weapon deployed by many British bobbies that makes a fine look like preferential treatment. 

Now however, I won't have the "Not from around here" defense/defence. I could always spend a few minutes explaining why I don't know what I'm doing but really, when all they need is money from the hole-in-the-wall, they're just not that interested. They just think I've escaped from the loony bin. 

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