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-quarentine process (microchipping, 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. Skypeing 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. In Shoreditch.
Near Portabello Market
You know about this guy
Fox near the Tate Modern