Due to the lack of internet access, it’s been a long time since I was able to update this. Unfortunately, this will be a condensed version of my first weeks here. I am writing this from my re-assembled computer, in the second bedroom of the townhouse that we have rented. I am very happy – or would be, completely, if at least one of us was currently working!
The house is wonderful; it is a Victorian townhouse built in 1834. The front room, for company, has rose/gold/cream wallpaper and a dark, carved fireplace. The middle room is for family, eating, and watching TV (FOUR channels, only!!!), and has a second fireplace. The kitchen has been newly refitted with dark-green and brass fixtures, and has the original tile floor and a stable door leading into the garden, which needs a lot of work. Upstairs are the two bedrooms, one blue and one in Indian reds and yellows, with elephants. Hey, they came with the house. I love it – it’s a very beautiful place, and should the owner ever wish to sell, we would like to buy it.
We’ve been busy setting the house up, unpacking, and doing some minor exploring. As I said earlier, we made the trip down to Devon, and both of us preferred this area. There were a few nice villages, but the buildings had more “old world” charm here. Exeter has difficult to get a feel for, and there didn’t seem to be a “center,” or a heart, to the city. We got lost multiple times, driving in the sheeting rain on the largely one-way streets, and became discouraged. I think we made the right choice; it’s good to be close to Phil’s family, as they have been wonderful to us. If we can just find work, we will be very happy.
Click here for miscellaneous pics.
Click here for pics of Little Moreton and Haddon Halls.
We’re back, and we’re staying here! More later, as I’m still not on my own connection, but I didn’t like Exeter, and we decided to stay in Cheshire. :) Looking for work, trying to get approved (!!!) to rent a house, etc. I’ll write agin soon.
Just a quick note to let everyone know that I am still alive. ;) I am doing this on Phil’s parents’ computer, and I am aware of the call charges accruing, so it will be short. The trip was VERY long (I’ll write about that later), but it has been wonderful to meet his family and see the countryside. I’ve been giving Phil a hard time, since he described it in a way that made it sound like Poland after the war, but it is gorgeous and green, with incredibly fat sheep grazing in the fields. Very beautiful. We’re leaving for Devon at the weekend, so I will try to find an internet cafe and write a bit more later.
Having a WONDERFUL time – wish you were here! :)
Quick note from my parents’ house – we are FINALLY on our way! I have a horrendous headache, but the apartment is clean, and the car is filled with our totally enormous, extremely heavy suitcases. Tomorrow morning, early, we’ll leave for Los Angeles. Tuesday we’ll take care of my spousal visa, and Wednesday we’ll sightsee in Hollywood and go to the beach.
We’re finally on our way!!!
I’m just clearing up a few things here at work. I have my last paycheck, and my desk is clean. How sad. :( I’ve really done nothing of any use here this morning…did a lot of talking about the trip, mainly, with Shaun, Josh and Lisa. Josh is my oldest friend here, from wayway back. We came here from LA together, ages ago. I’ve know him since he was a skinny seventeen-year-old. Shaun was hired into the Web Department before I was. I remember when he had hair down to his waist; I wanted to paint him so badly. :) We’ve all hung out together, drank too much at clubs, bitched about work, had fun together. So many good friends that I will miss.
Well, I will write again as I can. We are off like a herd of cats, all disorganized and pulling in different directions. First down to Los Angeles, so that I can apply for my spousal visa, and then off to London…I can’t wait! I am so excited.
This will probably be the last entry before we leave. I will try to find internet cafes along the way, but access for the first month is bound to be sporadic. Last night we packed our suitcases, and were appalled at how much we’re either going to have to ship, or leave behind. The clothes I can replace, but there are a lot of things that I am going to hate leaving. It is so difficult trying to fit your entire life into two suitcases!
I’m getting nostalgic already for my friends here. I’ll be leaving a lot of very good friends, but taking many great memories with me. I’ve been making everyone promise that they will come and visit. I think it would be wonderful to be able to see people from home. I’m going to save up for tickets for my parents to come visit in the winter.
*sigh* I’ve got tears in my eyes, as I think about leaving everyone and everything behind. I know that we’re setting off on a grand new adventure, but still…these last few years have been wonderful. I’ll miss you all.
