devi: (Default)
[personal profile] devi
Hi! Hello. How are you doing?

I’ve forgotten how to do this. I want to tell you how we’re getting on, but resist letting it turn into a massive, self-indulgent 4000-word epic like I’ve done in the past. There's a metric ton of backstory which isn’t all mine to tell in any case. Anyway:

The short version is that Dan and I are moving to London in mid-September, so I can start a part-time MA at Goldsmiths in October.


The long version is that until this spring, life had been a drama-free zone for years and years. I’d forgotten what drama felt like. And since then absolutely everything’s been up in the air, thumping round like shoes in a dryer or disappearing entirely – houses, jobs, money, relatives’ health. Back in the spring we had decided we were going to move to London in the autumn. We were starting to plan. But it seems like every week since then some vital brick in the foundations of the plan has been shifted, and then shifted again just as we were starting to get used to the new configuration.

We found out by accident in February that the landlord was selling our flat. It was about-to-be-sold-any-minute-now for six months, with potential buyers trooping in and out and us hanging on as long as possible in the hope we wouldn’t have to move everything twice in one year. The sale fell through two days after we gave our final notice last week.

We found out that Dan’s father was very ill. That's a big thing, but it's his story, not mine. And as his family and work situation changed, I didn’t know whether Dan would be coming with me to London, or whether I’d go on ahead to establish a base while he carried on working in Oxford and applied for jobs, or indeed lived with his parents for a while and applied for jobs – or whether I was going to stay here and try to do the six-hour round-trip commute from Oxford like the original (expensive, exhausting) plan we had back in ‘09.

The fact that Dan had a steady job with the NHS, which was making him miserable and chronically stressed but y’know, was a steady job in this economy, was a big factor in all this; one of the few knowns in our plan. Then he was told he was probably going to get made redundant as they slashed the mental health services. By this time so much else had happened that all we could do was laugh.

And of course it’s summer and I’m freelancing, which has meant that I need to spend a great deal of time thinking about work, planning the next jobs and making sure I get paid and trying not to underquote, which is kind of all-consuming. Until quite recently, nobody had paid me for months and months* and I wasn’t sure I’d even have my college fees; then most of them paid me at once and it looks like it’s going to be OK.

In the middle of all that there was about a week when it seemed that we might have a huge, dizzying stroke of good fortune which would have solved pretty much all our problems. We tiptoed round it and tried not to hope, and we were right, because it didn’t materialise. But that’s definitely in the Not Mine To Tell category.

So yes. Headwreck and hard slog and difficult conversations, and until quite recently I haven’t really believed it was all going to happen. But it is. And we seem to have sorted a lot of stuff out in the process, on holidays in Cornwall and on a heavenly weekend camping at Truck festival in the sunshine and over many pints of ale and packets of crisps after work in the beer garden of the Marsh Harrier.

Anyway, it’s happening, which means several things:

Housing in London: Partly because we haven’t known till quite recently if there’d be one or two of us, we haven’t got a place to live yet. We’ve been looking at flats on the web but it looks as if most estate agents require both of us to have full-time permanent jobs, and that's a bit difficult if you're moving to a new city (or temping or self-employed). What we’re thinking now is that we’d like to find a room in a house share somewhere for the fairly short term, like four or five months, till we’re more established and can get a place of our own. There are various ways to do this, but obviously it’d be brilliant if it was with friends or friends-of-friends. I realise we’re all older now and there isn’t the constant churn of house shares that there used to be, but just in case: if any of you know of someone looking to fill a double room in their house, please do let us know. We’re domesticated and good-humoured, our previous landlord will vouch for us, and I can provide a pile of tax returns and bank statements and such to demonstrate that I do actually make money (and most of my work will come with me to London; it’s location-independent).

