scribbles tagged ‘repatriating’

from David to No Doubt

Monday, July 19th, 2010 | tags: , , , ,  |

The people that packed my belongings in Seattle, unpacked my belongings in Reading, had no interest in maintaining the integrity of the alphabeticalisation of my CD collection.  I cringed with the knowledge that I would not be able to find a CD in less than 27.5 sec (on average) because I would not know where it was, on which shelf….

Strangely, for nearly 2 years, there was always something better to do than spend an afternoon reinstating the alphabeticalisation of my CD collection. Until today.  Today

David Bowie sits next to David Byrne and Nirvana by No Doubt


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no data present

Saturday, March 21st, 2009 | tags: , , ,  |

This is a summary page from a UK Equifax credit report on me.    Accurate and incomplete.        

Equifax  credit assessment covers 6 years in the UK,   US excluded  .   Having been resident in the UK for just over one year    means that I don’t have a visible credit history for 6 years.  

I was unpleasantly suprised that neither my recent UK Morgage  nor credit card payment history  were evident in the report.  

 
Credit Report


2 bits of fabulous banter »

Easter cats

Sunday, March 23rd, 2008 | tags: , , , , ,  |

On the 1hr drive to Reading from the Gatwick Animal Reception Centre Matrix rode gunshot purring, chatting and rubbing the journey away. Sampo silently hid under her food dish. Within an hour of being given free reign of the Wendy House Matrix had eaten, drunk, pooped, then snooped into every cat-sized orifice she could find. Meanwhile Sampo slurped a sack of water then watched the goings-on from the safety of under the dining room table before a tip-toe exploration.

Then. They both got on with the serious matter of snore-laden snoozing in front of the fake-real fire.

Pleasing the kitties was a primary influencer when selecting a new-old Wendy house. The main bedroom, conservatory and fake-real fire are already big-hits. Phew.

Tricky-test passed.

Now champagne and kebabs… Hoorah!


4 bits of fabulous banter »

living in a stable

Saturday, March 8th, 2008 | tags: , , , ,  |

This weekend I’m moving into the new Wendy House.   A stable.   This may lead to blogging service interruption as it takes a while to get the Wendyhome up and running with unpacked furniture, services connected and hay out of the corners etc

Hopefully my passport will not get mislaid in the move,   there will be no explosions,   falls, and the neighbours will not die suddenly and suspiciously.   It’s happened before…


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where is home?

Thursday, March 6th, 2008 | tags: , , ,  |

New Zealander: are you homesick?

Wendy:   Homesick?

New Zealander: 8 years is a long time to live in the US, do you miss it?


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signature witness

Saturday, March 1st, 2008 | tags: , , , ,  |

Wendy: could you withness my signing this Mortgage information document?

Witness:   Yes,   “The Wendy House’,   where is it?

Wendy:   down by the [local landmark]

Witness:   I used to live in ‘The Wendy house’ [Describes its layout and location in a recognisable way]

Wendy:   What was living there like?

Witness:   Well,   the boiler broke so I have lots of memories of a cold dark unpleasant time,   I’m sure its not like that now.   My partner kept getting confused about the orientation of the house and would walk into the wardrobe when he meant to leave the room to go downstairs.   [mentions some house characteristics that aren’t like the Wendy House]

Wendy:   [highlights this difference and mentions the street name]

Witness: The Wendy House we lived in was on [name] street

More than one Wendy House in the district  how cosey is that!


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paypal accounts can’t relocate

Friday, February 29th, 2008 | tags: , , ,  |

Recently I tried to update the credit-card associated with my PayPal account from a US bank credit card to a UK bank credit card.   Emabarresedly,   I wrote to their help centre to ask how to do this because I wasn’t having much luck.  

customer subject:   Update my account to show I have moved from the US to the UK

Additional Information: ‘I have moved from the US to the UK, the profile information online does not enable me to enter a new Country. My US credit card information is now innaccurate – does not reflect my current address. I want to update with my new, UK credit card.

Please adjust my account to be UK based

Paypal consumer support supplied this advice

If you would like to a UK credit card and you are located there, you need to create a brand new PayPal account there in UK.


