Well, I did it! I got a call on November 3rd offering me a full time position in the UK starting January 3rd. It was the start of manic preparation, with a lot to pull off and consider. I had to find a place a live from afar, find someone to take over my contract on my apartment (and the ideal person, as they’d be moving in with Chloe not just living on their own); get Harlem started on the pre-quarantine process (micro-chipping, blood work, new vaccines, paperwork); sell/store/give away/get rid of my possessions; move half my stuff to my parents house (3 hours away); consolidate my finances; open a UK bank account; wire transfer my money; finish my job as best as I could; say goodbye to everyone; organize a few goodbye parties; see all the doctors; look into shipping options; set up a National Insurance number; buy luggage and a one-way plane ticket!
Trust me, there was far more to deal with. This makes it sound like a neat checklist but there’s a great deal of research, emailing, mental debates, snap decisions…
Just before leaving, we had a goodbye party.
Huw, amazingly, sent over a box of UK treats and Chloe and I found huge cardboard boxes to make our own telephone booth.
And my last night in Raleigh was the Buchanan brothers annual Christmas Eve Eve Party! A great final night.
And shortly after Christmas (December 29th!) I flew to London Gatwick with about 4 suitcases of various size and shape to my name.
New home: icy cold Headington
Christ Church Meadows, summer versus winter. You can really feel how cold it is!
The longer walk to work
Frozen South Park
One of my first weekends, I had a reunion with Anne-Gaid and Ashley near Bethnal Green. Anne-Gaid was my apartment mate in Ireland and her friend Ashley, from Oregon, came for a long, wonderful visit.
We walked along the Thames, went to St. Paul’s, various bridges, the South Bank…
The Tower of London
Winter river riders
The seagull looking for a bite
My first weeks and months were full of Skype sessions. Skyping with friends on the West Coast is tough to do (weekends only!) but I got virtual hugs
And met Howard
My first weeks and months, I went to London about every other weekend, it seemed, to take long, cold walks every which way.
Near Portabello Market
You know about this guy
Fox near the Tate Modern