So what other challenges faced in our Great British homecoming? (And the weather doesn’t even warrant mention)
* Where to live – after 3 years spent in paradise, a return to the choking,busy, polluted streets of London? Not top of mine and the other one’s list. What about up north where we’re from? No jobs for me. So I took out a rail map, worked from the inside out from London and scouted for places affordable and commutable and ended up somewhere in nottinghamshire, but its not like we could move there straightaway…
* A place to pitch up – very luckily the other one’s family opened their homes to us, thus giving us some semblance of stability and normality with our 3 rucksacks (boxes, rug and pictures from Seychelles arriving a week after we did) and with the other one’s sister and family on holiday, a base from which we could watch the Olympics as we began to try and sort our lives out.Friends did offer, but it’s no fun staying on other people’s floors moving on from day to day, week to week.
* A place to stay – if you’ve been away from the UK for a few years, renting a place isn’t that easy. In fact, despite our offers to pay 6 months up front (think about doing this at a minimum if you’re away from home), agencies especially prefer a guarantor instead. So despite having our own house with equity, 6 months rent upfront if we had to, being professionals with degrees and the other one a career that almost (almost) guarantees work, the other one had to ask his mum. Worse still, the guarantor has to earn a certain income multiple above the total rent – my parents were out. Had it not been for his mum, we were screwed (or sucking up mightily to some friends).
* A car – I’m not going to labour this. I hate driving, but we got an automatic just in case.I said not too big please. It’s a Vauxhall Astra and green. Not very rock and roll and well, I think a bit big.
* Jobs. Quite important this. The other one signed up to supply agencies and in less than a week into the new term was working. I’m not, not through choice, but because its tough out there and I hate interviews. I’ll let you know, but I am building my ‘social media presence’ and have started another blog that would be lovely if you could check it out : )
* Moving. Another thing I hate. The day went something like this. Arrive London, empty garage with all our stuff in it. Men come and take it. I leave for new place. The other one leaves for Manchester. I arrive new place, clean, the men with the stuff arrive and leave. The other one arrives with the car. He doesn’t leave, we unpack stuff. We’re moved in.
* New place – everyone seems very friendly but we don’t actually know anyone who lives here. Closest mate, 35 minutes away, which I guess isn’t bad really.
It was stressful and unsettling, but I’m proud of what we’ve done. We might have come ‘home’, but we did so with no jobs, nowhere to live and moved to somewhere we don’t know and don’t know anyone, and the world hasn’t caved in yet – although the other one knows better than to expect his tea to be made for him everyday…there might be revolution brewing in the kitchen….