31 May 2010

Changes keep happening

During this coming week, we will finally have some new bedroom furniture. It was ordered about four weeks ago. In true English fashion, it couldn't be delivered straight away so we had to wait until they could fit it into their schedule. Once it is installed, we can stop using the packing boxes for clothes storage. One more step toward being a little more settled.

However, that install comes at the end of a fairly busy week. Tomorrow, Errol is heading down to the University of Kent at Canterbury where he will present a seminar on his research. He did a working group with a couple of the academics from there at the conference in Dundee in 2007. Ever since we arrived here, it had been intended that he would do a presentation but it was a case of finding the appropriate time. Now with the students completing exams, Errol finds he has less pressure on and is able to get away for a couple of days.

This weekend has also been a busy one. Yesterday, we farewelled Phillip, Amanda, and the grandchildren on their journey to the USA. It is a little over eleven months since we arrived here in the UK and this will mean returning to the use of the internet to keep up with them. Over the last month, we have made frequent trips down to their place to help sort out the house and to get them ready for the move. Even though we have been expecting this since before Christmas, it was still difficult to say farewell. At least we got to celebrate Kathryn's birthday with them at Legoland in Windsor last weekend. Kathryn keeps asking whether we are going to the USA as well. On one of our visits, Kathryn said she would stay with us rather than go.

We have both received news of extensions to our contracts. Marilyn through until December. Errol for twelve months. Errol continues to apply for permanent positions but is also looking at ways to fund some of his research. He is also writing papers for journals. Having to pay his own way to conferences is proving too expensive as a way of letting others know about his work. However, conferences have the benefit of meeting people and developing relationships.

Errol will be heading to Turkey on his own for the ITiCSE conference so no overland trip or holiday in Turkey this year. The UK Border Agency hasn't finished processing Marilyn's residency application and is still holding on to her passport. We have had to request the return of Errol's Irish passport so he can go on this trip but he could travel on his New Zealand passport if necessary.