Puddle Jumping

My hop, skip and leap across the Atlantic, and all the crazy that comes with it!

Monday, March 5, 2012

*tap tap*
Well that was some writer's block!
Back soon with lots and lots to say - there's big change going on in my life, and although I nearly forgot how much I love writing, it hasn't quite escaped me.

Sunday, December 2, 2007


The shop I work at is featured on an 'about Sheffield' website, and guess who managed to get in all of the pictures?
Check it out at http://www.spinsheffield.com/tours/Starbucks_Coffee_Co_Lower_Gallery/1

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Rectum? Damn near killed 'em!

An older couple argue all of the way to my till about where my accent is from...finally, the husband just asks me outright whether I am Canadian or American, and with a smile I tell him. The wife jumps in with anecdotes of their recent trip to BC, telling me that in every coffee shop they went to, they could just order a 'regular' coffee, and everyone knew what they meant. Recognizing the standard TimHo's order, I smiled and asked if that was in Tim Horton's.
"Oh no dear', she replied, 'We didn't go to Tim Hortons. We went to Vancouver, and to Victoria..."

Monday, November 12, 2007

Had a bad day...

An open letter to the angry man who brought me to tears at work yesterday:
I understand that you were frustrated that we couldn't communicate well enough between five staff, who were making an average of six drinks a minute, serving food, cleaning up tables after people who think it's ok to let leftover ice creams just melt, and acting as mall tour guides, to make sure that your grilled sandwich was finished at exactly the same time as your drinks. I realize it must be very frustrating to yell at one of the members of staff, insult her business and management practices, and have her just walk away from you after telling you to - can you even get over the nerve?! - after her telling you to back off. Despite understanding your frustration, I really hope that you develop rickets, scabies, gonorrhea, and impotence. I also hope that someday in the near future, you have a really crap day. Maybe someone in your family will be very ill or injured. Maybe you won't have slept so well the night before. And maybe you'll be forced to politely try to suck up to some self-aggrandized asshole who is so stuck in his own box of self-absorption that he can't see that you're very busy and trying your very damn best while he yells at you and makes you feel about three inches tall. And maybe, when you're forced to walk away instead of telling him that he is a self-centered moron and that his inability to see past the end of his nose isn't doing him any favours in the humanity department, maybe you'll recognize a bit of yourself.
Of course, I'll settle for karma just making you impotent.

Friday, October 5, 2007

In which John and I discover our heritage

In the past week, John and I have eaten potatoes with five consecutive meals. We have also drunk an entire 26 (actually 700mL, because they cheat you on your liquor in this country) of whisky. Our Irish heritage is starting to show...

Sunday, September 30, 2007

In which most of Leeds sees me laughing so hard I cry

John, his mum and I are at Ikea in Leeds on Sunday afternoon. Among other things, we're trying to find a knife block that will accomodate our massive scary chef's knife. While John and I argue over whether the hole in the knife block is more thn 5cm wide, having lost the convenient paper tape measure, John's mum, a midwife, just picks up the display model, spreads her fingers, and deadpans, "No, only about four and a half."
I was a little slow on the uptake, but apparently the look on my face when I figured it out was priceless.

(She was spot-on.)

