March update on the UK move

We found a family member to house-sit for at least the first year. So the house won’t sit empty—but we won’t have to do as much to the property as we would if we were turning it over to a rental company. (OR sell the cars!)

I’m packing up all my model horses and storing them away in a spare closet at my parents’ house across town just for extra peace of mind. That way the studio can be used as another bedroom (other family members will be staying when they come to visit my parents) and the horses won’t be sitting out and subject to who knows what!

Check this photo out:

This is all my winter clothes, and about half of my summer and athletic clothes and shoes, that I am taking to England. That’s IT! (Boy am I low-maintenance!) I taped out the dimensions of the airship crate into this hallway, so I could test out how much stuff would fit. I just did a preliminary bit of packing yesterday since I think winter is about done here. The main thing was to see how my clothes fit, and then fill in with other more optional stuff. We can’t fill it completely though, because Paul took 4 large suitcases-worth of his clothes over already, and we are only allowed to ship the same size container back at the end of our stint in the UK. (But if he retires as planned at the end of the 2 years, he says he is giving all his work-clothes to charity and not taking any of it home!)

Paul moved into the house this past month, only to find that it was not furnished except for 2 beds! While the rental agents duke it out over the signed contract, Paul had to order a bunch of furniture from IKEA, which will arrive this week. So we will own a whole bunch of furniture we will have to figure out what to do with in 2 years! He says he loves the neighborhood and has already met the neighbors (mainly because he locked himself out of the house one evening—the house has the most bizarre locking system he’s ever encountered!). It is really quiet and aside from some little annoying things to deal with (like teensy bathrooms with no storage space, mirrors, or electrical outlets), he says it is a great place.

I am really pretty freaked about learning to drive on the “wrong” side of the road, but I simply must learn because I will want to be out exploring every little town and village within a day’s drive of our house! The company car they are leasing for us had to be ordered because we wanted an automatic transmission. Apparently automatic cars are very rare in the UK. Our cars here have always been stick-shift, but it would be TOO much to have to shift with the left hand in addition to everything else! Gaack! I wonder how many times I’ll be whacking my right arm on the door trying to put it in park, drive, or reverse, even with the automatic.

Here’s a photo of Paul unloading stuff at the new house. Isn’t it cuuute??