Friday, 25 February 2011

I don't want to know what "golden farm water" is...

This week has been one of packing, sorting, chucking and lifting. And eBaying. LOTS of eBaying. I won't bore you with the minutiae of the week, but it has mainly consisted of getting things sorted (as I had a week off for half term) in preparation for the move. A brief summary would be: doctor, optician, dentist, bank, removals, estate agents, packing, selling, charity shop, tip, lifting, carrying, back pain, tidying, cleaning, laughing at late '90s clothing choices, organising, filing, planning, listing and discussing. It's been a really good week, in the sense that a great deal has been achieved, and I am finally getting on to packing for America, rather than packing for storage or working out what to bin. It's nice to be able to organise what I'll actually be keeping!

The title of this post relates to the rather interestingly addressed letter from the estate agents to my folks, who own the house I currently live in. As I am moving out (and far, far away!), they are selling it, and so needed it valued. The letter sent to them confirming the date and time of said valuation was addressed thus:

I'm pretty sure no one lives in a place called "Golden Farm Water". I have no idea what that would mean, but it's not sounding pleasant, just from the word combination. Surprisingly, the letter did still make it to the house, despite the address being a total cock-up of the actual, correct listing. 

So, Myrtle (my place) is half packed up now, already. The front room is as clear as it can be when including storage boxes, as is the hall (other than the shoes, which are yet to be done - mainly due to having been delayed by the coats, dresses and shrugs today...!), and half of my wardrobe is sorted into keep/sell/charity/bin piles. Below is some evidence of how bad it was all looking at the beginning of the week:

And how did Ben sum this up? Okay, it's slightly out of context. But I still enjoyed it in this one:

In any case (ha! Get it? GET IT?! Ahem. Sorry.), the before and after goes something like this:

And the yellow cushion chairs have gone now, too. Not bad for a day's work! And quite a few other days' worth of preparation... I have the bruises to prove it - everywhere! My legs and arms are covered in what look like marks caused by corners of boxes, or bashing into walls due to trying to retain a centre of balance. I'm not known for my agility. Or elegance. 

In other news, the RSVP date for the engagement party was today, so we're now at a confirmed number of 88. Menus going out in the next week or so. My police certificate (basically CRB and residency confirmation) came through today, and my international HSBC bank account has been set up this week, too. We're just waiting on the US Embassy to contact me here to arrange a medical and an interview, all being well. Eek!

Today was spent with my friend Holly, clearing out some of my clothes. She was an absolute star, being ruthless and hilarious all in one go, and making sure we got some damn good lunch from The Olive Tree, too. The survivors have been put on to eBay - here's an example. We did the dresses, shrugs and coats. Next week will be shirts, skirts/jeans, work clothes and shoes. Argh! And then more eBay, no doubt.

I don't suppose this really sums up the emotion of everything, in any way, does it? So far, I've been pretty resilient. I have started, little by little, to notice the things about the UK that I will miss, be they specific to my life or general to the country. I have also had a conversation with my Dad this week about the "goodbye" moment. That certainly knocked me into reality a little bit more. I am leaving. The country. The life I know. For all good (amazing!) reasons, and with every belief, hope and intention that it will be wonderful, but I am still going to be without the familiar, somewhat stranded for a time and required to get used to a rather different approach to life. My overwhelming emotions are still happiness and excitement, but I think I am now beginning to become aware of what I am leaving, as well as what I am going to. I will miss so very much here that I think I am just avoiding (displacing?!) thinking about it.

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Visa application and other documents

Above this text, you see the happy evidence that the last part of the visa application that needs submitting in the States has made it in one piece to Ben's apartment. Phew. This allowed Ben to send off ALL THE OTHER THINGS plus this on Monday night, using FedEx's overnight service, so that we can get this visa ball rolling. Double phew!

UPDATE: The above was written yesterday, so I can now officially tell you that the documents have been recorded as delivered as of 0830 this morning, GMT-5. And I received email confirmation that my Police Certificate application has been received and is being processed. Woohoo!

So, the administrative side of things has been taken care of for now. Storage and shipping are all booked and arranged. The house sale is starting to look promising, and our best man has booked her tickets to be here for the engagement party, which is wonderful, especially as she'll be staying in the UK with us for a whole week. We've also generally got a huge amount of fun stuff planned for while Ben's here, including a trip to Lyme Regis, the Woolsack Races in Tetbury, and a stay in London where, amongst other things, we'll see Kings of Leon performing live at Hyde Park, hopefully visit a few Big Smoke-based friends of mine, and should have an amazing experience dining at Dans le Noir? too. It's all really exciting!

A wonderful trip to Brum (Birmingham) happened on Saturday just gone, where Liz, Hayley, Steve and I shopped until we almost dropped, and managed to come out with three dresses, two pairs of shoes, a bag and a shrug (only one of the dresses was for me...!). So, that's the engagement party accessories completed too. The bag is particularly cute:

A bit pricey at £30, but as it's d├ębut and it's exactly the right colour... well, it IS a wedding!

The two pairs of shoes were probably a little indulgent, but one pair is a low-heeled sandal style, whereas the other pair is very high-heeled and will be much more suitable for the rather long wedding dress! Liz and Hayley's dresses are both gorgeous, and perfectly suited to each of them, too. Liz's was a particular triumph as it was mispriced in the shop: she ended up getting a £130 dress for just under £70! Score.

One last thing before I sign off... it's not a big announcement or anything, as people know I'm going to change my name when Ben and I wed. But today was the first day I practised writing my new signature. And I love it.

That works. <3