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here be dragons

Thursday, February 28th, 2008 | tags: , , , ,  |

Unsent letter to the Estate Agent,   Senior Negotiator,  responsible for selling the Wendy House I am currently  in the process of buying.

 Dear charmless, perspectiveless, stink-making, bottom-crawler,

[censored]… unnecessary phone calls    …[Censored]… calling my solicitor,  whom you recommended, pedantic for ensuring I do not take-on legal responsibility for the restrictive covenants broken by your client …[CENSORED]… zit on the bollocks of a decaying elephant corpse…[CENSORED]…

May your forever suffer from the ickiest of   itchy skin diseases and armpits smell of the purest sulpher to match the stench of the puke spewing forth from your rotten mouth,

Wendy

Call me cowardly,   or passive-aggressive,   but I no longer bother answering phone-calls from the dragon.   The dragon has taught me that answering her calls is more irritating than helpful to anyone.   The last of my twice-daily answerphone messages from said bottom-crawler involved her screaming direction for me to call her because…       …apparantly…      ….my solicitor wasn’t answering her phone calls.   I wonder why?     Ignoring her calls is contagious…

Did I call the dragon following this unprofessionally delivered  demand?     No.

If she asks nicely I might just consider calling her…     …and pigs might fly ne c’est pas?


1 wonderful musing »

duller than dust or tinned baby-food

Tuesday, February 26th, 2008 | tags: ,  |

Trying to make my Wendy House buying story interesting is impossible. Like making a conversation about some-one-elses infants’ tastes in tinned baby food interesting is impossible. Or is it?


1 wonderful musing »

juggling ferrets

Tuesday, February 5th, 2008 | tags: ,  |

coordinating a US based

  • cat foster home carer,
  • UK approved shipper
  • vetinary care and cerification

from the UK to get my kitties into the UK is like juggling ferrets,

tricky, and they have sharp teeth


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circa 1895 Wendyhouse preparation for habitation

Saturday, January 26th, 2008 | tags: , , ,  |

Initial repair and maintenance costs will  be based on a full structural survey, local and environmental searches, drainage and sewerage reports and finally builders work estimates. Builder estimates will include:

– Replace Kitchen roof: new slate, new pitch, increased overhang.
– Damp-proof-course protection: add the standard building regulation gulley around the conservatory and front of the house, add vertical damp-proof course at the each of the 3 junctions where a garden wall meets the House walls, and internal injection damp-proofing the wall between the kitchen and the hall cupboard.
– Insulation improvements: Increase insulation quilt thickness to 250mm over horizontal ceilings & use high performance insulation slabs or the loft access hatch and over sloping ceilings.
– Replace missing slates on main roof.
– Install humidity sensitive extractor fans in kitchen and bathroom.

A new Wendy House on the horizon,   with a new Kitchen roof,   it’s all very exciting…   …I’ll have a cup of tea while I re-read the survey bacause that’s my idea of fun….


1 wonderful musing »

stable horse bolt door (rearrange as required)

Tuesday, January 22nd, 2008 | tags: , , , ,  |

I’ve been 2 months back in the UK,   living, working, trying to buy a new Wendy House with a view to permanently drinking my tea and beer here.   I wrote to the US immigration lawyers explaining this and requesting they stop my greencard application.    Immigration services have decided to ignore my requests,   instead,   they have announced  that I am a permanent resident.  

The words bolt,   stable door and horse all come to mind.  


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acceptable ID

Monday, January 7th, 2008 | tags: , , , , ,  |

My out of date, useless, passport is on its way to be renewed in the UK with a covering letter and supporting documentation explaining the scatty circumstances that lead to the requirement that it be renewed in the US while I’m resident in the US and the exceptional travel circumstances that made this virtually impossible.

My ancient UK drivers licence was sent to be renewed to comply with legal requirements that it show your current address. I don’t have the new-fangled UK photo-driving licence. The DVLA didn’t renew it, rather they are holding it hostage until I’ve applied for a photo-licence. I needed proof of ID to apply for the photo-licence, original documents only. Luckily my birth certificate counts as proof of ID.   Birth certificate, driving licence and passport all in the mail at the same time.   Risky?   Asking for trouble?   I’m so  reckless,  living life on the edge.

