It’s only Thursday, but this week turns out to be way too exciting. I guess starting on a great note on Sunday (see Brighton) gave the week a push of sorts… Ok, ok, in England the week starts on Monday, but you know what I mean…
First of all, the New Jersey house that we came to love and enjoy is under contract. Over the last couple of months, we stated repeatedly that we’d keep it if unable to sell for a good price, yet we could not resist jumping at the very first offer (which wasn’t really good). What can I say. Sure money in the bank versus abstract more money (if the market ever rebounds) but with continuous mortgage, taxes and utilities expenses in the meantime. Sure money wins. It’s like a stop order to protect at least some profits…
Anyway, the buyers want to close on November 30th, which I very much welcome. The sooner the better. What I am much less fond of is stupid conditions put in the contract.
Well, ok, we pretty much did the same thing when we bought the house. We wanted the previous owners to take their fridge, washer and dryer with them, so we could buy ourselves brand new ones. Our buyers want the same arrangement. Who knows, they may not want a non-kosher refrigerator, or something. But while we demanded this of people whom we did not care about at all, our buyers’ demands are of people whom we care about very much. Us. That makes a world of difference!
They also do not want our great – albeit, rusted – swing set. And not only do we have to take it out, we also need to fill the holes with topsoil. The nerve!
We figured it was not worth to stress out over such things, and agreed to do all of the above. It’s kind of easy for us to do – a few thousand miles away, and all… So we asked my mom and a couple of dearest friends to stress over this stuff on our behalf. While we did spend some time on the phone, coordinating, it was them who got a contractor to take out the stuff that our buyers do not want and organized a charity to come pick up some old furniture. A couple of things will be removed over the weekend, and then the house will be truly empty.
Guys, we are really in your debt for helping us! We love you!
Mom!! Of course, we love you! You are the greatest!
While our old house was losing its last accessories, our temporary abode in London acquired considerably more than it could handle. Yes, our sea shipment has been delivered to us yesterday. A big truck squeezed itself into our driveway, and several nice blokes spent the entire day unloading packages (we had 218 items) and assembling furniture.
Wow, have we misjudged what this English house can take! We threw away quite a lot of stuff when packing up, we left behind living room and bedroom furniture, and still this house is overflowing with our personal effects. Fine, we knew that closet space was at a premium, and we are buying additional wardrobes imminently. We sort of gathered well in advance that kitchen cabinets were fewer in size and number, so we put away the tableware that belongs to the owners. Still, there are unopened boxes everywhere, and whatever is opened remains in boxes. The garage will soon resemble the container in which those same boxes crossed the ocean…
In any case, kids are happy to see their stuff, I am happy to sit behind my desk as I type this (even though the desk does not really fit in the bedroom that we selected for “the home office”, and sits somewhat askew with a big gap between it and the wall behind), and Natasha is happy that she figured out how to organize the kitchen. (Mind you, some of the tableware and glassware now officially resides in the laundry room, which is a bit ironic, given that in many an English home, the washer and dryer actually reside in the kitchen).
We are contractually prohibited from putting additional nails into the walls here, so dozens of decorations, pictures and posters that we brought with us may not see the light of day for the time being. Although I am seriously considering ignoring that interdict. In any case, some of the decorations simply have no adequate place in this house.
The famous Bibliotheque sign, nonetheless, is up where it belongs. The place is officially open for business!
By the way, we also cannot use scotch tape to put up posters. Becky, of course, could not care less for any rule that silly! She’s got posters on her ceiling, not just the walls…
In the meantime, we finally have made a decision on Becky’s school. It will be Blackheath High, the best independent school in the area. It’s the all-girls school that I mentioned in the past. Natasha visited the school today for the first time and was duly impressed. This school definitely seems to be well-run and to have strong academics as well as a variety of extra-curricular opportunities. We were not even closely as impressed with the other schools that we had visited. Becky will start there on Monday. Tomorrow is the shopping day – she cannot show up in school without the uniform.
We also finally got the satellite TV installed. Something like 300 channels, of which full dozen is the likes of Disney Channel and Nickelodeon, which made kids very happy. Tons of sports channels – soccer and rugby dominate, but even NFL is broadcast. Several dozen movie channels, and unlike with my old HBO/Encore package on Cablevision, we found a decent movie to watch within a second. Of American networks, I found only ABC, but all major US shows appear on various channels, and the likes of CNN, FoxNews, CNBC, as well as FX and MTV have their own versions here.
This is the first time that I also have a DVR, and pausing live TV is a big hit with my family. The functionality is a bit dull, but maybe I need to get the hang of it first.
I have about 60 various channels that broadcast in Hindi, Punjabi, Arabic, etc. Alas, not one Russian…