crystal's capers

one girl's international adventures

Friday, November 30, 2007

The Move

I'm procrastinating cleaning the oven. It needs to be done. I know this. I don't want to have to do it tomorrow - during my weekend of well deserved relaxation. I'd rather update my blog.

So, we're all moved in. There were a few dramas, as you facebookers know, but we've got it mostly figured. The move took us 3 whole days, as we did basically the whole thing ourselves. Riccardo's friend from work, Andrew, did help for a couple hours on Sunday... but mostly if was me and Riki hauling everything in-and-out, up-and-down. Not fun. By Saturday afternoon my arms were shot. I actually pulled a muscle in my right arm lifting our enormous old-style TV, and was done for the rest of the day. Thankfully this all happened directly before our hot water kicked the bucket, and I was able to soak the muscle strain away.

Yes, so Saturday became more disasterous when our boiler blew out. It's approximately 0943517 years old, and we think it was the week being off that did it. Basically this meant no heat or hot water until Thursday night. Whoa, do I have a lot of laundry to catch-up on. Thankfully we have an archiac fireplace in the living room, and a comfy sofabed, so we camped out; and our shower is electric, so we could still bathe ourselves. Not so bad really, once you dig out the old kettle to boil up water for dishes and such. The £370 bill wasn't so pleasant though.

Most of our boxes are unpacked, and all the furniture has been rebuilt. Our rooms look a little lonely now though, because the furniture that was squished into the old place is floating around here. Plus, I am reluctant to hang pictures or put out decorations, since the current colour schemes clash so well with our stuff. Every time I take a second to glance at the wallpaper I want to sneak over and start peeling strips off so that we can't avoid beginnig the renovations. Hideous.

In other news, I've decided to keep my job. For now. I was seriously considering leaving for a while (like since Day 1), but now I feel like I'm starting to belong. I've befriended some great girls there, who all live in our former town, Leamington Spa, and it makes work-life much more pleasurable. Despite that the kids are still shitheads 85% of the time, I have swayed myself into staying if for only the fact that I need all the holidays for the wedding.

I bet no one is as excited as I am that Christmas break is in just three short weeks! I soooo need a break - and so does Riccardo. We are looking forward to our little European roadtrip; we'll drive to his parents' for Christmas (from the 23rd until the 29th). I'm happy to add Belgium and the Netherlands to my countries-I've-visited list, and to spend more than the previous 2 hours in France. We have decided that the finances do not allow us to overnight in Paris, but we may do some sightseeing in Brussels, since it's directly en route.

Guess that's all the news from these parts. Hope all is well there! Happy Christmas everyone!

(Pictures of the house will follow sometime soon - stay tuned!)


    • At 12:02 AM, Anonymous Riki said…

      You should have mentioned in your blog that when you had your "muscle strain" you left me out in the cold with a display unit to carry into the house. Not so much fun either...


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Sunday, November 18, 2007

Stuck for Ideas?

We have posted our Amazon Wedding Registry (for gift ideas) on our Wedding Blog (see link). This can be used for Christmas and birthday gift ideas as well.



Thursday, November 15, 2007


Riccardo and I had an interesting, though not quite politically correct, conversation about terrorism here in the UK the other day. We were commenting how strange it was that terrorists attacked places like the London Underground when there are such worthy targets as BT going unscathed. We agreed that this was because they wanted to bomb something that was functioning.

We are both at the point where we are **sarcastically** exploring such outlets for our annoyance with this, our landline/broadband provider, because of certain recent events. We have come to understand that accomplishing almost anything with almost any type of business in the UK is next to impossible. Allow me to give a few examples:

(1) Looking to transfer our landline/broadband account to our new house, we learn that the former owners have not used BT as a service provider, and as such, we must pay £125 ($250+) to have the line connected. Not only this, but when we investigate dropping the devil: BT, we learn that not only is our Internet contract not transferable to any other provider, but we are in a contract for our landline as well, and in order to get out we would have to pay all charges until the contract expiry date. Though this would be approximately £450 ($1000) I actually considered it. Why? Because I'm furious with waiting in a queue for at least 40 minutes every time I call BT Customer Service only to talk to some ignorant shit. Damn assholes.

(2) I called our car insurance provider and learned that because we are moving to an area of higher crime, our car insurance will cost us a total of £750 ($1500) more. Payable immediately or our insurance becomes invalid. This, of course, is in addition to the £1100 ($2200) we've already paid, and is only to clear the next 7 months. OMG!

(3) I've had my mobile phone for just over two months now, which apparently isn't long enough to tell my provider that I'm moving. Though Orange is already holding £150 ($300) as a deposit because I didn't have a UK credit history when I signed up (they'll trust me with a mortgage, but not a mobile phone), they seem to think I'm up to some sort of fraud when I do them the favour of updating my new address. After giving me a particularly accusatory speech including how I have to fax in proof of the address change (because I care if their bill goes to the wrong address), they proceeded to block calls and texts to and from my phone until said proof is received. What part of WE ARE IN THE MIDDLE OF A MOVE don't you understand? As if I have time to go someplace to get a printout of my new address, find a copyshop and fax them a damn whatever-the-f***!!! All this for two-for-one movies on Wednesdays and a cute pink phone? I don't think so. I recommend voda.

So anyway, the official move is next Friday, as we are having new carpet installed this coming week (YAY for mortgage cashbacks!) and have I even started packing? Still no. What with the 8 hours spent trying, unsuccessfully, to change our address and transfer our utilities (a feat only half done even now), our superfun weekend o' dinner parties with NEW friends, and my crazy parent-teacher interviews at work, I feel a bit zombieish as is. Ah, I'll get to it.



Saturday, November 10, 2007

Like a Grown Up

Riccardo and I are a bit overwhelmed at all our grown-up moves lately. Besides all this wedding business, which is becoming quite an ordeal, we are officially HOMEOWNERS!!! We went to our lawyer on Thursday and signed off on the last of the paperwork. These things happen quickly here in the UK: by next Friday we will have taken possession of our new place. The following week we're having new carpet installed, and in less than two weeks we will conduct the big MOVE.

Not AGAIN!!!


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