11 October 2009

Settling in

We have now had two weeks in our new home, and it is beginning to show signs of residence. We have a fridge and a washing machine now so life is returning to normal, although we are still without much dining or lounge furniture. We have been reverting to skills used in our flatting days and creating storage from whatever is available. The removal company would be impressed with the creative and varied uses their packing boxes have been put to!

Errol has given several lectures now and is feeling more comfortable in his role at the university. Marilyn's formal interview has been delayed for a week, but hopefully by the end of an intensive day of interview and more testing she will know whether she has a permanent job in Oxfordshire.

Marilyn went down to Thatcham on Friday in order to be ready bright & early to go with Amanda to the Knitting and Stitching show at Alexandra Palace on Saturday. We were there 5½ hours and there was much more we could have stayed to investigate. I was very restrained in what I purchased, although the range of items is so great it seems that future visits need planned shopping lists! It was lovely to spend time with Amanda and her family again. Next weekend is Errol's 'grandad' time as the children and Amanda will come up to stay for a couple of nights so Amanda and I can go to another stitching event while Grandad looks after the children.

01 October 2009

Moving time

The last couple of weeks have seen us go through some major changes. Two weeks ago we found a suitable house to rent in Birmingham and we moved in last weekend. That is we physically moved all our gear that was in storage into the house and found enough so we could at least sleep and eat in the house.

Errol did his first week's work at the University of Birmingham last week while we were endeavouring to get through the reference check process to be able to rent the house. This week he delivered his first lecture. With all of his books still packed in boxes, the whole experience is proving quite demanding.

Marilyn has spent the week unpacking boxes and trying to work out where to put everything. This might be a three bedroom house but it isn't the size nor has the storage capacity that we were used to in New Zealand. It still feels as though we have too much stuff despite trying to reduce what we brought over.

Buying appliances has also been a massive exercise taking a lot longer than we expected. Some of this was simply getting past the bank's security checks on the transaction. It seems that you are not the owner of your own money when it comes to the banking system here. Everything has to be double or triple checked, and joint accounts and ownership are unusual. In the case of the bank account, Errol is seen as the primary account holder and has to verify / accept major transactions.

It seems that in the UK, you have to accept that the simplest transactions may take a day or two to complete and more complex transactions may take a week or more. The only things that moved really quickly were being offered a job and actually starting work.

Marilyn has progressed further in the job hunting stakes having completed a telephone interview and aptitude tests with a formal interview to follow next week.