Seeing people in Oxford: Time, as ever, has snuck up on me and I keep realising that I’m probably doing things for the last time as a resident of Oxford. Next Tuesday is quite likely the last time I’ll make it to comics pub. On Saturday we’ll be at Gappy Tooth Industries at the Wheatsheaf to see The Evenings reforming for one night only – if anyone’s in town over the weekend and fancies a gig, it’d be lovely to see you there. We’re talking about having a yard-sale/giveaway/excuse-for-a-get-together sort of thing in our house. (Edited to add: how does Sunday 5th September sound?) I did it when I left London and it was great fun, and a good excuse to have people round. And there should definitely be some sort of house-cooling. And hmmm, anyone for Scott Pilgrim some time in the near future?

I might just sell or give away all my CDs, actually. I never got that attached to them as physical objects. I’ve gone to the CD rack maybe twice in the last six months. Last time I did, the first thing my eye fell on was Dead Media by Hefner, which made me chuckle.** I kind of want to just throw almost everything in storage and stroll off whistling, maybe with my guitar on my back like a great big hippy. Stuff. Who needs it? Well, my computer is nice, I guess. I’ll keep that.




*Edited to add: Except [livejournal.com profile] jackfirecat, who paid me promptly. Thank you very much, [livejournal.com profile] jackfirecat.

**And isn't even mine, come to think of it.
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Date: 2010-08-26 10:48 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] dr-f-dellamorte.livejournal.com
Man, this all sounds like a dreadful state of affairs, but the good thing about this all is that YOU'RE going to be BACK IN LONDON, and this is AWESOME! x

Date: 2010-08-26 11:08 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] bluedevi.livejournal.com
Haha, yes! It's been a wringer, but IT'LL BE FINE. x

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From: [identity profile] eponymousarchon.livejournal.com - Date: 2010-08-26 11:11 am (UTC) - Expand

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From: [identity profile] braisedbywolves.livejournal.com - Date: 2010-08-26 11:41 am (UTC) - Expand

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From: [identity profile] bluedevi.livejournal.com - Date: 2010-08-26 11:47 am (UTC) - Expand

Date: 2010-08-26 10:51 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] therealjo.livejournal.com
Wow. That's A Lot Of Stuff! Glad it seems to be settling down a bit. You're coming back just as I'm leaving though...

Date: 2010-08-26 11:09 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] bluedevi.livejournal.com
Yeah, what a shame! When do you guys actually leave? (Your house is brilliant, by the way.)

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From: [identity profile] therealjo.livejournal.com - Date: 2010-08-26 11:50 am (UTC) - Expand

Date: 2010-08-26 10:53 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] millionreasons.livejournal.com
It's not anywhere near Goldsmiths, but my friend is renting out her flat in Holloway whilst she becomes a student in Enfield


Available from 20 August. £210pw / £910pm.

Nicely decorated, plenty of natural light, fully furnished, 1 bedroom flat on quiet and friendly estate. Suitable for couple or single person.

No agents or DHSS.


Comprises:

• large double bedroom with wardrobe

• new bathroom

• storage cupboards

• large kitchen with all usual appliances including dishwasher

• living room

• good amount of storage space in each room

• new condensing/combination boiler

• sofabed in living room


10 minutes walk to Archway tube, 15 to Finsbury Park, 5 to Upper Holloway Rail, No’s.43, 17, 271, 91, 210, 41 buses.

Short walk/tube/bus ride to Hampstead Heath, Highgate, Stroud Green Road, Crouch End, Camden, Kings Cross, Upper Street. Local shop, greasy spoon and decent pub nearby. Good restaurants within walking distance on Stroud Green Road/Holloway Road. Co-op, Sainsbury, Budgens, Waitrose, Morrisons a short walk or bus ride away.


References required, one month’s deposit (in deposit protection scheme) plus payment due one month in advance. Lease must go to mid July 2011.

I'll give you her details if you're interested.

Date: 2010-08-26 11:18 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] bluedevi.livejournal.com
That sounds absolutely gorgeous, and being able to go directly to the landlord is great - we've been spoiled by it in Oxford. But it's the sort of place we would want a little further down the line, when Dan's working or at least in a short-term position. Thank you very much, though!

