Life update

Sep. 8th, 2014 01:35 pm
liv: A woman with a long plait drinks a cup of tea (teapot)
[personal profile] liv
We've been more or less occupied with househunting, both emotionally and practically, for most of 2014. It suddenly all ramped up mid-August and we ended up exchanging contracts at almost no notice and then completing 27th. We weren't able to arrange the move quite so precipitously, so [personal profile] jack has carried on living in his rented flat for a couple of weeks, with moving day scheduled for Wednesday.

It perhaps wasn't entirely sensible to go away in the middle of all this, but the whole summer has been taken up with not being able to book a proper holiday because we thought we might be in the middle of moving. We decided to do something low-key and easy to organize at the last minute, namely visiting the area where [personal profile] jack grew up.

So we spent the weekend at a really cute B&B, Chirkenhill Farm in the Malvern area, the kind of place where it really feels like you're a paying guest in someone's home rather than a customer of a business. And we hiked up Worcestershire Beacon from Malvern Link to the summit, with [personal profile] jack's mum. It was about the most perfect walk imaginable, sunny enough to appreciate the views across several counties and cool enough for all the walking to be pleasant. And it feels so good to be fit enough to be able to just steadily march up a steep hill. We had lunch in the completely adorable St Ann's Well café, and headed in to Great Malvern itself to admire the town. The priory church is just amazing, because somehow it happened that Henry VIII sold it back to the parishioners instead of smashing it, so it has actual pre-Reformation decorations such as you so rarely see in England.

Then we moved into Worcester town itself for a few weekdays of city break, and seeing the streets where [personal profile] jack grew up, the schools he went to, some of the shops and pubs he used to frequent. We had another decent walk, this time along the river to an extraordinary pub called the Camp, and a bunch of meals out, with the stand-out being extremely good veggie Mexican food at Chesters, and lots of sitting in nice pubs drinking with [personal profile] jack's parents. I was particularly taken with the Dragon, which is a totally unpretentious pub with the kind of selection of beers I'm used to seeing only in hipstery places. I feel extremely lucky to get on so well with my parents-in-law, and I wish we'd sooner got round to spending time just hanging out together. [personal profile] jack's dad taught me to play crib, which I'm rather taken with and would love to play more, it's sort of like poker but seems to me more tactical. Also visited the cathedral and a little local museum, but it was much more about places with personal significance to [personal profile] jack than tourism. We also found the most amazing charity shop, a large, airy, well-stocked proper second-hand bookshop which happens to be run in aid of St Richard's hospice rather than delivering profits to shareholders.

And then back to work for just a few days before the move, the second half of last week on campus and the first half of this week WFH at [personal profile] jack's place, giving us the weekend in between to sort everything out. I know moving is supposed to be stressful, but we've actually done really well this weekend, we got just about everything sorted and ready to go and even managed to find time to socialize at a BBQ chez [livejournal.com profile] sonicdrift and [livejournal.com profile] mobbsy. I've always felt like [personal profile] jack and I work well together as a team, and I think we're getting better at it with more experience.

I find it hard to believe we're actually moving in on Wednesday; getting a house together has been just over the horizon for so long. I am excited we will finally have our place to arrange as we feel like, but it's also quite daunting! Sorting out storage for all our stuff is going to be an ongoing challenge, I think. Anyway, once we're settled we will have both more free time (hopefully) and a better space for hosting, so I look forward to inviting lots of people round.

Oh, and lots of people are doing the meme of listing ten books that stay with you or that have influenced you or something. I thought I'd done this before and it turns out that yes I have, but nearly ten years ago! I think about three quarters of what I was going to list are still the same as the ones I put down back in 2005.
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Miscellaneous. Eclectic. Random. Perhaps markedly literate, or at least suffering from the compulsion to read any text that presents itself, including cereal boxes.

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