Saturday, 26 March 2011

Staying on....


So The Doctor returned from London recently with some slightly unexpected, although not completely unanticipated, news: work-wise, it makes sense for him to stay out in the US another year.

This means that instead of heading back to England in just over a year's time, we'll be here for another two years. We'll be rejoining the London masses (if all goes to plan) with an eight and a six year old, not the seven and five year old I'd imagined. (Littleboy 1 doesn't know this yet; I'd better explain it soon, because he's always telling people he's going back to London when he's seven.....).

So how do I feel about this? Mainly, good. We like living on Long Island, and time seems to be passing so quickly at the moment that the idea of having to organise a family move again in a year's time is faintly terrifying. The boys are at good schools, I've finally found some decent writing work, we've made friends and everything's pretty stable at the moment, so why rush back and start all over again?

There are, of course, downsides. It means continuing to let our London house (oh joy - we are about to get a new, third set of tenants); I am very conscious of the danger of losing touch with friends and family; and of course, moving back will probably be that much harder because the longer we stay, the more boys (and I) will have forged stronger friendships and local ties.

In the short term, though, it has galvanised my husband into action on one front. All the (mainly electrical) things we held off buying because "we're only going to be here three years" are now mysteriously appearing in our household, the idea of putting up with life without them finally having become too much. In the past month we've gained a new TV, plus an 'Apple TV' device that allows us to watch British shows; a new clock radio; another electric toothbrush (we don't have to take turns now - laughable, isn't it?); and we've just ordered a new desk for The Doctor (no more fighting over desk-space!).

I think I'm going to have to keep an eye on him. If he goes and buys the Dyson, and that coffee maker he's been muttering about since we got here, I think I might have to start worrying we'll never go back......

20 comments:

Tanya (Bump2Basics) said...

Wow, exciting news. I know how you feel though about staying on. Although it is still in our plan to return to the US at some point, the longer I am in England the harder it will be for me to go.

And new tenants? Good luck. I hope this lot leaving didn't steal anything this time?!

Iota said...

"unexpected, though not completely unanticipated" - that really got me thinking! Still not sure I've worked it out.

It's a big country - I'm sure there's still plenty for you to discover! And another couple of expat blogger meet-ups, at the very least.

Kate said...

I identified with this post so much -- been there, done that, bought the t-shirt, got the green card. You're teetering at the top of a steep, slippery slope...

Potty Mummy said...

Aha! Thought so. We're trying to decide if we leave on schedule or stay another year at the moment, too...

Nota Bene said...

Very good to hear all this...

Paradise Lost In Translation said...

Well it's gd you know, so you can settle in but yes the longer u stay the harder it is. We've been away nearly 6 yrs now & I must say I am v excited about going back home now, partic for friends & family & cos our son has got into a wonderful school.
Oh & don't worry abt the coffee maker & Dyson, they'll probably have broken by the time you leave anyway. Built in obsolesence & all that!

PantsWithNames said...

Stay another year! Just make sure you find a piece of kit that you can get for you to counter all the electrical gizmos that will now appear...

geekymummy said...

Hmm. I came to San Francisco for 2 years. In 1996!
Though I'm sure you will end up going back, it is funny how plans can change. Hope this means that the doctors research is going well. And enjoy an extra year. It sounds just lovely out there.

NFAH said...

Having just gone through another round of buying new UK appliances, I totally sympathise with this. Surely we in the expat community should get ourselves sufficiently organized to trade things back to each other when/if we return to our home countries?

Fourdownmumtogo said...

Shame you aren't coming home, but it will give us another year to hopefully come and visit. You never know....Glad to hear about the writing work.

Calif Lorna said...

From a completely selfish point of view, I'm very happy! I don't want you to go. We maybe on opposite coasts but it's so nice to read a blog that I can totally relate to. But I will follow you back to London!

You'll be going back in a couple of years disappointed that Valentine's Day isn't a big deal in school and wondering why Halloween is so quiet.

nappy valley girl said...

Tanya - re the tenants, hopefully not. But you never actually know what damage they've wreaked until they move out....