To buy a new Wendy House I need a solicitor. During previous UK Wendy home purchases the solicitors were happy to get cash for their services. Now they need, yes, acceptable ID.   All my acceptable ID is being renewed.


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The big white house

Thursday, December 27th, 2007 | tags: , , , ,  |

In the quest for a new Wendy House of my own I have been visiting a variety of Estate agents,   one at a time.   They all ask:

What’s your current  address?

 The Wendy Pent-House

Can you see the theme in the replies?

#1 Romans Estate Agent:  the big white house?

#2 Carsons Estate Agent:   the big white house?   I just sold a flat there for 240,000, very nice.

#3: Prospect Estate Agent:   the big white house?   We have a flat for sale there by Mr.  [name], would you like to view it?

Wendy to prospect agent: [family name]?

Agent:   Yes,   he’s…

Wendy: …a professional football player,    the other people living in the building told me about him* he’s currently on loan to [football team,   not based  in Reading].

Agent:   You’ve just missed him by minutes.   He came in here,   just now,   that’s quite a coincidence…

Wendy (oozing insincerity out of every orifice and some pores too): Oh dear,   what a shame.

*an unpublishable variety of unflattering names were used by to describe the fellow and descriptions of  how he engaged with them.


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stalking kafka

Tuesday, December 18th, 2007 | tags: , , , ,  |

So, I need to complete a form to get one of those?

Where can I get the form?
Counter-signed by who?
Submitted where
Wait for a reply
Then will I have one of those?

Oh, I need equipment?
how do I know what equipment will work?
Will the reply tell me?
Do I have to get the reply from somewhere or will it come to me?
After I’ve picked up the equipment will I have one of those?

Another form, how many forms?
How will I find the forms?
I need approval?
Approval from who?
Approval given to who?
Approval before, after or on the form?
Another form?

I should just wait… …it will all happen after I’ve submitted the first form, things will just happen, I should just trust that submitting the first form will start the ball rolling and it will roll smoothly to my getting one of those…

But I can’t submit the first form until I’ve got one of those,
How do I get one of those,
So, I need to complete a form to get one of those…


1 wonderful musing »

US reactions to my departure

Thursday, December 6th, 2007 | tags: , ,  |

senior colleague:

Wendy is one of our best.    She’s the sort of girl that, when she says she’s leaving you think,   Wow that’s a great new job but boy are we f**ked

junior colleague:

blub-blub-blub,   blub-blub,   blub-blub-blub” (or noises to that effect)

someone in the corridor:

f-off back to blighty then you old trout” (no-one was plucky-enough to actually say this,   I made it up)

senior colleague

once you’ve learned how to spell,   stop wearing velvet,  and start talking properly rather than your geeky research stuff then  the world will be your oyester” (Mushroom implied,   this wasn’t Raymond)

friend

“would you like a lift to the airport?”

colleague:

“how many days vacation will you get?”

friend

“they have Anne Klien in the UK” (me – who’s Ann Klien?)

anonymous

“do they have mountains in England?”

sadly deluded commenter on theoldnewthing blog ‘shipper’

“disappointed that Raymond and Wendy didn’t end up together”

The New York Times

”       “

Disclaimers:

  • this blog is fictional.

  • any offense caused to any friend or colleague is purely intentional.

  • all spelling mistakes are deliberate.

  • I reserve the right to relocate again  if someone makes me the right offer.

  • are you still reading?  You get brownie points for perseverence, ability to scroll or possession  of a huge monitor or dense screen resolution (take your pick).

  • I like lists


3 bits of fabulous banter »

dusk

Tuesday, December 4th, 2007 | tags: , , ,  |

According to the world clock on November 9th sunset started  in  Reading UK (16.24hrs) only 16 mins before  Seattle WA  (16.40hrs).   This small difference was noticable.   Winter  feels more announced by the Reading  daylight  in the UK.    Summer days are longer too,   Hoorah!

Snow is not part of the regular winter menu in Reading.   It’s only lightly part of the Seattle diet but they do like to make a fuss about it.   I gather there was some snow recently as this photograph by Jenn suggests.

Now please excuse me while I do some laundry in an Electrolux front-loading washing machine with 700 different settings and the capacity of a large hankerchief….


