Thursday, October 28, 2010

A month ago today...

…Todd and I arrived in Durham. In 300 words orless this is what we have been doing since that day (in some sort of sequential order):

Sleeping on a futon mattress at dog high level, two trips to Ikea driving on the left side of the road, one midnight run to Tesco, assembly of bought Ikea items (including bed frame and mattress), visiting a local farm with friends (new and old), trying to open a bank account, dinner at the Parker‘s, new flashy mobile phones with internet capability, hovering lawn mower arrives from eBay, Todd begins his classes, Kelly brakes hovering lawn mower by using on our foot high grass, exploring the walking paths behind our house with Maggie and Belle, tour of Durham Cathedral, Sunday night potlucks with American post-grad students and their families, awesome PetPlus Vaccum arrives from Ebay, replacement lawn mower bought and pushed down the footpath (sidewalk) for a mile home, kitchen chairs arrive from eBay (our first chairs), church hopping for four weeks, Kelly has the stomach bug and watches the first two seasons of Friends, successfully open a bank account, Todd has a kidney stone attack and Kelly and Todd spend all day in the A & E (ER), washing machine arrives (hurray! 3 weeks of clothes are ready to be cleaned!), Todd visits local pubs with fellow theology students, Kelly and Todd brake the washing machine by not taking out the shipping bolts, tour of Durham Castle, new washing machine arrives tomorrow!

I'll post more on the fun things we've been up to later, but for now that's a quick breakdown of our last month.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Our House - Part One

These are pictures of our house.

The front:

The back yard (aka garden):

Saturday, October 9, 2010

We made it!


    We arrived on Sept 28 with our two labs- Maggie and Belle. The flight was seven hours of which Todd and I slept a combined three. When we arrived at the Manchester airport we were informed that the Pets on Jets area was two miles away from the airport. You’d think that restricting you to fly into either London or Manchester that they would have a way for you to actually get to your pet once you arrive- but no, they don’t! So we loaded all of our belongings onto one piled-high trolley and I sat and waited at the train station (luckily attached to the airport) while Todd took a taxi to and from the Pet collection area. The dogs were happy to see us and didn‘t seem to have minded the journey. A friend met us at the train station and helped us transport our bags and pups from Manchester to Durham where another friend was waiting to help us make the transition to our home.
    We rented a medium sized van (a bit larger than a minivan) to be able to transport a bed, couch, etc. for the first few days. Our friends informed us that driving would be a stressful task and they were certainly correct! It was strange to sit in what I know as the driver’s side and continue to remind Todd “LEFT LANE!”. There are very few red lights here and mostly roundabouts, which work well if everybody does what they are supposed to- yield to your right. After the third day, Todd was really getting the hang of it and we were beginning to understand our way around.


Our back yard has a stone patio that is about 10 x 15 ft. and a yard (garden) that is about a 20 x 40 ft. You would guess that the dogs love it, but every time I put them outside they do their business and just sit at the door waiting to be with us again. Unfortunately, our grass is about a foot high and I’m waiting on the lawn mower that I ordered from eBay to tame it.
Each of our rooms are a decent size- comparable to our house in Ambridge, PA. We have three bedrooms upstairs. The smallest room holds the dog crates and our wardrobe (they don’t have closets here), the second room will be our guest room and my sewing room and the third is our bedroom.

    We were forewarned that it rained a lot here. Our first week it rained everyday except for one. Todd and I confessed that we had not been mentally prepared for this much rain, but were informed that our first week of weather was a bit unusual. The second week brought nice weather with passing rain showers on only a few days. The weather seems to change very quickly here. It is not uncommon for it to be sunny half of the day and cloudy with a passing rain shower or two the other half of the day. We were told never to cancel our outings due to rain since then we’d never be able to go anywhere!
    We weren’t really sure what our house would be like. We had seen pictures and we had dimensions, but it wasn’t until we walked in that we were pleasantly surprised by what we had rented. We are 30 minute walk to the school and a 15 minute walk to the houses where our friends live.