Sunday, September 16, 2007

You can drink the water, but don't order the beef

On Friday night, John and I went to a restaurant for a nice meal that we didn't cook ourselves, and which didn't come in styrofoam. John ordered pan-seared rainbow trout, and I ordered an 8oz sirloin steak. I really would've loved a t-bone, but the sale of beef on the bone is banned in the UK because of BSE (better known as Mad Cow), so sirloin was going to be the poor substitute. We waited aaaaaaaaaaages for our meals, we played with our new mobile phones, we drank our drinks, and then the food! My steak had a big piece of gristle running through it, but I was willing to overlook that and eat around it (though it did raise suspicions that maybe this wasn't the best sirloin available). It was rare, and juicy, and...fishy tasting? I ate another bite, and it definitely tasted off. I made John try it, and he agreed that it didn't taste especially beefy. So I took a deep breath and I sent it back. I have never, ever sent an entire meal back at a restaurant, except when I've been served something I didn't order. The waitress tried to tell me that they often have 'this problem' when people order their meat rare, but I wasn't buying it. The steak tasted gnarly. Ten minutes later I had a replacement, accompanied again by limp and colourless green beans and shoestring french fries, and this one didn't taste quite so funny. Was it the quality of the beef, I wondered? The last beef I had before I left Canada was a steak from an organically raised cow that my parents bought half of, so maybe I had been spoiled, but beef isn't supposed to taste fishy. We left a £1 tip (not for the food, but because the waitress was quite rude about me sending the manky steak back), and it wasn't until we were at the other end of the mall that I realized what the problem had been.
There were no grill marks on my steak.
John ordered pan-seared trout.

They fried my steak next to the fish.

I realize it's not fair to have high expectations of a country which brings us black pudding and roast pigeon, but I think it's reasonable to expect a steak to be grilled, non? I'll just order the bangers and mash next time.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Domesticity agrees with me (mostly)

Anyone who has lived with me can attest to the domestic disasters I am capable of creating. There are many good reasons why I dislike doing the cleaning after I've cooked something delicious, and the most important one is that I've probably just made an epic mess of the kitchen and surrrounding three city blocks. I also have a good hit rate with knives, nicking myself about one in a hundred strokes, which when you think about it in terms of carrot sticks - it takes about four strokes to make sticks out of a carrot - is a really high number. I'm also very clever about finding creative ways to burn myself (more on this later), slam fingers/toes/limbs in doors, and generally maim myself whilst being otherwise productive.

A brief recounting, then, of the first meal John and I cooked together at our new flat (I like to imagine this told in a David Attenborough sort of whisper):
Danielle and John are peeling vegetables for a delicious meal of roasted root vegetables with sausage, garlic and rosemary. Danielle is working on the turnips.
"Shit owowowowowowow turn the cold water on owwwwwwwwwwwwwwww"
"I don't think we have any plasters in the house."
Danielle improvises a bandage for her newly shortened fourth finger out of some bathroom tissue and duct tape.
"Wow, this looks really delicious. Are we done preparing it?"
"Oh yes, it's ready to cook, and I have already preheated the oven!"
Black, acrid smoke billows out the oven, which was not stripped of oven cleaner before the lovebirds started it*.
The smoke detector begins to beep urgently.
"Agh, turn it off, turn it off! Just rip it out of the wall, my ears, the neighbours, we haven't even met them yet and it's the night!"
The smoke detector, which was formerly wired directly into the wall, now bears several broken wires and is definitely not attached to the wall.

So that was our first foray into cooking a meal together. Today I had the apartment to myself while John was at work, so to procrastinate from the serious cleaning that needed to be done (have you ever looked closely at your carpets? Don't. Living in a place with ALL laminate flooring has just helped me realize how much shit gets ground into the average carpet every five minutes. Adding a cat who thinks litter kicking is a sport multiplies the mess by a factor of five), I decided to bake my own bread. Also, HSBC and Sbux UK payroll have the combined efficieny of a polio-stricken child with rickets on a bicycle, so finances are a little tight until John gets paid on Friday, and baking my own bread seemed like a cost-saving idea. No word yet on what the electricity to power the oven cost us. In any case, we had yeast from making our own pizza dough, we had flour, I had the required pinch of salt and a very clean counter...and behold, the bread rose! And I poked it, and it fell! Shit! And it rose AGAIN! And then I baked it, and it was stuck to the pan, so I tried to pry it up, and somehow held my knuckles against the pan long enough to sear the flesh from one of them, forming a very colourful and much-less-painful than it looks blister. I rawk at being domestic! And while the bread was rising, I did two loads of laundry (in my combined washer/dryer which I love with the tender passion of someone who knows that she is going to fall out of love when we get the first electric bill) and all of the dirty dishes from the weekend. Then, while the bread was baking, I scrubbed the bathroom (read: sprayed all surfaces with Dettol. Let soak while I watched the ending of High School Musical. Rinsed when I showered later) and mopped the floors, which was nearly as satisfying as baking my own bread, except that I didn't have to give of my flesh to get it done properly.
And the bread? Crusty and heavy, just the way I meant it, since it was to go with homemade chicken ginger soup (that's my story and I'm sticking to it).