2 bits of fabulous banter »

Wendy-pent-house

Monday, December 3rd, 2007 | tags: , , , ,  |

After one week in Abadair house The Wendy House is temporarily relocating to  one of the 4 top floor flats (US = apartment) in this classy  Reading townhouse.   It’s  an extremely cute  minature penthouse that has furniture to match.     The landlady reliably informs me that all walls and floors are decidedly uneven so I have to take precautions against sea-sickness.   Not to worry about the pigeons living in the wall cavity,   their coo-ing can be quite cute in the morning.   The chap who lives below is called ‘cannabis man’ so I don’t have to worry about disturbing him because he is extremely well chilled.   The people in the flat next door are called the little people,   and indeed they are,   but not pre-adolescent little.   Evidently I can see directly into the flats opposite and below,   more of that fun nightime activity in a later post…

 


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selling a garage-load

Sunday, December 2nd, 2007 | tags: , , , ,  |

A multifamily garage sale on the Wendy House street.   I sold stuff that would be unnecessary for living in a smaller UK style Wendy House.   We wisely picked a cold, rainy,  November day for the sale,  advertised on craigslist, expo live,  and with street-signs.   People arrived an hour before the start.    We  made good value sales in the first 2hrs then dropped prices radically to end with effectively shifting  quantity, nearly everything.

Several friends helped make the sale  a fun, pleasant, and effective experience  by displaying stuff attractively,   being nice to the customers and  making sure everyone had tea,  Thai hot soup, and donuts as needed.  


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BIG boo-hoo-meow-ing

Tuesday, November 20th, 2007 | tags: , , , , ,  |

 

Today I’m  catless, carless,  surrounded by dissembled furniture and half packed suitcases.  

Goodbye blubbing by me and soulful wailing  by Sampo.   Matrix looked her normal relaxed self.

Matrix and Sampo can’t join me in the UK until the last 4 months of their  PETS passport process,    6 months quarantine,  is finished.    Today they moved to their  US  foster home.  


4 bits of fabulous banter »

Mine’s a pint of Bass

Tuesday, November 20th, 2007 | tags: , , , , ,  |

My Seattle leaving do was full of a hand-picked set of local characters that  I’ve met  through blogging, tea parties, being a Lecturer in a past life, and being taken to bizarre mountain getways surrounded by gnomes and melon-eating hyennas (you had to be there).   LaCroix and I were able to indulge our predelictions for Bass ale,   while others drank iced tea,   all around it was a stonker!   One of the girls that arranged this party  had also attended my ‘leaving the UK’ party in April 2000!  

By the end of the excellent  evening everything was slightly fuzzy.    I had to hold onto the patriotic balloons in order to maintain a standard  upright position.   The infamous grin was on full display all evening.  


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freakin’ voice recognition menus

Monday, November 19th, 2007 | tags: , , , , ,  |

aaaaAAAaarrrggghhhhhhhhh

Listening to a freakin’ voice menu (FVRM)  ask me if the phone-number it has for me is correct:  Say Yes or No

Wendy:   No

FVRM: I didn’t hear you please answer yes or no

Wendy: NO

FVRM: I didn’t hear you please answer yes or no

Wendy: NO

FVRM: I didn’t hear you please answer yes or no

Wendy: NO NO NO NO NO NO

FVRM: please speak your phone number or enter it on the dialpad

I type  the number into the dialpad.   Subsequent menu options did not have dialpad alternatives.    I tried really hard to imitate the US accent of the FVRM.   Mostly failing.   Finally:

FVRM: to ensure service quality this call may be recorded.

Wendy: a-hahahahahahaHAHAHA   (falls off chair).

A conversation with customer service representative (CSR),   ends with my verifying that I understand:

 You can cancel my DSL service and only my DSL service,   not my phone service which is also supplied by your company.   You can only cancel my DSL service now,   you can’t take a date to end it on.   I can give your company an advance cancellation date for my home phone service.   I need to call another number to do this.       If I cancel my phone service my DSL will not work.  I will still be charged for it until I cancel it.  

CSR:   that’s right.   I can forward you to the number where they will be able to cancel your phone service in advance.

Wendy:   yes please.

dialtone (I am disconnected).  

