Saturday, 24 April 2010

You're kidding right?

There's about to be a historic election in Britain, thousands of people are still stranded and trying to get home thanks to last week's ashcolypse and yet this is what the Daily Mail has as its front page story:

With everything else in the world the Daily Mail has decided that wheelie bins are the enemy of everyday families. Not financial ruin due to unethical business practices of certain lending and investing institutions, but wheelie bins. God forbid you have to put yourself out by separating your rubbish and then put the bins in front of your house one day a week! Surely this is an infringement on our civil liberties!!!

This is an ongoing assault that the Mail has launched against a necessary recycling scheme. As usual instead of reporting real news that is going on in the world, the Daily Mail is furthering their right-wing political agenda. Fortunately for the Mail a majority of their readers are simple minded consumers who believe whatever crap the Mail tells them is important or true. Unfortunately for the rest of us there are far too many readers who take the Daily Mail seriously.

Okay rant over. Back to packing up my flat.

Thursday, 22 April 2010

When it rains it pours...or is that leaks?

I'm home! I was one of the first people to get home thanks to the fact that my flight to the UK was one of the first ones to be cancelled. My route home, however, had me on three different flights, took me through Montreal and was 22 hours from door-to-door. I wasn't able to sleep on the flight or at any other time on my journey no matter how hard I tried. But, it was a darn good thing I got home when I did.

When I walked into the living room, I was greeted by a horrifying sight. At some point in my extended absence the upstairs flat had begun to leak water into my flat through the ceiling and had soaked the chair and rug underneath it. Fortunately, all my electronics are situated on the other side of the room.

This must have occurred in the last few days. Kate, my downstairs neighbour, had popped in on Monday or Tuesday to water my plants and hadn't noticed anything. The soaked chair and rug were pretty damn obvious! My friend, Mark, owns the flat upstairs and lets it out. However, he's currently on holiday with his family in Thailand. Fortunately, one of the tenants who lives in the flat upstairs was home so we ran some tests and discovered the leak was coming from the shower.

So, I sent Mark some emails and called my landlords. Then Mark called back and my landlords came over. We determined that it was only the shower that was causing my living room waterfall. After a bunch of back and forth communication between my landlord, Mark's tenant and Mark in Thailand, it was decided that Mark's tenants are going to take baths as that is not causing the leak for a week until Mark gets back and can fix the problem. He's pretty sure he knows what pipe it is and is quite the DIY aficionado.

And that was my morning. I had planned to take a quick nap but that obviously didn't happen. In addition to all this, I also managed to make some phone calls and was able to push my move date back by a week before collapsing in a heap.

Thus concludes my homecoming-and now I'm going to take a long hot bath.

Friday, 16 April 2010

That Ol' Mice and Men Saying

Careful what you wish for...

I've had a most beautiful time here in the US. My grandmother turned 90 and we had a week of celebrations. My uncle and aunt and brother came to Asheville where my parents and grandmother live. We ate and drank, did some sight seeing, visited and ate and drank some more. We probably ate and drank too much to be fair. My clothes certainly don't seem to fit the same way that they did when I arrived. To top it all off the weather was brilliant- 75F (24C) for the better part of the week more or less. Life was good and I dreaded what I was to return to in London-hurried packing up of my flat and a strenuous work week on top of that. I wished wished wished that I could stay a little longer...oops.

Thank you, Eyjafjallajokull. Now I'm here not for one day longer, not two, not three-nope. SIX! I'm here for six days longer. This means that I won't be able to pack up my flat to move by the following Saturday. Plus, during a very important part of being ready for my school's accreditation, I'm here. I'm helpless and there's not a whole lot I can do about it.

So for the next week I will be trying to rearrange and arrange things in the UK so that my students will have lesson plans, my department will have an organised curriculum with all of our ducks in a row for accreditation and my flat will be packed to move next weekend. The way I had it planned it was all going to go smoothly, now I'm not so sure.

Tomorrow, however, I will wake up, go for a walk with my mother and then bask in the 80F (27C) temperatures- that is after I make a few more phone calls to rearrange and arrange details.

I'm now dreading returning to London even more than I was originally. But, it will all get done...somehow.

You gotta admit it's ironic that I'm stuck in Asheville due to an ash cloud.

Wednesday, 7 April 2010

Ch ch ch ch CHANGES!! (To be sung to the song of the same title by Mr Bowie)

Holy moly!

I'm moving. Actually leaving my lovely flat where I have been for 6 whole years and headed to the East End. I've been wanting to do this for years and now it's done and accomplished! After a journey of looking at houses and then deciding I should live on my own, we got the house we wanted. It also happened to be the very first one we saw. Whoop! I'll be an EastEnder in 3 weeks. Oh and ironically, the house my friend, Carolina, and I are moving to is right by a pub called The Queen Victoria. Look out Mitchells, you'll have a new punter in me.

In addition, the other night I made one of the best (but most difficult) decisions I've ever made. It started off in a rather stupid manner on my part. I picked a fight with a friend which was unjustified. He definitely did not deserve my tipsy tirade. However, it led to a conversation about why we were still friends after five years of rather complicated and sometimes dysfunctional relations. He said, "No idea, habit I guess." And that's when I knew it was finally time to call it all a day.

This isn't the first time I've tried to sever ties with him, but this time I went on to burn bridges so there would be no turning back for me. Address book->DELETE, MSN->DELETE, YAHOO Messenger->DELETE, Facebook->DELETE, LastFM->DELETE, Twitter->Stop Following, MySpace->DELETE and then I realised that I was linked up on here to both a blog where he posted a piece I'd written and a podcast I did with him. I have now unlinked those from my blog despite the fact it is my work and I should proudly show it off. Oh well. Finally, I put the nail in the coffin by posting about all this. He strongly disagrees about blogging for emotional purposes and we've had a long discussion about that in the past. If he reads this, which he may or may not do, I have no doubt that any temptation he might have had to contact me will be completely quashed.

I hold no ill will against this person. I care for him deeply and sincerely wish him well. It's just better for both of us if we're not in each other's lives any more.

Endings bring new beginnings. I'm moving to a new place. I'm meeting new people and I'm clearing out the old to make room for all this to happen.