Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Still here


We have moved into this amazingly spacious flat and are working on transforming it into a functional home. I will have a crafting/creating space. The boy will have a guitar/Xbox space. We have a 20 foot ceiling in the living room. We've changed out the ugly lightshades for more simple and stylish ones. The bedroom curtains are still atrocious and we can't seem to locate a ladder in the building to take them down and hang our own, far more awesome, curtains. We don't have tv or internet yet (next week, I hope!) and I still don't have a new phone with a data plan. My very old phone only rings sometimes when people call. It's an adventure. Tonight I ponied up £5 for one day of wifi access (there's a service in the neighborhood if you're with a certain phone company. I'm not, but I decided one day was worth the price). We're still sleeping on an air mattress (our mattress is finally being delivered next week - something went wrong with the delivery process). Our new bed is due on Friday. Our stuff from UK storage got delivered on Thursday and the movers couldn't get the frame of the couch into the flat. They told me that it would be fine, as when my husband got home he could help and we could take the arms off and it would make it in the entrance hall. I had it apart, in the flat, and re-assembled in about an hour. Nobody tells a Stephens woman to wait for her husband...

Right now I'm job hunting. Not teaching stuff, but just something as I have plans for the teaching and the music parts of my life coming back to the forefront in the coming months. For now I'll settle for something mildly interesting - or at least something that helps with the bills and lets me get a new phone.

This weekend we got a fish tank and put real plants in it. I've never had one with real plants and haven't had fish (or any pet) since I initially left the US five years ago. We'll get a few fish later this week. I'm way more excited about it than I probably should be.

I've been knitting away in preparation for BlytheCon UK and hope to get my sewing machine set up on the kitchen table this week and get some dresses and skirts and such sewn. I recovered the dining chairs today, and the sound of the pinking shears cutting the fabric made me quite happy. My sweater stock is pretty high, and I need to get going on finishing them all - ends don't weave themselves in...

We've been back in the UK for 3 weeks now and while things are very slow to get going, they're at least on a little bit of a roll! I miss blogging as regularly as I like and I miss being able to catch up with the blogs and tweets and such of others. If the sun keeps shining, I've got some fun ideas to share a bit about my new/old neighborhood!

(While I'm on a slowed-down blogging schedule, I've still been Instagramming as much as I can when I find a wifi spot for my phone!)

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Ticking boxes

Things around here remain a bit in limbo. There was some miscommunication with the letting company of the new flat (which is different from the agency which showed us the place) such that we sat for 4 1/2 days waiting for paperwork. Things are rolling now and we're hoping everything goes smoothly forward and we can move soon. Having a place to crash with a friend is great, but I don't want to feel that we're imposing. 2 weeks will be pushing it!

After meticulously creating an "on the go" pack of Project Life cards, pens, and various supplies to have to work on while we were in the moving process, I managed to put the album (full of empty pages) in the one bag I had sealed with one of those giant plastic wrap thingees. The bag's side seam had decided to give way after many years of faithful service just as we were prepping to leave and I wasn't about to go buy anything new. This means, however, that my album is more or less hermetically sealed up until we get to the new place. So my big plans of "keep on keeping on" with my PL in the meantime have come to a halt. The pics are mostly prepped, though. So it should be quite quick once we're settled.

In the meantime, I decided to check in with my life list for this year. A few now seem like they're just not going to happen since we've left the NYC area. But a few most certainly have been done - with excitement!

31 things to do before 32

1. Do something new/different with my hair
2. Move back to London YAY!
3. Get more houseplants
4. Start a garden (of some variety respective of living space)
5. Get back in shape. Working on it!
6. Walk a mile a day for at least 1 month. June-July this happened more or less. I've been keeping good walking habits up :)
7. Attend a NYC sporting event NY Rangers vs. Winnipeg Jets, 1 April 13
8. Try 12 new recipes (proper recipes, not "I threw this together and it is dinner") 8ish? of 12 tried
9. Make a new friend (of the "in person" variety, not just the online variety)
10. Visit Paris again
11. Visit the Statue of Liberty (because I've never been).
12. See 3 Broadway shows. Newsies, 4/13
13. See 2 West End shows.
14. Finish Project Life 2013
15. Get caught up on my scrapbooks from 2011 & 2012 & get at least most of 2013 done. still working on it!
16. Finish the Valentine socks.
17. Find a job I like (if not love).
18. Learn to embroider
19. Visit Boston
20. Put together our wedding album
21. Spend more time outdoors This has been happening a bit since returning to LDN
22. Visit Washington, DC
23. Get a new fishtank + fishies
24. Adopt a shelter dog
25. Sew and/or knit at least 50 items for BlytheCon UK About halfway there!
26. Put together our mini-moon album
27. Drink (aka: buy) less soda weekly This is still improving. Every little bit!
28. Take a class or long workshop on a subject I'm interested in
29. Volunteer for something
30. Keep in touch better with my girl friends
31. Go on proper date nights at least twice a month

Friday, August 9, 2013

Renewing an old flame while riding buses

Being in London means being back in the land of busventures. The Scot and I are both fans of such things. In London there is a bus to get you most anywhere - even if you could take the tube or a train, buses offer all those locations plus all the in between bits. On a nice day I love to sit upstairs on a double decker bus and just enjoy the sights and sounds of the world as I take my time getting from point A to point B.

Today that is exactly what I did. A few times, even. Running errands (we have, in theory, a new flat soon!), visiting old haunts, and then just hopping on a favorite route to see many of the places I've missed since last year Spring. The simple joy of seeing all sorts of iconic places on the day-to-day has never gotten old for me, and I hope it never will.

Right now I'm having a new romance with my old love. I feel so at home in this place 4000 miles away from where I grew up. In 3 days, crashing in a friend's spare room, I feel more like I live here than I did the whole time we were in the NYC area. London is my jam.

This won't get posted until later, but I'm writing this post (at about 4:45pm London time) while sitting in a churchyard of an 800 year old church (though the current building is merely from 1729). I just ate some take-out sushi that I bought from place mere feet from a Roman city wall. The bricks my legs are resting on are likely older than any building in the Midwest. Wisconsin, I will forever love you but you ain't got nothin' on this.

London - especially in the City of London - has this great way of letting old and new just run right into each other. Sometimes it doesn't work, but sometimes it just lets you feel connected in so many ways to all those people who came before and all those who have yet to be. It's pretty great and I'm so glad to be back.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Instalife: Brave New World

On Saturday evening we boarded a plane to Dublin, then on Sunday morning another plane to London. Right now we're crashing with a friend while we look for a new place of our own. Most of my things are still packed away, so I may not be blogging quite so much as planned.

So far it's been rainy, then sunny, then raining. Hopefully some more sunshine tomorrow. Even if it's a bit rainy, I do love it here in London and can't wait to settle back into life here.