When,  3 FVRM, later I found a nice lady she managed to book my home-phone service cancellation and my DSL cancellation to happen at a future date  at the same time.  

Wonderful lady


1 wonderful musing »

either dont know or 7 or 8

Sunday, November 18th, 2007 | tags: , , , ,  |

Wendy:   “is it 7 or 8pm here?”   (in the UK implied)

Lady In Pub (LIP): “that’s alright,   don’t worry,   I forget too,   it could be either”

LIP bobbed down at the knees while she said this ducking her head then throwing a swathe of thick black hair away from her face.     As if this action might clear her mind.   It was almost like a curtsey and made me feel like a princess.

Her polite engaging  way left me smiling.   I thanked her for the advice and wondered whether she meant:

– either time is ok

– she, like me,   doesn’t know which time it is

I adjusted my local-time phone settings to  7pm, hoping to spin-out the pleasant evening.


what do you think of that »

offers and counter offers

Friday, November 16th, 2007 | tags: , , , ,  |

Recently a couple looked around the Wendy House 3 times,   they bought their dad along too,   they met my neighbors and told us about their kitties.   They made an offer to buy the Wendy House.   An offer in the US is very different from an Offer in the UK,   it is not ‘subject to contract’ it is a contract.

This offer was about 30 pages,   signed per page, in a standard State format.   The buyers realtor meet with my Realtor to discuss the nuances and next steps.    This is my paraphrase of what I think happened:

Buyers realtor:   I know this offer is below market value but my buyers insisted on putting it forward

My realtor:   that’s an insult,   that could damage their relationship with my client if they seriously want to buy the Wendy House

Then,   my realtor counter-offered to them by producing a different 30 page legal document that I had to sign on every page.   The counter offer was  a little below the  asking price.   If offers are accepted there are financial consequences of backing out this constrains people making multiple simultaneous offers.   There are time-constraints on  responding to offeres.  It’s so much nicer that the UK system.   They don’t even know what  gazumping  is out here.     My counter offer was accepted and now things start rolling on a tightly controlled schedule with clear legal responsibilities at each step.


3 bits of fabulous banter »

moving continents vs bipolar disorder

Thursday, November 15th, 2007 | tags: , , ,  |

According to the helpguide’s description of bipolar disorder,   relocating from the NW US to Reading (rhymes with head-ping), UK, is like a temporary outbreak of bipolarism.

dramatic shifts in mood from the highs of mania to the lows of major depression…     …much more intense and disruptive to daily functioning… …these episodes last for days, months, or sometimes even years”

Lets examine the evidence:

5 people come to view the Wendy House in one day,   and my excitement levels and euphoria go through the roof.   No-one asks to buy any of my craiglist or Expo classified listings and I start believing that I’ll never sell any of my junk unique and intersting accessories. A fabulous cat-sanctuary offers me a deal on keeping my kitties and I’m overwhelmed with gratitude,   a UK approved shipping firm quotes me a price 8 times beyond my planned budget for handling the kitties journey and I’m sunk into despair for days as I realize I need to find more cash before I sell my home.  

I need more tea than I can possibly drink during my waking hours.


1 wonderful musing »

different in your parents’ day

Wednesday, November 14th, 2007 | tags: , , , , ,  |

Shipping (air or land) frieght to the UK requires that the owner  have a valid passport at all points when the freight will be moved.   Frieght moval times are unpredictable because of seasonal and weather variations and because frieght,   especially home-frieght,  is very low priority.   Remember by ditsy person’s annual passport?   It’s due for renewal this autumn…   …while the Wendy House is in transit….   Apart from guffaws of laughter this is what dad had to say when I asked him if I could hand-carry some stuff over to his home and leave it there ready for when I arrive,   just to be sure it would actually get there…

Mum says that will be OK…         …Passports and Passport timings are highly critical factors in travel – at least it is not as bad as in war time when you had to bring your Ration books with you if you were going out of the country – these had to be checked and if you had used next weeks rations woe betide you! That still applied the first time I came to England after the war – I nearly was not allowed to leave!

I should have guessed that it was worse during WW2.     I’m lucky that Britain and the US prefer peacekeeping to war or I’d probably have to live in a bunker at the bottom of the garden.