*the lovebirds did not put the oven cleaner into the oven. They did, however, neglect to check the cleanliness of the oven before setting it 450*F.

Monday, September 10, 2007

In which we have a house, then we have no house, then we have a flat!

After passing the one-week mark in our flat without actually burning it down, killing each other, or being late for work, I think it's safe to say that we'll like it here. I wasn't kidding when I said that this is the nicest place I have ever lived - the other people in our building are comprised of 1 Alfa Romeo driver, 2 BMW drivers, 1 Mercedes-Benz driver, 2 Mini drivers, a Fiat and two Fords. Oh, and six VWs of varying models. We're definitely the poor cousins here! We've got two bedrooms as well as a combined kitchen/living room thingy which is just begging for a kitchen table right now, along with about a million other small and annoying things that you don't think about until you don't have them, like a spatula. And bedside tables (my glasses and alarm clock live on the cat carrier at night, which might explain why our cat, Poo, is never seen on my side of the bed).
The view out of the living room and kitchen windows is some commercial-industrial stuff in the middle distance, then the A630 Parkway about a kilometer away (distant swoosh), and then lots of green hills, and stars. I was satisfied once I realized that stars can be seen from our window. Also to be seen from the kitchen side is the gutting of several houses which sit on land about 2 yards lower than ours, which were flooded with contaminated water in the June floods. There's nothing like seeing a family of 4 living in a caravan on what used to be their front garden, while a mini backhoe digs out their former dining room to make you consider your circumstances very closely.
The whole moving into this place has turned out to be very lucky on a few levels - we had a place to live lined up, deposits paid, before I got here, and the woman kept delaying sending us the lettings contract. First it was in the mail tomorrow, then Tuesday, then Friday, then DEFINITELY on Monday...and when we finally got the contract, 3 days before we were due to move in, it was complete and utter bullshit. It was the type of contract housing advisors at Universities should show students and say, "Never sign something that looks like this. The landlord will spend your money on drugs, change the terms of the lease when you're not looking, and then pretend not to recognize you when the kitchen floor rots out." Which isn't exactly what happened, but close enough. So in truly litigious North American fashion, we are suing the fomer landlord-to-be for the return of the entire sum which we paid her...plus interest. It seems only fair, given that she wanted us to be content with an email address as her legal point of contact.
Enter John's coworker, whose sister had been trying to let the flat where we live now through an agency for nearly 3 months. When John first heard about it, he dismissed it out hand because the posh agency charges you £160 for the privelege of considering your application for tenancy, and he'd heard horror stories about people trying to get their deposits back. Acts of nature (terrible flooding which devastated Catcliffe, because of the proximity both to the River Rother and a major marshland, which equals very flat surrounding land) conspired to keep the apartment empty, and when he mentioned his housing woes at work the day after we got the lunatic contract...well, six hours later he'd seen the place and informed me in no uncertain terms that I'd be crazy not to love it, and I'd better love it, because the lease on the shared room where we were living expired a day before we could move in here! Our village has a pharmacy, a pub (with a second one under renovation after the floods), and a chinese takeaway, as well as a WoolWorths and a major supermarket chain. Oh, and a nature preserve a five minute walk away. And a bus to each of our workplaces every half hour. For those of you at home in the colonies who might be worried that I've changed a lot since moving here...some things are always the same. I still ride the short bus.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

It's aliiiiiiiive (or why I hate being disconnected from the internet)

