Sunday, May 22, 2011

...and I Feel Fine

So, Saturday was supposed to be Judgement Day, or so I heard.  I hadn't heard much about it here in the UK, but it sounded like there was a lot of buzz about it back in the US.  Well, here it seemed like any other day.  The weather was lovely, but nothing out of the ordinary happened.  Ho hum.

But first, let's backtrack a little.  Friday I spent the morning working on my CV, which I emailed to Cathy, my workshop instructor, for feedback.  Meanwhile, Josh got confirmation that he needed to be in Washington, DC on June 2 for a meeting with the State Department.  Since May 30 is a bank holiday here, we figured we could fly out for the whole week without Josh having to take much time off work.  So, part of the afternoon was devoted to coordinating travel plans with his assistant.  When Josh travels for work, they generally put him in first class or business class (for overnight flights) on Virgin Atlantic, but there was no way I could afford to pay for a last-minute transatlantic first-class ticket (over $3,000!), and there were no upgrade seats available.  So I bought myself an economy ticket, and told Josh's assistant to let him decide whether he wanted to stay in first class or sit with me in economy.  I guess he figured he'd be guilted into switching seats with me anyway, so he opted to fly economy so we could suffer together.  I love Virgin Atlantic, but the 3 times I've flown with them have been on BAE's dime, so I've been extremely spoiled traveling in first and business class.  It's going to be tough to downgrade to economy class after that, but I'm willing to endure 7 hours in steerage each way to spend a week back in DC.  I'm looking forward to it!  (We'll be there May 28-June 6)

After I took care of my travel plans, I finished updating my CV with Cathy's suggested modifications and then emailed it off to at contact at a local content creation company that a friend put me in touch with.  I would eventually like to have some sort of gainful employment, but with all the visitors we are expecting and all the traveling we plan to do, I'm not sure a full-time job would work so well, so for now I'm setting my sights on freelance work.

Saturday morning we had waffles for breakfast!  It was the first time in about 2 months.  Waffle irons aren't as popular here, so they're harder to find, but we picked one up last weekend as Josh has been going through serious waffle withdrawal.  Then we set off in search of furniture.  We decided to start at the furniture warehouse we had visited on Sunday, as they said they tend to receive new merchandise during the week.  On the way, we walked past this car dealership:
Wimbledon Cars
We'd noticed it the previous weekend, and it inspired Josh to do some research.  These cars are called Figaros.  Despite their retro appearance, they were made by Nissan in the early 90's and only sold in Japan, but developed a cult following in the UK.  While we still haven't decided if we are going to invest in a car here, I think this may have drawn Josh's attention away from the ubiquitous Mini.

There is a Homebase store right next to the furniture warehouse, so we stopped in there briefly to check it out.  It's like Home Depot, but about 75% of their merchandise seemed to be garden-related.  Not sure if that's a seasonal thing or if Brits are more into gardening than home renovation projects.  We discovered they had some reasonably-priced dining sets on sale, so we made a mental note to take another look if we didn't find anything elsewhere.

After doing two complete circuits of the furniture warehouse, we decided we didn't want to spend £500 on a scratched or dented dining set that we'd only be using for 3 years, but we did find a coffee table that we thought would work.  It's actually a small TV stand, but the room is too small to accommodate a full-size coffee table, and I wanted something with shelves/drawers for storage.  It has a panel on the back with a hole for power cables, but it's extremely unlikely anyone would position themselves in the room where they could see it from that angle.  We also found a small bedside table for one of our guest rooms, which would otherwise only have a twin bed in it.  We were able to arrange delivery for later that afternoon, so we hoofed it back down the Wandle trail to another furniture store (across from Abbey Mills), stopping at a pub for a late lunch along the way.

We didn't see any dining tables we liked at the other store, but we did order a divan bed base with drawers for our bedroom, so we can move our guest bed back into the guest room.  It should be delivered right after we get back from DC -- just in time for a visit from Josh's brother and niece.  Then we had to hurry home so we'd be back in time for our furniture delivery.  The coffee table fits pretty well in the space, and since we still don't have a dining table, will come in handy at mealtimes.
Living room with new coffee table, sofa, and TV.
The coffee table has a few small dents and scratches, but it's solid wood and has a sort of rustic look to it anyway.  The only problem is that the screws were missing for the drawer hardware.  We walked down to the local hardware store to get some, but they didn't have any the correct size and advised us to try Homebase.  D'oh!

Then we went to the O2 store to try and switch my cell phone over using Josh's NatWest account, since I had not had any luck getting my Citibank account to work with them.  Unfortunately, we realized that Josh did not have his account information with him, and the bank was already closed for the day.  Foiled again!!!  We really need credit cards!  When we got home, I tried to fill out an online application for a Virgin Atlantic miles card, but it required our last 3 years of residential history, and the form wouldn't allow for non-UK addresses.  <SIGH>  I hope I can get Josh to call them sometime soon and apply over the phone.  I don't think I'd have much luck since I'm currently unemployed and have no credit history in the UK.

Well, at least we bought a coffee table.  And the world didn't come to an end.  So, overall, not such a bad day.

1 comment:

  1. Definitely not a bad day! And the world didn't come to an end here either. Which is very good because I would be really disappointed if I didn't get the chance to see you when you come to visit!!


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