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strapline adjustment

Sunday, November 11th, 2007 | tags: , , ,  |

Obviously,   with the impending relocation,   The Wendy House will have to change its strapline from “English girl playing house in Seattle” to something more pertinent and descriptive of my scribblings once I’ve repatriated to Reading (rhymes with Heading).

You can expect the content to be of the same ilk.    Obviously I will instantly cease to have a cute accent  or see too many Khaki cargo pants.   Or will I?   Expect posts on the wonderful cultural practices of the locals compared and contrasted with my passing knowledge of  US folks.    

Any strapline suggestions?


2 bits of fabulous banter »

to let

Thursday, November 8th, 2007 | tags: , , , , , ,  |

 

Illustrated list of some basic steps to follow when looking for somewhere to rent in Reading

1.)   Use the internet and free classified listings to find property to let in and around Reading getting a feel for prices,   collect letting agent phone numbers,   call the offices,   talk to the agents about your needs and arrange a time to visit them.

2.) wander down to  a letting agent with an impressive, alphabetically arranged collection of family  names.   For example, “Vanderpump & Wellbelove  & Wellesley – Smith & Co (Est. 1929)“.   This is just one of the dozens of letting agents I’ve visited in Reading.

3.) watch while the pink-tied-male letting agents tap-tap-click-click on their computers,   chew their pens, adjust their hairgel  and generally bicker amongst themselves about

– what the property is called.

– how many sets of keys they have.

– how long it takes to get from one property to the next, and

–  what is the best route.

Its actually a fabulously entertaining show.   A show  well worth taking a vacation to see.   Which I did.   Hooray!

4.) go to look at property.   Ensure you have a convenient shop nearby.   My US person training together with my general level of un-adult-hood  left me giggling at the name of this corner-shop.

5.) check-out the local parking possibilities,   one-way systems,  speed bumps, then see if you can find a few nieghobrs to talk to.

6.) ensure there is an excellent pub within walking distance.   To complete this step you have to go into the pub,   order a pint,   drink the pint and interview the bar staff while observing the other clientelle.

7.) take a look at the district details on:   http://www.upmystreet.com/

Estate agent:   Are you sure you’re from the US?

Wendy:   lived there for the best part of  the last 8 years

Estate Agent: you don’t sound American

Wendy: I’m not


1 wonderful musing »

repatriating to Reading (Berkshire) UK

Wednesday, October 31st, 2007 | tags: , , , , , ,  |

Reading rhymes with

I’ll be covering the unique and much maligned experience that is ‘Reading’ in many upcoming blog posts.    A Brighton-based blog post exemplifies  common themes of passionate disappointment in Reading:

the epicentre of new Labour, corporate, consumerist blandness…     …despite its affluence and its growing population it can’t rise above the terminal blandness and ‘middle Englandness’ it seems to have always had…       …It is bored and dissatisfied young people planning their escape, it’s a football club who plays in a shed resembling an out of town B&Q and whose torrid home games with their dire atmosphere are (ahem) bound to take the Premiership by storm this season…   …Reading is a rip off, Reading is unfriendly, Reading is in a rush to purchase and then to get home.

Oh deary me!

A (fictional) letter from “chase me ladies I’m in the cavalry” to a Reading East MP (Member for Parliament) had me wetting my pants,   or is it my trousers,   I can’t be sure,   but they are definitely damp.

There is good news about Reading provided by a blog called Reading Roars.  Not  ‘Reading belches’ ,   ‘Reading  pukes’,  ‘Reading falls asleep in front of the TV’.   Wendy appetite wetting references includes a Sushi restaurant.   yes,  one!   Wireless enabled bus service called the “Thames Valley Park” (TVP)  that has been described as a  ‘farce‘.    I love a good farce.    I do like buses too.    Two goodies in one!    I can hardly wait to try blogging from a bus.   Just imagine what a vibrating bus will do to my spelling, ability to fall-over, and general happiness…    There’s a Farmers market.   I do like farmers and I might find  one or two ruddy  faced farmers there. With my UK  regional accent I might even be mistaken for a farmer,   it has happened before!

Result!          

Stay tuned to find out how my Reading investigations evolve,   or even send me tips on highlights…


5 bits of fabulous banter »