Iota - definitely. I'm looking forward to the next one already.

Kate - yes, I know. But I can't see us staying forever, for all sorts of reasons (says she, famous last words).

PM - in a way, the moving back is such a huge thing that I'm quite happy to put it off...

NB - what, you're happy that I'm out of the country ;-)?

PLIT - yes, we're gradually realising that. We're already on our second crap vacuum cleaner - should've just bought the Dyson to start with....

Pants- yes, but what? Any ideas gratefully received....

Geeky - yes, it does mean his work is going well, so that's the important thing. As for staying, well he'd either have to give up clinical work, or go back to being a junior doc and retrain so it's not that realistic...still, we never know.

NFAH - Yes. I do intend to have a huge yard sale when we leave...there are always foreigners moving in here, one of the advantages of being close to New York.

Fourdown - thanks, and yes you should come. Re the work - yes, finally I received a proper pay cheque last week! Hurrah.

Lorna - I know. I think the boys may have to go into therapy over Halloween, although I hear it's quite big in West London now due to all the Americans....

christopher said...

Hello - saw you are staying in U.S a bit longer, congrats! We haven't got apple tv, but signed up with a virtual IP address, which gets you access to all the "on demand" players from UK tv channels (BBC, ITV and channel 4). Been fantastically comforting to me if I'm feeling at all homesick! Here are some details if you are interested:
http://www.vpnaccounts.com/watch-bbc-iplayer.html
Good luck and let's hope it warms up soon, huh? I do miss English springtime, when it's still threatening to snow here!

Home Office Mum said...

How exciting. I wonder if after another two years whether you will want to come home....

Metropolitan Mum said...

This sounds too familiar. I have moved from Germany to Switzerland to the UK, than back to Switzerland and then finally back to the UK. Every time I had to cut off plugs and replace them. It's tiring.

When I moved back to the UK I couldn't see myself staying for good. But now, with little L growing bigger and the three of us making friendships, the thought I am more and more warming to the idea. I actually don't want to leave anymore. I'd be curious to see how you feel about your move in two years, and if there will be a move in the end. Or not. Good luck!!

About Last Weekend said...

Hi there, thanks for stopping over. We rented in London then bought - and rented here in Oakland then bought and remodelled so I know how freeing the renting is, but more settling to know you're going to be there longer. Arriving in Oakland from London it took at least two years to really find people we gelled with and know best drycleaner and hairdresser (bizarely its the small things...)Though just staying a wee while allows you to kind of stay teenagers. We didn't even have that much furniture for the first year, kind of fun.

Mwa said...

Big decision! I'm sure you're happy to at least get your telly back.

Anonymous said...

Wait!! Can you really get British tv in the US through Apple tv???!!! If this is true, it will change my life!
-American reader of your blog who has just returned to the US after 5 years in the UK and is utterly culture shocked by US tv and missing Outnumbered, Mock the Week, University Challenge, Masterchef, HIGNFY, Question Time and so much more.

nappy valley girl said...

Christopher - thanks, and we're checking it out.

HOM - I think it will be hard, but we will probably have to....

Met Mum - it's such a pain, not only are the plugs different but the voltage too, so you can't even adapt the devices you already own.

About last weekend - renting is OK here, but I don't enjoy letting our London house. (I'd rather sell up, but we're too worried about leaving the London property market).

Mwa - well, not quite, but it does make a bit of a difference.

Anon - no, you can't watch everything on it (although see Christopher's comment above about a way to do that via a UK IP address). But with Apple TV you can at least download podcasts, shows from iTunes etc which we haven't been able to do before.

diney said...

speaking as one who has never lived anywhere but the north east of England (even doing both degrees at Uni here!) I kind of envy those of you who experience lives as expats, although I guess many must also envy my strong family roots and old friend networks etc. It sounds very exciting to me to stay over in the US while your children are young as you will have made loads of friends through them and will have plenty of welcoming guys to stay with when you return in years to come as a visitor from home in the good old UK ! Enjoy the experience and the making of memories for you allto treasure in the future.