We did it…we’re married. I’m sure it feels just as unreal to Phil as it does to me. I haven’t been able to post because the DSL has already been turned off, so I’m posting on my lunch from work. A quick recap:
May 17th: The Stag Night
We went to Scandals with Eric and Janice, Shane and Karyn, and Shameron, and we had a blast. Eric and Shane arranged for Phil and I to be brought up onstage, sat back to back and handcuffed together, and then the girls were all over us. The pictures are priceless. I was wearing a black stretch velvet corset, and I remember thinking “If you girls take anything out while you’re doing that, you had BETTER put it back before I have to stand up in front of all these people!” They put about half a bucket of ice down Phil’s pants (literally his pants, in the English sense – they use pants to mean underwear!). It was all in good fun, and wasn’t too embarrassing.
May 19th: The Wedding Day
The wedding was wonderful, largely due to the efforts of my family. I have the best family in the world. :) The gazebo in the park was decorated, as were the tables (white cloths, purple streamers and bunches of lilacs, glass heart-shaped bowls with floating candles, silver candelabra). There was a gorgeous bouquet for me, and roses for the cake. Phil had stayed up late the night before making the cake, as we required an egg-free wedding cake, and was up the next morning at six a.m. to put it together and do the frosting. (The recipe is here, by the way.) I was more than a bit cold, as the weather was very windy and grey, and I was wearing a satin brocade corset, skirt from an antique wedding dress…and ruby slippers. :) Anyway, we made it through the ceremony fairly painlessly, although I flubbed my lines a bit, and then we were married. Steve and Ellie sang a beautiful version of Down on My Knees, and my father made a wonderful toast.
I’ll add to this later…I know it seems disjointed, but there is no time for anything.
Last day at work before the wedding, and there is SO much to do. Tomorrow we’ll be baking cake layers, ready to be put together on Sunday morning. Phil’s mom sent us an e-card, since the phone has been turned off and she won’t be able to call. Tonight we’re having a joint stag party at Scandals, a local tittie bar, um, exotic dance club. ;) A lot of people from work will be going, and it should be a lot of fun. I don’t know what these places are like in England, but the clientel here tends to be at least half couples. I thought about doing something fun/embarrassing for Phil, like having him taken up onstage by the girls, but they charge an awful lot of money for that, and you can’t take pictures, so I probably won’t. We’ll have fun, though. I’ll post again on Tuesday, as I won’t be online until then.
I’m so upset today. We’re not having a formal wedding with groomsmen and bridesmaids, but I had asked Shaun to carry the rings for us. Shaun and I are very similar in personality and outlook, we’ve worked together for ages and been roommates; I really wanted him there. Yesterday he found out that they are sending him to Salt Lake City to train TSRs on a new program that he hasn’t even seen yet, and he has to leave this Friday, missing the wedding entirely. I know that I’m under a lot of stress right now, but I can’t help feeling that it is a sign of things starting to go wrong.
The disarray in the house is telling on both of us. We have piles of things everywhere: stuff to be shipped to England, things to be given to various people, the Goodwill pile that will be the last to go. I will miss my books so much. I divided them up yesterday; the ones that I just couldn’t bear to part with I packed in boxes that my parents can send as I can afford it, and the bulk of the rest will go to my sister. I need to take the boards, cards and hard drives out of my computer so that I can re-build a system after I get there. There are boxes of wedding decorations and cake stuff. We still haven’t found a home for the rats, and we both worry that they either won’t find a home, or will go to someone who will use them as snake food.
I know that weddings are stressful, and an overseas move would be traumatic for anyone. I am trying to keep a calm frame of mind, but it’s getting more and more difficult.
VERY frustrating day today. Most of the main pages on the site change on Monday, along with banners in several different areas, the homepage, etc. The site has been up and down, and no one knows why, or how to fix it. The content handler/Admin GUI that we use to work on pages in the database is toast. I’ve been surfing and stressing, stressing and surfing. I’ve eaten a bag of dill potato chips and two big lemon cheesecake cookies, and now I also feel bloated and guilty.
Only two weeks to go…