Date: 2010-08-26 10:53 am (UTC)
juliet: (Default)
From: [personal profile] juliet
Looking forward to you being down here!

Date: 2010-08-26 11:22 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] bluedevi.livejournal.com
Looking forward to seeing more of you!

Date: 2010-08-26 10:56 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] shewho.livejournal.com
blimey. i'm glad things are starting to come together. and that you'll be in london! hurray!

Date: 2010-08-26 11:48 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] bluedevi.livejournal.com
They do seem to be, at last. And yes! Hurray!

Date: 2010-08-26 10:58 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mooism.livejournal.com
I'm moving this Monday (hopefully) to only just inside London (near Orpington). There isn't really the space to put two people up for a few months, but if you were really in a pinch we could probably put you up for a week or two --- I'd have to talk to girlfriend + other housemate though. (Also we have 4 cats. Do I remember something about Dan being allergic to cats, or am I confused?)

I have massive packing woe. The only thing harder than packing stuff is getting rid of it.

What are you doing an MA in?

Date: 2010-08-26 11:40 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] bluedevi.livejournal.com
Social Research. I probably should've said that, shouldn't I?

And thank you for the offer. We're doing our utmost not to be in a pinch, but I appreciate it. Dan loves cats - though he has been known to sneeze/itch in houses where the air consists mostly of cat hair :)

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From: [identity profile] bluedevi.livejournal.com - Date: 2010-08-26 02:29 pm (UTC) - Expand

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From: [identity profile] mooism.livejournal.com - Date: 2010-08-26 03:18 pm (UTC) - Expand

Date: 2010-08-26 11:01 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] eponymousarchon.livejournal.com
Oooh - exciting. Enjoy the move, is all I can recommend. ;)

We're currently shedding a lot of our posessions also, I *can* say that it's very theraputic. My current mantra is "It's only Stuff - and not what's important.", if it helps. Ohm. ;)

Of course, having said that, if you're shedding stuff yourself, my own priorities for stuff include comics and ArtStuff, so I'm interested in any of that you might be shedding (Hobbies *are* important, and so is Stuff that supports that.)

Hey, fingers crossed for you - and if I can help, even if it's only listening to a rant or two, let me know.

Date: 2010-08-26 11:51 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] bluedevi.livejournal.com
Yeah, I can always justify buying art stuff to myself no matter how broke/drowning-in-stuff I am. Hmmm...

Dan may be getting rid of some comics. I don't know which ones yet, though.

Date: 2010-08-26 11:13 am (UTC)
killalla: (Pellew)
From: [personal profile] killalla
Wow, exciting! I've been meaning to contact you for a while (since I got back from Ethiopia) to give you a hard copy of the reference letter (on letterhead!) and thank you for your design work for CHAD-ET. I'm likely to be pretty busy on Sunday 5 September, but I'm having an informal hang-out on the Saturday, 4 September before if you guys are free? Alternatively, I'd be interested in seeing Scott Pilgrim with some comics oriented people. Oh, and I'm probably going to Birmingham ComicCon in October, if you guys are still likely to be there? Let me know.

Date: 2010-08-26 11:52 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] bluedevi.livejournal.com
Some or all of those things would be fab. I don't know about Birmingham yet, but we're definitely going to Thought Bubble in November - that interest you?

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From: (Anonymous) - Date: 2010-08-26 12:03 pm (UTC) - Expand

Date: 2010-08-26 11:13 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] snowballjane.livejournal.com
Welcome back to London!

Date: 2010-08-26 11:52 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] bluedevi.livejournal.com
Thanks! Do you still write? I'm going to be in search of a writers' group again :)

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From: [personal profile] juliet - Date: 2010-08-26 04:16 pm (UTC) - Expand
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Date: 2010-08-26 12:18 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] bluedevi.livejournal.com
Much easier. And we've been meaning to do that for ages! Be good to see you.

