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I have been a bad blogger, I know, but rest assured it is because either:
A) I have been finishing up my last semester of coursework (and that means I'm a paper-writing kamikaze)
B) I have been dealing with figuring out dramatic details about getting the Rotten One shipped over
C) I have been juggling movers schedules, getting my house in the hands of a rental agent, and figuring out what to do about all of that (change house insurance, install locks and peepholes etc.)
D) Trying to visit my friends before I go
E) Drinking too much (see D...)
F) Losing my mind (see previous post)
G) All of the above  <--------- THIS IS THE CORRECT ANSWER

Just in case there was any confusion, the answer is G...

So a few quick updates:
1) We have a house.  That was it's own special drama.  The Canadian found it. We liked it.  We tried to negotiate some of the terms.  The Foxton's agent said the owner had found someone else who was willing to take the house (without negotiating) at full terms. We lost the house.  The Foxton's agent called 3 weeks later saying the couple who wanted it had a miscarriage* so the lease fell through and did we still want it.  Yes, we did.  So we began the negotiating again.  We signed the lease.  The Canadian picked up the keys on Friday and moved in on Saturday.  We currently have rental furniture until ours arrives, but, the good news is, we are not homeless.  (The Canadian has photos of the house but he is currently at the Maple Leaf pub in London watching a hockey game (as Canadians often do) and can't get them to me, so that will have to be another post.)

The house is in the Kensal Rise/Kensal Green 'hood (NW6/NW10) -- known for its antique stores and gastropubs. Here's a small piece in the New York Times about it. I've heard there are lots of mid-30s hipsters who live there. Also, I learned it has a lot of Portuguese/Brazilian stores and markets so naturally I bought a Brazilian cookbook and I will be learning a new cuisine with the availability of Portuguese ingredients.

It's 5 minutes from two different tube stops and an overground station, and extremely close to London's best indie film cinema - I'm super excited about that part!

2) Moving the Rotten One over has turned into such a drama. The vet's office in New Orleans sent us the Rotten's One's paperwork several weeks ago (at least, that is what we were told).  Well it never arrived -- ostensibly lost in the mail.  So, after waiting a week, we called them back and they sent us copies.  I went to the USDA office here in Austin to get the paperwork certified by the USDA (one of her many requirements) -- well, they can't take copies -- they need an original signature.  Awesome.  So, I'm waiting on that, oh, and I need it by Tuesday in order to fly her over the following Monday (uhhh...it's Sunday, FYI)

On the other side of the coin, I call the vet's office here in Austin to get her certificate saying she is 'fit to fly' -- basically the certificate (Aphis 7001) that any dog who is going in cargo has to have.  This is for the airlines and has nothing to do with London or the DEFRA scheme.  I would need it if I were flying her to Houston or Cleveland or wherever, domestically or internationally. Also, supposedly, every vet's office in the U.S. has this form and it's not a big deal, done all the time.  Well my vet's office had no idea what I was talking about. They wanted all of the DEFRA information.  They were more and more confused when I told them this had nothing to do with London, that this was ONLY for the airlines, that it had nothing to do with importing a dog into the UK.  They were so confused they had trouble actually making me an appointment.  I finally just told them to make me a 'check-up' appointment and I'd speak to the veterinarian directly. (I know you're feeling the same confidence in my vet's staff as I am, but to explain, my vet joined a new practice and this is the staff of that practice.  Thus far I'm unimpressed, as you can imagine.)

So, that's all been a real pleasure to navigate.  Meanwhile, when I tell the Rotten One she's going to London she looks at me like "What's a London?". 

3) I have already started having requests for visits, and I mean, not just the casual "Yeah, we should come see you", but friends are forwarding me possible itineraries.  The good thing is, the house is a 3/2.5 so we will definitely have room.  And I'm excited so many people are wanting to come visit -- makes me feel like I won't be so removed from everything else going on.

4) If you're a fellow expat blogger and you haven't heard from me in awhile, see Answer G above...

*This is so disturbing.  First of all, I think it was highly inappropriate for the Foxton's agent to tell potential renters that a former potential renter had a miscarriage.  I am certain that the woman to whom this happened would absolutely not want her medical history shared with others. When we shared this with some friends, they indicated that it was entirely possible the Foxton's agent was fabricating this information, and if that's the case, why on earth would he make up such a creepy excuse?  Tell a better lie.  In either scenario, I was really unimpressed with the way that information was handled.
5/23/2011 12:32:20 am

Re: #3 that is actually one of my favorite parts about living abroad. Friend visits are loads of fun. And clever you on the cookbooks. Work with what you've got.

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Alegria
5/23/2011 03:53:24 am

Re: * Oh dear... I think you are going to struggle with customer service (or lack thereof) more generally in London. And to think, I was about to tell you how Foxton's is one of the "more reputable" agents.

Just remember, what doesn't kill us makes us stronger!!

Sending lots of good vibes yours and the Rotten One's way!

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Ok, I now have a throbbing headache reading all that about the paperwork needed for The Rotten One's travel. What a pain in the backside! I wish you well with all of that.

On the other hand, congrats on securing home you're happy with! Thats one of the hardest parts about moving to London. Clever Canadian.

Dont worry about the blog. It'll be here. :)

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5/24/2011 02:04:19 pm

Oh I feel you! For me it was the constant going out to say goodbye to people that sucked out all my time and energy. I said goodbye to a lot of people more than once.
Hang in there... you're almost there! xo

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