John and I have moved from a neighbourhood that was pretty much in downtown Sheff to a wee village sort of halfway between Sheffield and Rotherham (other city, smaller than Sheffield) called Catcliffe. Ancestral home of coal miners and glass workers, Catcliffe is sleepy and recovering from being flooded out during the June flooding. Don't worry, John checked the flood maps before we signed the lease!
Unfortunately, it takes ages to get a phone line/internet/connection to the real world set up, so we've been offline for what feels like ages (and is really more like 6 days). I am getting a mobile phone on Friday, when I get my first paycheque (it will take an entire other post to explain why one should not pay HSBC for the 'service' of their 'instant and easy to use' Passport bank account, and also why Sbux payroll can suck my cat's anus), and we should have internet at home on a regular basis by then. For now, I am stealing someone's wireless signal and cherishing every moment of Facebook time that I get. Especially since we are still sharing a computer.
Work is great (busy), the flat is beautiful (nicest place I have ever lived), I am thinking of taking horse riding lessons (if I can track the trail of horse poo on our lane to the source), and a king sized bed has made life so very, very much better.
More updates soon, but now I have pizzas to make, ale to drink, and BBC to watch.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

John is disorganised.

7:45am. I don't have to be up til 9ish. John is rummaging through our room in semi-darkness.
"Mmmffphwhat are you looking for? An umbrella?"
"No, I want a jumper"
"Hanging up." I roll over and back into the far side of semi consciousness.
John keeps rummaging.
"Dani...Dani! I can't find it! Where did you say you hung up my jumper?"
"In the wardrobe. Where we put clothes. It's on a hanger."
John leaves me in peace.

Monday, August 27, 2007

A few observations

1. When I am very, very tired and having difficulty understanding someone's accent, I tune them out so that it all sounds like Charlie Brown's teacher. "Den I was loike, sumfing wah wah waaaaah wah wah wah...."
2. I live in lilliput. I know i've been over this, but damn, it still shocks me!
3. Even if you are very, very, very careful to look in what you think is every potential direction before crossing a road, you'll probably miss a hazard. I have, for the record, been honked at by several (as in I stopped counting) cars, one tram, and two busses. Not bad for two and a half weeks.
4. Brits are all alcoholics. Binge drinking aside, when I pass a drink off at the 'bux, 90% of people pick it up, bob their heads, and say 'Cheers'. Then I noticed bus passengers doing it too...and at the supermarket (what I was missing?!), and on the street when I gave way to an old lady with a walker. Wtf?! Cheers is used interchangably with 'Thanks' here, but never in sarcasm and only when there has been a service of some kind rendered. I think.
5. The legend about Europeans being apologetic if they accuse you of being American and you are, in fact, Canadian? Totally, embarassingly, true. I'm working at the espresso bar, chatting and calling drinks, and I hear a mother and teenage daughter arrive at the register. "I TOLD you it was an American accent!" (other barista) "Oh, actually, she's from Canada." (woman now shouting across half the store) "I'm so SORRY dear, I guess it's just loud and difficult to hear properly, and I am VERY SORRY" (me, being uncomfortable) "Oh, it's ok, I can't tell as Welsh accent from an Irish one, so how can I expect you to tell mine from an American accent, eh?" (woman smirks).
6. Brits are adult enough to decide when and where to cross the road. Jaywalking doesn't exist here, because it is legal to cross the road at pretty much any time. However, pedestrians don't automatically have right-of-way. See #3.
7. There are more things that I want to put up here, but i can't remember them at the moment. Some day, some day.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

The Hometown Goodbyes, Part Deux

What better way to remember all of my nearest and dearest than a slightly awkward party involving family, friends from waaaay back, friends from Uni, and everyone's significant others? The party was (in my humble opinion, and I was after the guest of honour, so that's the ONLY opinion!) a success. Beer and cocktails and pop were drank, the barbecue got a workout and a half, people brought delicious foodstuffs (including tomatoes form Josh's garden - holy wow they were good), the silly present-stealing game was played, we beat the crap out of each other with foam pirate swords, and I got my ass kicked at bocce by my 85 year old grandmother. Who is blind in one eye.

