Wednesday, 15 April 2009

T minus five and counting

I feel as if I have been neglecting the blogosphere recently. It's partly because I've been stupidly busy, trying to organise the big move (just five weeks away), and partly because all of it is so, so tedious I don't want to bore myself with it, let alone anyone else.

So, I won't tell you about the long, long list of phone calls I have to make, letters I have to write and complicated online jungles I have to hack through in order to change postal addresses and reorganise direct debits. Or the hour and a half phone call The Doctor made to BT yesterday, just to cancel our broadband agreement. Or the army of electricians, estate agents, decorators, removal companies and others who have trooped through our house recently. Or how much it annoys me that every time I meet someone they ask me 'All ready to go yet, then?' (To which the answer is, and will be until about the day before we leave, NO).

I won't bore you with the news that The Doctor is looking more and more tense as the weeks go by. Whereas I have been worrying about the move since precisely January 3rd, and am now strangely calm about it all, it is as if it has only recently dawned on him that we are uprooting our entire lives to move to another continent. Not only that, but we still do not have our visas, or a house to live in in the US, or any plane tickets. All of which (for various dull reasons) have had to wait until the last minute. To add to the fun, we have a family wedding to go to in the Lake District, he has a conference to present at in Austria and oh, yes, the small matter of his PhD viva. I feel sorry for him, really I do, but at least it no longer feels as if I am the only one moving house.

But there are some comforts. The Littleboys are thankfully oblivious to the fact that we are about to whisk them away from the only home they have ever known. And there is the knowledge that the world is much smaller now than when my parents, at roughly my age, set off for Hong Kong. They had no internet, email or Skype. There was just the odd 'aerogramme' letter, and the only time we even made phone calls to relatives in the UK was on Christmas day. Whereas now, the lovely world of new meeja now means that I can keep in touch with my friends on a daily basis, look at their pictures on Facebook and talk to them on video calls.

If only American TV would show us the final episodes of The Apprentice, frankly it might be like we'd never left.

18 comments:

Wife in Hong Kong said...

This is very reminiscent of our move last year. It does get boring, goes on for months with little to show for it and saps all your time and strength. You're clearly very organized which pays off when you come to unpack but I remember wishing I had something else to talk about when it felt like we'd been moving for ever!

Brit in Bosnia / Fraught Mummy said...

Having done the whole moving abroad thing only 9 months ago, I know where you are at! I don't envy you, but it will be ok - and as long as you don't leave any littleboys behind, frankly you can just get the credit card out and buy it there.

BUT - of far more interest - YOU CAN GET THE APPRENTICE. Even if you are abroad. I am just starting to get excited about watching this weeks episode starting in just over an hour. I feel a little embarrassed because I only said that I would move from the UK if we could get the Apprentice here.

Anyway, there is something that you can do which means you can access IPlayer. And CBeebies which will be almost as useful. I will find out what from the one with the techie knowledge (aka my husband)

BTW, I read one of your posts a while back and meant to reply to it - when you were vaguely worrying about the Littleboys and their accents. My brother and I lived in the States for 3 years as kids (starting aged 7 and 5). Took us 2 years to pick up the accent. Back in an English school on our return it took us a whole 2 days to lose it. Completely. My brother is now an actor who can do a faultless American accent that Americans can't spot. I can't do one for toffee. But I do always say sneakers rather than trainers... hmmmm.

My only tip on packing. Fitted sheets are rubbish. Never fit.

Amanda said...

We moved around a lot as children (not always just because the TV licence van was looming...) and, as far as I can tell, it was hugely positive. The furthest we moved was southern Africa, and goodness, what a perspective that gave to a family of children who really didn't realise that 'some children have less than you' didn't just mean being born to a mother who couldn't see the necessity of a Girl's World disembodied head you could apply make up to. Which is a long way of saying it's going to be tough for you, but unlikely to give the children even one sleepless night (aside from the jet lag, of course). What I do remember is the joy of seeing favourite toys unpacked. So, if possible, have a box marked 'VIP' or something that will be the first one to be opened. And a new toy to travel with makes it all so much more exciting. I'm envious, truly.

Potty Mummy said...

I bet you can find a cable provider that can help with The Apprentice. And I didn't realise it was so soon - will be thinking of you over the next few weeks!

Iota said...

Oh yes, I remember that strangely calm feeling...

What we did 5 weeks (or so) before we left, was to go to a firework display, which petrified my daughter (then aged 2), and made her terrified of anything "up in the sky". Including aeroplanes. We thought we'd done a lot of healing work by reading "Topsy and Tim go on an aeroplane" about 300 times between then and our departure, and thought she'd be fine. When we got onto the plane, she said 'this doesn't actually go up in the sky does it?". Bad moment.

Many of my memories of those final 5 weeks seem to involve Topsy and Tim. I think they wormed their way into my subconscious.

Tara@Sticky Fingers said...

Having just watched The Apprentice and spent most of the hour shouting at the screen, or more specifically, shouting at the nob (really sorry) that is Ben, you might actually be better off!

Mud in the City said...

You are doing amazingly! Scary, stressful - but an exciting new chapter for all of you.

I remmeber the days before technology. With family split between the UK and SA communication was just as you describe it. Air letter forms (the ones you fold up) and a annual phone call with a tinny echo.

nappy valley girl said...