Date: 2010-08-26 12:07 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] modulatorium.livejournal.com
Don't know of any houseshares available currently but will let you know if I hear of any.

Date: 2010-08-26 12:24 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] bluedevi.livejournal.com
Thanks, I appreciate that.

Date: 2010-08-26 12:13 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lostcarpark.livejournal.com
I'd better not leave any more bags on Oxford-bound trains then!

Someone I know was looking for a housemate recently (near Wimbledon). Not sure if it's big enough for a couple, but I'll enquire if you like.

Best of luck with the move.

Date: 2010-08-26 12:25 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] bluedevi.livejournal.com
That would be great. Having fun on the far side of the world? :)

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From: [identity profile] lostcarpark.livejournal.com - Date: 2010-08-26 07:33 pm (UTC) - Expand

Date: 2010-08-26 12:14 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] undyingking.livejournal.com
Good to hear what you're up to, all sounds a bit too exciting at times... good luck with house finding!

Date: 2010-08-26 12:27 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] bluedevi.livejournal.com
Hm, yes, after months and months of 'excitement' boredom is looking good again. No chance of any for a while yet, though, it would seem...

Date: 2010-08-26 12:21 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rainsinger.livejournal.com
If you're in a pinch, we can also house you until mid-October. (Actually, if you want to house-sit for two weeks in October you'd be doing us a favour).

The only issue with our house is that the free room has minimal storage space as the shelves are full of my mother's books. But we can shift stuff around in other places and it would be fine unless you had mountains of things or heavy/large furniture.

We also have two cats - is Dan allergic?

There's a large and rotating cast of characters generally, but in mid-September to mid-October it would be me, Z the baby and the two cats and.

It's a basement flat at the edges of Kilburn/South Hampstead, so it's quite good for transport links (10 minutes walk to rail stations and two tube stations).

Anyway. Best of luck with the move and if you are interested in house-sitting or slumming with us for a bit then let me know. I no longer have your number due to stupid contacts-deleting phone but mine is 07788857508.

Date: 2010-08-26 12:33 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] bluedevi.livejournal.com
Aww, seriously? Would it not be a pain for you with the baby and all? Of course, we could do the housework for you :)

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From: [identity profile] rainsinger.livejournal.com - Date: 2010-08-26 12:39 pm (UTC) - Expand

Date: 2010-08-26 12:40 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] secretrebel.livejournal.com
Thanks for the update. This could be weird but my youngest sis might have a room in her house. Want me to enquire?

Date: 2010-08-26 12:56 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] bluedevi.livejournal.com
Is that J? That would be great, thank you!

Date: 2010-08-26 12:43 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] concourse.livejournal.com
Wow - all change! Good luck with it, and sorry to hear about all the drama; I hope you get settled soon. If you are looking to get rid of your CDs I may be able to give them a good home...
See you on Saturday!

Date: 2010-08-26 01:10 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] bluedevi.livejournal.com
It's really cool that this ad-hoc Evenings thing is happening. Feels like a fitting end to gigging as an Oxfordite.

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From: [identity profile] concourse.livejournal.com - Date: 2010-08-26 01:53 pm (UTC) - Expand

Date: 2010-08-26 01:02 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sea-of-flame.livejournal.com
No idea whether it'll end up dovetailing - but we're in the process of housebuying, with 2 month notice period on our 2-bed maisonette in greenwich, so we may end up paying rent after we've moved out.

Don't have any definite dates as yet though, so it's more of a 'watch this space' if you end up needing an interim place.

Date: 2010-08-26 02:15 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] bluedevi.livejournal.com
O hai! Greenwich would be ridiculously handy, so do please let us know - and good luck with the new house.

Date: 2010-08-26 01:04 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] carsmilesteve.livejournal.com
hello you!

blimey that's a lot of things going on, but yay, to london with you :)

Date: 2010-08-26 01:05 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] elethe.livejournal.com
Look forward to seeing you back in London.

