It’s been… one week

Over the last week all the mammals have all basically settled into their new enclosure – and as temperatures hit 30C/90F, we’re happy the current enclosure has air conditioning.

I spent the week at work, which was something of a return to the familiar as I’ve been visiting this office and these teams several times a year since joining Amazon.  I have a desk and all the trimmings and a new notebook with a UK layout keyboard – which is sending my brain into fits each morning when the return and shift keys are the wrong shape, and a couple other commonly used keys are in the wrong spots.

Dawnise did a bunch of grocery shopping (you forget all the stuff you need when you have none of the stuff you need) – and we managed to cook in our kitchen – which was clearly made more to look at than to actually cook in.  We managed to make a reasonable approximation of Mexican food – complete and accurate, aside from re-fried beans (surely they exist, but not at the local Tesco). She looked at more flats, wandered through Borough Market, and generally enjoyed that this time we moved to a country where we mostly speak the language.

We’ve made a lease offer on a flat* – and assuming they don’t discover anything unacceptable about us during the so-called “referencing” process we expect to move (again) in the middle of July.  We’ll have a guest bedroom, reservations on a first-ask-first-served basis.

Week after next we’re heading to Spain for a few days for a friends’ wedding – they were awesome about leaving the invite open around our move uncertainty – and we’re looking forward to celebrating with them.

Today we’re going to find some brunch, head to a birthday picnic this afternoon (here’s hoping we can find some shade so Dawnise doesn’t burn to a crisp) and are having dinner tonight with a colleague and his partner.

We continue to marvel at how willing the Brits are to tolerate a completely stupid laundry system (oh. my. god. becky. the dryer is soooo worthless!), stress about finding food for the cats that Ivan isn’t allergic to and that they’ll both eat (we brought some from the states, but it won’t last forever), and be confounded at the seeming lack of pet supply stores in this part of London.  It’s hard to tell if Amazon and other online retailers are filling a critical need, or if they’ve driven all the local shops into insolvency.

Until next time,
…Dan & Dawnise

* top floor of this building

Shit, as they say, is about to get real

The humans arrived in London Thursday morning, found our temporary apartment (adjacent to the Tower of London) and promptly took a nap.  Waking up feeling far more human, we walked to the post office and picked up our biometric residence permits (BRPs), did some light grocery shopping, found dinner, and managed to stay up ’till around 10pm local time.  The next morning we went out flat hunting – we saw 9 places in Islington, Clerkenwell, and De Beauvoir Town – a couple were short listed, we haven’t offered on any of them yet.  That afternoon we stopped at our bank (HSBC, who so far has been perfectly adequate) and changed our address to the temporary local one, and managed to pass a credit check to establish local cel service.  

After unforeseen travel delays*, the cats joined us that evening.

We made breakfast Saturday, met a friend from Boston who’s in town with a student group for tea and a catch up, found a pet store in our search for food that our allergic-to-everything cat can eat, continued unpacking, and went out to dim sum and drinks with friends (and new friends) to mark one of their birthdays.

In there somewhere we spent some time unpacking, I got our home network up, and we did some laundry. 

We’re marveling at the utter uselessness of British combination washer/dryers, that in 2019 hanging ones clothes on a rack in the kitchen is somehow normal and that ice is still a pretty racy idea.

Today we’ve been at the flat, watching the tourists queue for the tower of London and looking into the logistics of going to Barcelona in two weeks-ish for a friends wedding.

I go into work tomorrow morning, and we continue the flat hunt sometime next week.

Further bulletins as events warrant.

P.S. Dawnise will likely continue posting on Facebook at least occasionally, if that’s a better/preferred way to get updates, lmk and I’ll pull you off this list.   

* for the curious – the cats were supposed to fly on BA/IAG (the cargo arm of BA) on Wednesday, arrive on Thursday – just like us.  Literally on the way to the airport I got a call from the pet transport company saying that BA had refused the cats passage, despite a confirmed booking and all necessary paperwork – seemingly due to some communications cock up between BA London and BA NY and Seattle.  After a couple hours trying to resolve it, the pet transport company threw in the towel, booked them on Luftansa via Frankfurt the next day and called me to explain the situation.  Needless to day, Dawnise was the opposite of thrilled, we were both pretty stressed out and, unless BA comes up with a really good explanation for their nonsense, they’ve lost me as a customer.  The cats got to spend the night with their transport driver (a seemingly nice older gent we’d met for a whole 10 minutes as he was picking them up from the townhouse in Seattle) in a hotel, and despite the longer journey arrived slightly stinky but otherwise seemingly none the worse for wear.