The party continued after the grownups and youngun's left and it was only the twenty-somethings, and for a better description of that, you need to see the Peach, for a hilarious and only slightly embellished version. That part of the night looked something like this:

Monday, August 13, 2007

The hometown goodbyes part I

Goodbye to the home stomping grounds started with a fantastic (sweaty) night in TO marked by excellent food (sushi and sashimi and tiny individual cakes oh my!) and a power outage which made Brie's fabulous (third floor) digs seem like a turkish bath. It's a good thing red wine is meant to be served unrefrigerated! The night looked like this:

(faces smeared to protect dignity)

On the Friday of the long weekend, my dad and I celebrated the third long weekend of the summer by digging out my massive pile of crap and donating an entire carload to Goodwill, pitching three bags, and storing the rest in the attic. That sure was a lovely way to spend another 'heat wave' day, but at least I got my things stored and out of my parents' way.

And England so far...

I find myself walking around Sheffield feeling like I've landed in Lilliput. Nothing here comes in extra large anything - cars that would be considered mid-sized sedans in Canada are gas hogging monsters, while SUVs are regularly graffitied (and their owners made broke by the cost of fuel!). Streets are narrower, packaging is smaller (imagine having to look really, really hard to find a 500mL bottle of shampoo...that's considered an 'extra value' size instead of the standard!), housing and storage are smaller...even the refrigerators are smaller. Like, seriously way smaller. Like, we go to the grocery store every two to three days because right now we share a fridge with four other people and we only have that much space because two of them seem to eat only take-away and canned things. I'm starting to find some attitudes shifting already - like, it's nice not to be stuck with shitty shampoo for an entire half liter, and tiny economical cars mean that it's going to be much more feasible for us to drive one eventually. But I will certainly miss being able to buy 48 rolls of toilet paper in one package at the supermarket. There's nothing like having enough ass-wipe in stock to build a dam, or t-p an entire street at once.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Bon VoyBirthday!

Bon VoyBirthday
...was a smashing success. Everyone that Shavaun and I hoped for showed up (plus some!), wine and beer and tequila (and pomegranate liqueur) flowed, two delicious cakes were eaten (Lemon sponge with lemon glaze, and Dark Chocolate Black Forest Gateau), Shavaun didn't make it out the bar (something about her legs not cooperating with her brain?), and I went into the kitchen the next morning to find muddyPublish Post footprints all over the linoleum (water fight), an empty tequila bottle, and a large knife sticking straight out of the one piece of cake that was left.

I met with up friends from undergrad (oh how nice it is to think about undergrad in the past tense!) the next day, and we got tipsy on the most delicious cider before 5 pm, then went to a Tattoo at Fort Henry, then went to the Grizzly Grill for some overpriced drinks and dancing. To finish the weekend off right, I worked for 9hrs on Sunday. That wasn't the most fun thing I have ever done, but it was nothing compared to the anticlimactic week of packing and trying to tie up loose ends that I had after that. Moving out of my sublet was surprisingly easy, all things considered - probably because I've been so successful at parting with a lot of my junk. It was the parting with friends that sucked the big one.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Homeless no more!

Going away parties were terrific, leaving Kingston sucked, home has been stressful, my job transfer is still up in the air (but progressing, finally!), but John just found us a place to live (only drawbacks: white carpet and 'no' pets), and now I can finally be excited and stop wanting to throw up. England isn't going to know what hit it!