Date: 2010-08-26 02:26 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] bluedevi.livejournal.com
It's been a long time, hasn't it? I'll be able to come to your gigs! Do you still do the bit about the rats?

(no subject)

From: [identity profile] elethe.livejournal.com - Date: 2010-08-26 02:30 pm (UTC) - Expand

Date: 2010-08-26 01:13 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mrs-leroy-brown.livejournal.com
Wow...lots going on! Big hugs when I see you hopefully sooner rather than later!

When you do get established, New Cross is VERY reasonably priced (as is SE London overall). Super convenient for Goldsmiths!

Date: 2010-08-26 01:53 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] bluedevi.livejournal.com
Yes! Soon! :) And New Cross is the destination of choice, though anywhere along the East London Line or the bit of Overground south of it would rock.

Date: 2010-08-26 01:17 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] bateleur.livejournal.com
Stuff. Who needs it? Well, my computer is nice, I guess.

You're awesome. Post more updates!

Date: 2010-08-26 01:50 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] bluedevi.livejournal.com
Heh, I'll try. I'm kind of amazed so many people here even remember who I am.

Date: 2010-08-26 01:54 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] khalinche.livejournal.com
Drama bad and exhausting and painful and I'm sorry you've been having to deal with all that. But Goldsmiths, woo! Brilliant! I'm going to be teaching there in the spring and we can meet up and have lunch and do things. IN GOLDSMITHS. Wow!

Rooms, hmm. I know Steve is moving soon and is probably going to want to rent, but we don't know when that will be (probably not before term starts) and it will be within cycling distance of the Pembury so not near Goldsmiths (although respectably close to the Overground which takes you there). New Cross, New Cross Gate, Deptford, Brockley and Nunhead are all very cheap and the latter at least is pretty pleasant to live in. Do you know [livejournal.com profile] hoshuteki? He and [livejournal.com profile] tigerpig and [livejournal.com profile] roz_mcclure live there and they might know someone nearby with a room to let. The messageboards in college are also your friend - they contain dozens of room-to-let flyers.

Of course, if you want somewhere to crash for a couple of days while househunting, our spare room is all yours.

Date: 2010-08-26 02:25 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] bluedevi.livejournal.com
Thanks for all this. Lunch would be fantastic. What are you teaching? Anthropology undergrads?

I do indeed know Ewan & co, and that's a pretty good summary of the areas we're gunning for. And I was thinking of putting up some flyers to the effect of 'postgrad & partner seek room in friendly house' on the Goldsmiths notice boards next time I'm in London... this just confirms me in my resolve!

(no subject)

From: [identity profile] khalinche.livejournal.com - Date: 2010-08-26 02:45 pm (UTC) - Expand

Date: 2010-08-26 05:40 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] juggzy.livejournal.com
I can relate to this:

I kind of want to just throw almost everything in storage and stroll off whistling, maybe with my guitar on my back like a great big hippy.

And with recent developments, even more so. There's nothing to keep me here apart from a job, I suppose, and having a place for the cat to call home. I think part of my book-giving-away kick is related to that; I lived with Debs for six months in a room which was mostly bed and was nearly as happy as I could be apart from Horrible Things in the background. It's nice not to have to worry about the lifestyle of possessions.

Date: 2010-08-26 06:48 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] jackfirecat.livejournal.com
you're welcome (I will have another of same soon, too). Oh, gosh such much news! And I still haven't collected 'Islands' picture. Could I pick it up at the yard sale?

Date: 2010-08-29 11:05 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] bluedevi.livejournal.com
Certainly - and by all means hit me up with more of the same. Is it prelims for another volume?

Date: 2010-08-26 06:53 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] bigcat23.livejournal.com
Gosh, it sounds like you've had a stressful time, and I hope it's improving for you.
But also YAY! YOU'RE MOVING TO LONDON!! xxx
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