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Archive for August, 2008

Internet problems again.

Our internet connection is unreliable and although I would very much like to be emailing you and calling you, I can’t.  I’m really frustrated and miss you.  Hope this goes through.

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My mom recently sent me this e-card, which is the best e-card of all time, and you should check out the preview.

To enjoy it fully, start with the bee (controlled by your mouse) in one of the upper corners.  Then move it a little closer.  Then a little closer.  Cloooooooser.

Many of you know how much I love bees, and will understand why this made me laugh to tears.

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We’re having some problems connecting and maintaining the connection here at Francis’ parents’, so if you haven’t heard from me via email or Skype, that’s why.  Gotta go, so I can make sure this posts before the connection craps out again.

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Serpula lacrymans.

Yesterday Francis and I temporarily moved out of the flat.  We thought we’d need to be out after the weekend and so would have ample time to pack and fuss with things, but we were mistaken.  (Communication from the management company has been sparse and murky at best.)  The last three days have been a bit frantic.

The reason we needed to vacate is because of that glorious fungus Serpula lacrymans, also known as dry rot.  I’m sure that God in his infinite wisdom created dry rot for a sublime reason, but I’ll be boogied if I’ll rejoice in its existence.  Take a look at the pictures of the kitchen in the previous post, and say good bye to that entire wall of tile and cabinetry and countertops.  And the kitchen floor and floor joists.  They’re all being torn out and replaced.

We’ve known for months that this would need to happen, but I’m afraid that hasn’t helped with our stress levels about the whole thing.  I have a hell of a headache.  Either that or someone has driven an ice pick through my right eye.  Relocating is hard.  And it’s nobody’s fault… but frankly, I am resentful that I have to be uprooted again.  I want my sheets and my pillows and my Portland hardwood floors.  I want to go out for a beer or three with my friends.  I want to see my auntie and my dad and Dill and Scout.

But.  It’s all relative.  At least I haven’t started working yet.  The bills are piling up, but I think I would have a meltdown if I had to move to another living space while working and commuting eleven hours a day.

Poor Francis had to get up at five this morning to take care of some urgent things at work.  It’s almost three now, and I hope he’s on his way home…

So where’s home?  Francis’ parents’ lovely house, here in Tunbridge Wells!  God bless them for having the kindness to take us in!  I honestly don’t know what we’d do without them.  Jo made me a cup of tea this morning, fed me lunch, and showed me how to use the washing machine.  Bliss.  We’ve taken over the third floor: we have a large bedroom with a king-sized bed, and a spacious, sky-lighted bathroom all to ourselves.  (I told Jo today that I thought I’d be happy living in that bathroom.)  Plus a study, should we decide we need more space.  It’s a lovely house; I’ll ask Chris and Jo if they would mind if I posted a few pictures here.

We’ll be here for four to six weeks, if the contractors stay on schedule.  Tomorrow Chris and Jo are off to Australia for two weeks (wow!), so at least they won’t have us underfoot for the whole time.  And we’ve got plenty to do in the interim: Francis is still working on his university course, and I’ve got endless bits and pieces of things to take care of, not to mention finding a job.

For now, though, aspirin.

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The flat.

The flat is small: about 335 square feet. (For those of you who remember my Madison Street apartment, that was about 500 sq. ft.) The flat has very high ceilings, three metres, which saves it from feeling hovel-like. The flat is no longer a bachelor pad, only because Francis has allowed me to turn it all upside down! Thanks, love!

Sorry the drawing is so grid-y.

1) Entrance. It is also our closet. Francis helped me put up two rods for hanging up clothes; before that, he kept things on the floor. He still mourns the loss of his floordrobe, poor boy. There are some shelves for shoes and numerous hooks for jackets and shopping bags and umbrellas.

2) Gliders. The cute and smelly girls.

3) My dresser, an antique burled walnut piece generously lent to us by Francis’ parents. (See pics below.)

4) TV

5) Biiiig kitchen countertop. Here is where the bread crock and fruit bowl live. Lotsa cabinets underneath, and overhead (where the dotted lines are). Small fridge and freezer both under the counter as well.

6) Sink and, next to it and under the counter, the washing machine.

7) Clothes drying rack. It rains too much to put hang the clothes outside regularly. It’s right underneath the window, which is open most of the time (although when I first moved in it was shut all the time but I crave fresh air), so stuff usually gets dry in a day or so. I’ll admit I miss my tumble dryer.

8) Big-ass couch. It’s even bigger than I’ve drawn it (I was measuring in a hurry).  It’s really too big for the flat, but we can both lie down on it at the same time and snuggle, which is good. (If that clearance between the couch arm and the countertop looks a little tight, it is.  Twelve inches.  But there’s nowhere else to put the couch.)

9) Big-ass coffee table with drawers in the ends.

10) Nice CD shelves from ceiling to floor.

11) Desk with computer.

12) Francis’ dresser. (Used to have papers and various bits of electronic things in it. Now, clothes.)

13) Side table with lots of books on it.

14) Small multi-drawered dresser. Full of papers and variousl bits of electronic things I haven’t got around to sifting through yet.

15) Bed. Used to be an ancient futon about four inches thick, now is a lovely memory foam dealie. The boy treats me right, I tell yuh.

16) Tiny shower. Currently shared with a spider.

17) Tiny sink, and (overhead) new bathroom cabinet.

18) Door to unuseable staircase. On the landing we are currently storing boxes of CDs and DVDs and books we plan to sell.

Kitchen viewed from end of couch:

Kitchen viewed from glider cage.  Nice big window!

Living room viewed from in front of the kitchen window:

Living room viewed from by the stove:

Bedroom and bath viewed from living room door:

Kitchen window box:

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Piddinghoe
Bona Foody (grocery)
Lovely Jubbly (grocery?)
Ye Olde Whyte Lyon (pub, of course)
Old Uckfield Cheesemonger
Little Horsted Roundabout
Baldocks of Bracknell
Pratt’s Bottom
Ditchling Rice

And all the cottages have names of their own:
Tudor Cottage
Little Croft
Hillside
High Trees

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