Wife in HK - I hope I am as organised as you think I sound. I have a sneaking feeling that there is something really, really big I have completely forgotten about....

Brit in Bosnia - you can get BBC abroad? Tell me now! I thought they stopped you accessing it unless you were in the UK?

Amanda - thanks. I think it's hugely positive too, but I'm looking forward to actually being there, now.

PM - let's hope so! It is frighteningly soon....

Iota - so far, the boys are quite excited about aeroplanes. It's me, having never been a particularly happy flyer, who will be nervous!

Tara - oh yes, indeed he is a nob (or should that be knob?) But people like him are what makes it TV gold.

Mud - thanks for the encouragement. I'm still more impressed at you, running the marathon, though.

that girl? said...

Am so impressed at your calmness - it usually works that whilst one is stressing, the other is the calming influence - good job really or the move might be a bit more chaotic! Exciting and perhaps some slightly scary times ahead - though none more scary than being on the receiving end of Ben The Thug's spouting in the boardroom. Was just laughing at Tara's comment as I was doing exactly the same thing last night...as were Im sure half the population! What a prat!

Cassandra said...

I cannot even begin to tell you how impressed I am by the fact that you are posting at all. I went MAD before we moved last year (and that was only from Herts to Kent, not abroad or anything) and barely blogged at all. I was SO stressed - everything was very last minute for us too. It sounds like you are coping BRILLIANTLY and as everyone else has said, it will be fine. Hard at first, of course, but the kids really do adjust remarkably quickly. We made a MASSIVE mistake - we packed up the house ourselves. It was absolutely horrendous and not worth it. I am sure that you won't do as we did but DON'T! I would sell my Granny for professional packers, it was just utterly bloody HELLISH. The very, very best of luck, I am sending sympathetic vibes and will of course post Marmite etc once you're over there...

Expat mum said...

Oh, on the Internet you can watch everything these days. BBC America is a must though!

Danishgirl said...

I relocated from the UK last year and found that having tonsilitis during the final week in the UK meant that everything that would have normally stressed me passed in a blur. Whilst not suggesting that you get an illness to make it easier, it made me realise that stressing about stuff is a waste of time.

Also I had an annoying colleague who asked me every Friday during the three months run up to moving if I would be packing that weekend. After a while it became easier to just say yes.

I am sure it will go smoothly x

"Moaning Mum" said...

Personally I am incredibly jealous! As I look at my crayon stained walls, knobbly carpeting, holes from bad husband DIY'ing, and contemplate a stroll down my street for the millionth time this week...well what can I say. How exciting to have a whole new neighbourhood...whole new country...new friends...new problems....haha. Think of it this way - you get to totally reinvent yourself as a super-duper-scrummy-mummy if you so desire. As for the apprentice, well Mona with the beautiful eyes or the pushy estate agents going to win it anyway aren't they :)

Bec said...

I, too, am in that strangely calm place. I'm moving to London from Australia in three weeks.
I can totally understand where you're at and am also being asked am I all ready to go on a daily basis. I just tell them yes, as this seems to stop them asking me anymore!
But it's really exciting and I hope your move will go well. Good luck!

mothership said...

this brings it all back to me - 5 years ago, pregnant, Husband trying to finish Phd, no visa, no house in US, packing, phonecalls, bank (AGGGHHHHH! Take advice given in comments section on my blog). But on the day you leave, you will have left, if you know what I mean, and then it's just the adventure of going and it will all be okay. Plus you're coming to the USA where customer is king. You won't be able to believe how easy they make it here for things to HAPPEN and how loud money talks. I love it.
5 weeks will zoom by quickly. Stock up on marmite and chocolate bars and packets of biscuits and put them in the packing crates (also those adhesive papers you make paper chains out of, can't get them here and you'll want them at Christmas)

Bush Mummy said...

Wow NVG can't believe you are going so soon! What I want to know is what are you going to call your blog when you arrive there?

Brooklyn Babe?

BM x

nappy valley girl said...

TG - to be a contestant on The Apprentice would be far, far worse than moving house.....

Cassandra - we do have professional packers for the stuff that's going out there, but it's complicated by the fact that some stuff is stayiing in the house, other stuff going to storage....Aaagh.

Expat Mum - I do hope you are right. The BBC say they are 'working on' an international version of iPlayer. Well, work a bit faster then!

Danish girl - I will take your advice and say 'yes'. And I already have sinusitis, so I'm not doing too badly!

Moaning Mum - you're right, of course, it is a huge adventure. As for Apprentice, as long as awful Ben or Yasmina don't win, I'll be happy.

Bec - how funny, you will be arriving in London just as I leave. You don't need a car do you? We are having to sell ours back to the garage....Good luck!

Mothership - thanks, you're very reassuring. (Are you allowed to put Marmite in the crates? I'm sure we were told no foodstuffs! )

BM - still working on that one. Maybe I'll come up with a few once I'm there and we'll have a bloggers' vote, like Home Office Mum did with her sailing blog. I can't think of the right name just yet - it's only Brooklyn for a few weeks, then we'll be further out on Long Island (and yes, I have considered Long Island Iced Tea....). x

Iota said...

Have just been reading Mothership's blog on banking, and yes, definitely set up telephone banking on your UK accounts. And then make sure you have all the secret numbers and passwords and everything.