16 June 2011

Settling Down?

Really, it isn’t that we have not done anything over the nine months that there has been no blog. On the contrary, we have done some rather interesting things.

Marilyn went back for three weeks in New Zealand to see her dad late in September. We had to get the local MP involved to get her passport and even then the border agency claimed it was processed three weeks before they sent it out. She had been back in UK a week and he died (17 Oct 2010) so it was both back to New Zealand for the funeral. Paul had already decided to head back to see whether he could see granddad before he died but was waiting for his flight when we told him. We were only in New Zealand a week and it was back to the UK and into work.

With another white Christmas, doing much over winter wasn’t looking promising but Errol started his exploration of the National Cycle Network with a ride to Redditch and then to Stratford-upon-Avon. Both of these rides occurred in January as the snow melted. Since then, he has completed three other big rides (Birmingham to Lichfield, Newbury via Reading to Oxford, and Nottingham to Lichfield). More are planned. He is looking at purchasing a recliner trike to make these trips easier.

We have made trips to Oxford, Stowe, Ashby de la Zouch Castle, Llandudno (North Wales), Kinver Edge, and Caenarfon (North Wales). Throw in a photography course for Errol at Papplewick Pumping Station near Nottingham and you can see we have been out doing some exploring. The trip to Caenarfon was done with Sue Crooks, one of Marilyn’s friends from Ministry of Education days in New Zealand.

Marilyn has joined the local embroidery guild which, although much smaller than the Wellington guild, is still quite active. She has attended a guild day school on fabric box making, as well as continuing to work on her own stitching. This has included completing a gingerbread house completed with needlebook, pincushion, scissor holder & fob which was different to her usual work.

With all of this happening, we have managed to complete the purchase of a house in Birmingham and we moved in over last week. Still a lot of sorting out to do but we do feel as though we have more space.

On the job front, things are also beginning to look like they will be more settled. Marilyn’s job was made permanent once her residency issues had been sorted. Errol was asked in for an interview at Aston University almost on the same day as the University of Birmingham said that they would only offer a six month extension of his contract with little prospect of renewal beyond that. The result of the Aston interviews is a job offer for a Teaching Fellow position which Errol has accepted. Aston University is based in the centre of Birmingham.