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

On things I will not miss about Kingston

I am now in self-defensive denial mode about moving, and I think that a nice bulleted list of reasons why I will NOT be sad to see Kingston recede like so much hair on a grad student will help me feel better right now.
  1. There are two hospitals in the downtown core. I live across from a fire station at the moment. It is impossible to get far enough from the hospitals/fire station to be out of audio range without being in range of catcalls from the crack addicts, so I've always lived practically on an ambulance route. Clearly, living FAR away from hospitals AND crack addicts is the way to go.
  2. I also live across from an elementary school at the moment (if this weren't student ghetto central, it'd probably be a great family neighbourhood). In the school year, buses idle under my window from 8am - 8:45am, then again from 2 - 2:45pm. In the summer, a karate class uses the gym. They scream. A lot. It is very discordant. It hurts my well-trained ears.
  3. I live less than a block from the most expensive convenience store on the planet, aka A&P (or the Anus and Phallus, for what it does to my food budget). They are open 24 hours a day, which means that I can often be found drunkenly wandering the aisles and comparison shopping meat sticks on a Friday night. I like to think that there will only be clean, high quality grocery stores with sensible opening hours in my neighbourhood in Sheffield.
  4. I also presently live at a corner with stoplights at it. Why are the only people with their car windows open and the music cranked playing such awful shit? Clearly, it will rain so much in England that my windows will be shut most of the time, and I won't have to hear people's lousy music. Furthermore, roundabouts are much more common than stoplights, which means cars will pass by very quickly.
  5. With any luck, American tourists will not expect me to take their cash at some ridiculous exchange rate in the UK, they'll have exchanged their damn money. The number of people who come to Kingston without any Canadian funds is astonishing -you'd think that US dollars were the standing currency everywhere in North America from the way I've been treated at the counter at work.
  6. In the UK, I will be an exotic 'foreigner' with an accent, not one of those - the elite immigrant class in Kingston, the Queen's Student, who will piss on your lawn, set fire to your car, and then leave your city without creating a ripple in the economy! (I think town-gown relations at this school are a joke.)
  7. Speaking of pissing on the lawn, it is my fond wish to live in a neighbourhood that is far enough from the local nightclub to avoid that problem. With any luck, the only people pissing on the lawn will be the seven or eight cats I intend to adopt. Of course, this might put a damper on parties like we hosted here Friday night...more about that another time, when I'm not hating on the human race.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Boxes are eating my feet!

So I like to think that if I really 'put my mind to it' I could pack myself for any sort of move in under 48 hours. Also, I believe that I if I think happy enough thoughts, I will be able to fly and leap tall buildings in a single bound. But I have actually started the final packing process now. As much stuff as I got rid of when moving out of my old place into this sublet (300lbs at the waste transfer station, 6 bags of clothing and linens to a church...), I still have a lot of stuff left...and now is the final winnowing through. I'm having a 'garage' sale on Friday, before (during...people are weak when they're drinking!) the Bon VoyBirthday Party which Shavaun and I are jointly hosting, so I've been separating into 'sell' and 'keep' bins...and packing a third bin as I come across things which I can definitely pack with confidence. The only things actually in the 'definitely can be shipped on the boat and don't need to come with me immediately' bin (in an orderly fashion) at the moment, though, are about 80 of my books...I feel like I still need to do more 'sorting'! Total volume of 'keep' has already decreased by about 25%, which will be great for my shipping bill!
Other than the battle of the stuff (please, please don't tell me to just buy new things there...I've heard that advice enough times to frustrate even the most patient of people! Not only is everything except liquor and milk heinously expensive in the UK - not my mention my loss on the dollar for the first few weeks, til I'm earning in £ - I've never been a minimalist, and I don't especially feel like attempting a total shift in attitude while also shifting geography and culture! This move is permanent, as in I will be there for at least 5-7 years if all goes well, and it's my dam money that I'm spending on shipping!). Well...that sort of slipped out. I've been irked by well-intentioned advice since day one of this move, and it continues to bother me a lot. The best advice I've heard so far? "Don't get joint credit cards. Trust me." That, friends, is what I call sound advice. Packing your life into boxes is a very, very personal event, and requires something different from every person who attempts it. I have met people who can put everything they need and want into a 90 liter backpack and happily traipse the world, and other people who are much more like myself, and people in between, who are content to have a dozen boxes to call their own. The process of going through everything that I own and shedding a lot of junk has been freeing, and really is helping me realize what possessions are most important to me, but I never expected it to turn me into a perfectly zen minimalist with only a journal and a water bottle to keep me company. I know that psychologists have a great time dissecting people's attitudes toward "Stuff", and I am certain that an expert could have a field day with my covetousness, my desire to collect 'things' (especially writing things...oh how I love stationary and writing utensils!). I am getting to a point, now, in the battle of the 'stuff' where it no longer rules me, and I am content with the material possessions in my life. I'm sure, though, that I'll always have magpie-like tendencies, (and I kind of like it that way).
Ok, I am all done with being defensive. Be patient with me (and don't offer any 'zen' advice, for the love of all that is holy!), I'm sure I'll stop being so sensitive once John and I have settled into a home of our own (oh, didn't I mention that? still no flat or terrace or cardboard box to call our own! John has appointments all this week(end) and next, so please send some good vibes our way...we've had some great-looking places snatched out from under our noses, and we could really use a bit of good housing karma so that my flight won't have to be postponed!)

