Really I feel like we’ve been here a month already! Where do I begin? Well as as the song goes…let’s start at the very beginning…of the journey.
As our final days in Atlanta drew to a close, we had a yard sale and gave everything away that we didn’t sell. It’s ridiculous what you can collect over 18 years…and of course nothing electrical could come with us, it’s just not worth all the adaptors! We also finalized the sale of the house which was ridiculously stressful. In the US the buyer pays for a full inspection, and can negotiate fixes etc. even the most irrelevant things like ensuring the sprinklers ‘work properly’. Well that’s all open to interpretation of course, so we had lots language to edit in our contract. Yup pretty stressful! The good news on the house is it all closed last week, so we are now ready to begin our search for our new home, with intensity, here in Leeds.
The flight itself was easy – we were even upgraded! Thanks to my husband’s meticulous planning the dogs were boarded and collected as planned, and we jumped in a rental car to Leeds! It was pretty weird to say the least, driving across the M62 to a city we’d never lived in before! Our rental house is fine. Small, but big enough for temporary accommodation, and best of all just moments away from Roundhay Park, allowing us regular runs and walks around the lake.
Hugh has already started school – in fact he started 3 days after we arrived! It’s a lovely small local school which he adores, especially as he can walk himself to and from school, thus gaining the independence we had promised him. Poor Poppy has had to do tests for streaming, as we didn’t have SAT scores for her. She starts on Wednesday this week and has already taught herself to tie her tie with YouTube videos. She’s made friends there too – a lovely Australian girl showed her around, so it’s great that they can both be the ‘foreigners’ together! Most importantly for Poppy she has a cheer team. She’s tried out for the various levels and made her presence known.
I’ve not stopped eating since we arrived and joked the other evening that I felt a little bit ‘This Country’ in my sweats, eating fish and chips watching the World Cup. Kerry would be proud.
As we’re settling in I’ll be posting more regularly again. For now thanks for tuning in. We love our new life so far, and are happy to report no regrets.
I cannot believe we are here – June 4th, meaning a week today we will be flying to our new home in Leeds. I’m tired – emotionally and physically. Not surprisingly I’m not sleeping well. We’re all happy and excited but every day there is a milestone. Last week we had the inspection for our house sale here, yesterday we had our yard sale, today the appraisal, tomorrow there are other things we need to check off the list. It’s kind of eerie – I’m sitting in an almost empty house – with just mattresses for us to sleep on this week. It’s like being a student again but with more stress!
My Mum and Dad are kindly heading to Leeds tomorrow to receive our IKEA delivery for our rental, and let the cable guy in so we’re ready for the World Cup! I’m so thankful to have people there who can help while we manage the loose ends on this side of the Atlantic.
The dogs’ crates for flying have arrived, though that process is still incredibly stressful as we have to make sure paperwork is in order so that they are accepted as freight on Monday, and then allowed through customs on arrival in Manchester on Tuesday. Our dogs are both 60-80lbs, so the crates are enormous and that means we need to rent a truck from Manchester to Leeds that will hold the 4 of us and luggage, plus the dogs in their crates! The logistics are crazy!
The good news is we may have school places for the children. Leeds has an over subscription problem right now – too many children for too few places. In order to secure places for Poppy and Hugh we might have to send them to school for the rest of the UK school year, which they aren’t going to be happy about as their school year here ended last week! I’m not going to win any Mum of the Year awards for that am I – especially as I told them they will have a lovely long summer? On the positive side it means they can acclimatize quickly and meet new friends before the UK summer holidays start. I’ve got a hard sell on my hands.
So as I say I’m tired, and it’s not surprising, but at least last week we got to have a lovely last hurrah in NYC with my Father in Law and Brother in Law’s family. It was wonderful to see them over here, and great for Poppy and Hugh to hang out with their cousins. It was reassuring how well they all got on as I hope we’ll be seeing a lot more of them over the summer down in London!