- We've found a house and are in the middle of dealing with signing a contract. It is WAY more complicated to rent a house in the UK than the US. I've rented houses within an hour or two in the States back before we bought one -- this has taken almost two weeks now and we're going on our third week. To be fair, some of that has been exacerbated by time differences with the Canadian's company back in the U.S. and the letting agents over here, but still, it's a lot of back and forth negotiation on all of our parts and nothing is straightforward.
- The new house, at least as much as we've seen it (which was for 30 minutes 2 weeks ago), is a definite improvement on this one -- and, the unfortunate part is, we're paying for that too. London is unbelievably expensive and getting more-so by the minute. Apparently since I moved here 15 months ago rental prices have increased by 8%. Painful. Nevertheless, I'm pretty happy with it and I'm only a mile walk from Hampstead Heath, my favorite favorite place in London. In fact, the Canadian, the Rotten One and I went for a long stroll in the Heath this weekend and explored a part we hadn't seen before. I was definitely blissing out. Below is a photo I snapped of the leaves turning...
- I've started training again for a 5K race. This serves two purposes: once, to keep me in shape and two, to help get me outside, get vitamin D and combat depression which it turns out, I'm VERY prone to here. Last fall it wasn't so bad but this spring (when it rained almost every day for four months), I was kind of in bad shape.
- The Canadian is also running, but he's kind of a running bad-ass (unlike me...). He's been running a LOT and just completed his second half marathon in 1:41...wearing lederhosen. Why? (you might ask) Well, he lost a bet.
You see, he had signed up for a charity spot in the Royal Parks Half Marathon -- the way it works is, if you don't get a regular spot, various charities allow you to run on their behalf (each charity is allocated a certain number of spots by the race organizers) but you have to raise money for the charity, which also means if you don't raise you're on the hook for it. So, a couple of weeks ago we were with a group of friends at Oktoberfest -- the Canadian drank 5 litres of Beer and bet all of our friends if they would all donate and he could reach his goal, he would run the race in lederhosen. And he did. AND he set a personal record, beating his old time by 5 minutes. How's that for some bad assery!
- In 2 weeks the Canadian and I will head down to the south of France where we'll meet up with Sara and Gregory and the Canadian will run another half marathon between Marseille and Cassis. Totally looking forward to seeing my sister from another mister, my favorite French-dude G, and watching the Canadian run a race while Sara and I sip champagne on the French coast.
- I've had a bit of nostalgia for Texas the past few days -- missing my friends and my family. Living abroad has kind of underscored a bit of the craziness of my people, and I see how we must seem to the rest of the world (especially when I see the news...), but I still love it and I miss the wide open spaces and friendly waves and laughter -- I really really miss hearing laughter. I only hear that here when the sun shines and people are in the park. I think the world would be a much better place if we were all trying to laugh a lot more...just sayin'.
- What I don't miss is the election nonsense. I love that I don't have to see campaign posters in yards, absurd bumper stickers, watch political ads...None of it!! I might have to move to London during the autumn every four years if only to escape the American political BS. I cannot stand it.
That's most of the recent news around these parts...I'm thinking I'll do a post on my new 'hood vs my old 'hood once we get our papers signed...