Monday, July 23, 2007

In which my little brother is not quite so little any more

Should I have stopped calling my younger brothers "little" when they could pick me up, when I had to start craning my neck to make eye contact, or can I still get away with "I'm your older sister, so obviously I know better!"? This post is to wish my 'little' bro Conrad a very happy 21st Birthday! He's had some big decisions going on in his life lately, and now what with being legal everywhere on the continent, I think he's going to be a busy, busy man in the coming year.

(sorry ladies...he is very, very taken, and I happen to like Sarah quite a lot)

Saturday, July 14, 2007

The times, they are a changin'...

Changing faster than I can keep up right now, and I'm the one instigating most of the changes! I am not moving out of my sublet (the monetary gain is not greater than potential emotional loss - packing myself up three times in as many weeks is stressing me out far more than a couple hundred dollars at this point), and, uh...actually, that's the only thing that's changed since yesterday.
John purchased my plane ticket today, so happy 25th birthday to him! I suppose he does get as much out of it as I do :D
I've been struggling with conflicting attitudes about this move - I alternate between being overjoyed that I am taking steps to do something major and life-changing (goodness knows it's been a while since I really shook things up), and wanting to throw up. Mostly I get overwhelmed at the thought of packing up my possessions, like, what if I give away this set of books and then decide in six months that I really wanted those trade paperbacks that I bought second-hand and read once? And this paper, it's so cool, I don't want to leave that behind! And this chili-pepper tin that I keep my pens in, I've had that since high school! I am shamelessly attached to my 'stuff', and that is what has been creating a lot of emotional turmoil for me thus far. I'm also very attached to my family and the group of friends I've made at Queen's, but thus far I am in denial about being several time zones away from them. At this point, I'm more concerned about whether I should take my watercolour pencils with me, or sell them ;)

Friday, July 13, 2007

27 days and counting

Testing...testing...is this thing on?
Welcome to my first post on what will hopefully turn into a chronicle of my experiences as I pack up my life in Kingston and head for the green hills of Sheffield, England. I've got a current passport, my travel visa, a plane ticket (as of tomorrow), waaaaaay too much stuff, no place to live once I get there, and negative money, but I'm going!
At the moment I'm trying to save some money by moving out of my summer sublet and onto someone's couch for the next two weeks, to be followed by living in a tent at my parents' house for a week, and then hopefully arriving to a home of some sort in Sheffield. The housing market there seems to have dried up (that's because terrible other people have taken all of the good places to live out from under John's nose!), so John is doing his best to find us a home.
Ahhhh, John. If you're catching up with my life via this blog, here's the short story (the long one to be posted in the future, maybe?). We've known each other online since late 2000; we met in person for the first time in Feb 2006, and started 'dating' then. Now that I'm finally finished my B.Mus at Queen's (though there is something to be said for taking the 'scenic route' through undergrad), I am going to move to the UK and work while John goes back to school, first to upgrade his A-levels, then to Uni for engineering of some sort in 2008. I'm going on a UK Ancestry visa (my Nanny is from N.Ireland) so I'll have unrestricted entry/exit (can we say, Europe is just a long swim away?), unrestricted work, access to health care, and voting rights. No, I won't be living in London, not even close in fact. Sheffield is great though, and I've really enjoyed my visits, so hopefully it's as nice to live in as John makes out!