You'll be happy to know that I've recovered from my dairy incident, and all is back to normal.  (Well except for my left knee which I fell on after drinking too much champagne and wine the other night at a friend's house...)

And now, a few updates.

1) We've finally resolved our banking dilemmas, and have successfully opened an account.  We were originally trying to go with First Direct but they wanted so much documentation that we didn't have so we switched gears and are now proud bankers with...drum roll please....
Click for source
Kudos to Barclays for their super helpful customer service (I didn't experience it firsthand but the Canadian reported that it was excellent).  Also, thanks for making the process as painless as possible given the drama an expat generally has to endure opening an account in the UK.

2) The Canadian is coming home for a 10 day visit this week!!!!! In spite of our nightly Skyping, I'm afraid I'll barely remember what he looks like! Also, I am a little nervous that in the 8 weeks since I've seen him, I've become rather accustomed to having the bed ALL to myself.  Not sure I'm terribly excited about sharing again...we'll see :)

3) I'm back in Nola this week and I cannot even tell you how happy I am.  I was a grinning fool driving through south Louisiana today, stopping in Lafayette for some phenomenal seafood gumbo and Louisiana shrimp, dirty rice, breaded fries and corn maque choux with giant biscuits and fluffy maple butter. (And yes, it was damn good.)  I'm staying with Sonia again and we are already having the best time catching up on gossip (she totally hooked up last night!) and working on our respective presentations. (I have to give mine on the food crisis in Libya tomorrow)

4) The Canadian looked at some houses today -- most of them were *not* ok -- but he did find one that was pretty close to perfect.  The neighborhood is a bit edgier than some we've been looking at, but that actually works for me as I tend to prefer a more 'interesting' place to live.  In New Orleans, we lived in a beautiful condo building on the edge of the French Quarter....directly juxtaposed to the Saint Louis housing projects.  In Austin we built a brand new house, across the street from a crack house.  I am not lying when I say that a guy from the house offered me a free sample of crack on Christmas Day -- I can assure you I did NOT accept -- however, I did appreciate his Christmas spirit.  (We actually worked with the city to get the crack house shut down, but nonetheless, it was a part of our lives for a couple of years...)

4) And finally...I have two fabulous giveaways coming stay tuned!!!!

Love from New Orleans,
the Texan

4/19/2011 12:29:19 pm

Yay! I just LOVE positive news especially from someone so deserving!

I had a perfect house in Haringay in an imperfect location. If by "interesting" you mean council tenants who keep roosters in their backyard that wake you up at 3am and gang members who bash each other to (near) death on your doorstep, then you are going to LOVE London! Seriously, I had a blast and miss it dearly, but like you, I prefer "interesting" places to live. Besides, gang members stick to themselves and guns are illegal in the UK... even bobbies don't carry them!

One evening my friend and I were surrounded by a group of 10-year old hooligans. Seriously! Angry pre-pubescent mobs are terrifying!

That was the only time I was truly scared... serves me right for going home sober! Life is FAR less scary with a few pints! ; )

4/19/2011 12:36:21 pm

Ooh, ooh, do tell!? Where is this close to perfect house anyway?

4/19/2011 04:53:45 pm

Do you think the guy was offering the crack just because it was Xmas? Too too funny!

4/20/2011 03:57:51 am

I'm sure you can think of some advantage of bed sharing after 8 long weeks....
Barclays is the best expat choice, I think. Keep the contact info for the person who opened your accounts handy. And sign up for the International Online Banking. It will help. And welcome to the endless 'Enter the second, third, and fifth letter of your memorable word."

4/21/2011 12:19:25 am

@Alegria -- the neighborhood we're looking at is Kensal Green/Kensal rise -- not sure if the house will actually go through though since the landlord is being a bit hardnosed about the whole thing.

@SaraLouise -- I actually seriously think he was giving out free crack for Christmas, it was hilarious!

@AHLondon --- hahaha, yeah, I'm sure we can figure out something to make the bed sharing a little more palatable :)

Thanks for the banking advice, as always, very helpful!!!

4/22/2011 07:43:16 pm

For some reason your updates aren't showing up in my blogger dashboard :(
Anyways, yeah for a visit from the hubs! I bet you are excited. And nice that things are smoothly moving along :) Hope ya'll have a great weekend!

4/28/2011 12:56:16 pm

I would never have guessed Kensal Green in a million years, nor anywhere in NW London actually. I don't have anything bad to say about NW London, to the contrary, there's just not a lot to say about it at all! ; o

Happy hunting! I've no doubt you'll find your little paradise soon enough and as leases generally only run 6 months - you'll have plenty of opportunity to explore other neighbourhoods should you so desire!


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