Thursday, 7 February 2013

The Move

We are now residents of Islington. 

Just off the Essex Road....the posh end.


After the limbo of living like hobos, we now finally have a place to fill with our character and love. We arrived into our new home on the 22nd January, followed swiftly by my parents laden with household goodies (and bedding, thank god!). 


After taking donations from family of more household goodies, we were finally left alone in the space with minimal furniture, shockingly bright kitchen strip lighting and all of our bags piled into a corner. We sighed, we grinned and then we said 'So what do we do now?'

After the chaos of the months before we had finally achieved our aim. To move to London, start our jobs and find a place to live. Check, check, check.

The move was proceeded swiftly by the italians interview at the local national insurance office in Camden. We made the journey by bus, chatting idly but with a heavy sense of anxiety on both parts.

What if he couldn't get a national insurance number, what if they refused him, why would they refuse him....he already had a job in the UK, he's not freeloading off the state...and so on, and so on.

After handing over his letter, I was told directly and sternly not to hang around for him outside but to take myself off for a long walk for at least an hour. There were at least half a dozen people waiting outside, clearing ignoring the order, some australian, some eastern european. Some quite sinister 'boyfriends'.

So i did as i was told with a heavy heart and a promise from him to call me with news. I took myself to the pub down the road, which incidentally was the only pub with a plug point for my charger and wifi but with no heating. So i sat for nearly an hour, freezing, wondering, worrying, checking my phone.
I had bought a cash book to record our life and times at our new address, tempting fate somewhat that the contract for the house would be signed later that afternoon and that his interview for UK Tax paying would be a success.

After an hour I got fed up and walked back towards the office. I paced, up and down, up and down. Trying to not to step on the cracks as if this would make a difference. Maybe if stepped on enough 3 drains in a row, that would mean everything would be ok? The superstitious old broad rears her ugly head once more....

He finally texts 'They've taken my ID Card...they say they have to check it offically'. I know how sensitive he is about being parted from his ID card, it's the only form of Identification he has and even i'm not allowed to handle it without forensic gloves.

Unfortunately this set the tone for process. After much more fiddling around, they sent him on his way, minus his ID and said they would be in touch.

We have since found that they have declined his application on the grounds his ID is not valid. It was reported lost some years ago. Well, it was lost some years ago, but found again by the italian police who promptly gave it back to him but forgot to file the paperwork as it turns out. Cue the following days telephone calls to the italian embassy and consulate. He was passed from one to another like a ping pong ball with nobody claiming to know where is ID is.



Later that afternoon we successfully signed the paperwork on our new place but with a huge grey cloud hanging over us. After maybe 4 days, the declined letter arrived and further darkened the mood. He has an interview to gain an italian passport in April. Which seems like an age away now.

We, together have so many achievements under our belt so far.....first move, first ikea trip, first argument, first solution but all under a shadow of the disappointing national insurance interview. At times like this you want to scream at whatever idiot italian policeman that didn't do the correct paperwork. He used the same bloody document to enter this country when he got off the bloody plane!!!





So we carry on regardless....buying a wardrobe, making plans, 
deciding where to put furniture......


Tuesday, 15 January 2013

The Italian lands.....


I've literally not had the time to take my oil of evening primrose recently but after being named and shamed by the lovely Claire Brunton ( see pic) about my terrible unperseverance in updating i squeezed a few mins in to tap out a few words.

So where did i leave it? Ah yes, there i was sitting all lonesome, minus my italian beau. After what felt like the longest xmas and New year, January 4th was on the doorstep and his flight was landing in the evening.

Cue Flu. Need i say more? I'm sure you can imagine a red nosed, floppy armed, croaky me pushing myself to the airport to meet him. He had tried to insist on my staying indoors while he figured out his journey into london but i couldn't. If only that i had booked his trains ticket back and needed to be there to collect it with my card!!.

But we also have a thing with airports now, saying goodbye and saying hello are hopefully a thing of the past. It's lucky that you don't normally run into people you know at the airport on a regular basis....they may think i look like a total drip all the time!

So he's here! He arrived with bags strapped on his back and front, a little frazzled from the flight full of screaming kids, but he had arrived and through my sniveling nose and a promise guaranteed flu infection we shared a kiss. We crashed at my cousins place until he came back from holiday and thus begun the mission to find us a place

One of the reasons I love him so much is that he continues to freely admit that women are stronger than men. (a way to butter me up maybe?) but that weekend I did us proud by arranging us to see numerous potential rental houses/studios and somewhow dragging myself out of bed for it all.

But as luck would have it, our very first viewing of the day was also our last. After having scoured the internet for nearly 4 weeks, I could tell a peach when i saw it. All i will say is that we are in the process of submitting references and proving our means to pay the rent......and that it's in Islington (oh holy grail of an area to live). I won't say anymore because of the superstition that resides inside. I'm a superstitious old broad.

For the moment we are crashing in my bosses flat, in the living room, on an airbed. It's a shared house and you never want to outstay your welcome, so we try to be clean, quiet and keep the mountain of our belongings out of the way. We are lucky they are so easygoing!

I've been back at work a month now (oh the days of sitting in the sun.....how did they go so fast!) and
he started his brand new job for a gaming company in London last week. Maybe with his first week under his belt some of the culture shock is starting to subside.  ''No Bidets?'' ''why does the coffee has all this water in it?!'' ''Minchia ru friddu!'' (fuck, it's freezing!)

But so far he loves baked beans, brick lane and the tube. Go figure?

After a recent conversation about moving house I sat down and mentally totted up how many moves i've made so far. How many times i've packed up, throw out the old, deliberate over whether it's essential or not and generally sleep in different places. (I could cry for some things that have been given up or lost).

I counted 14 different places. In about 11 years. Compare this with my sister whose moved twice. Whoa!

I know he has a similar story to mine, except his sounds a little more exciting with packing all his stuff on a motorbike and zooming off into the distance. Yet mine always seemed to be set with winter as a backdrop, freezing cold and selecting jumpers over anything else.

No wonder both of us are silently praying (well...desperately praying) for this place to go through. A space to call our own and some security would finally be nice. A place for books, herb pots, comfy cushions/blankets, one italian coffee pot and some warmth.

So keep all fingers and toes crossed for us!






Friday, 28 December 2012

wandering, wondering

wow...it's been a long time since an update....

 

So i'm back in the big smoke, and just taking strolls around to and from work has reminded me of why i love london. It's architecture and character.

 

After our tearful goodbye waiting for the italians coach back to the airport, i drudged my way back to my old place of work. Ready to put one foot inside the door again and familarise myself.

 

It's barely been a month since my return and there is much promise on the cards. I sometimes standstock and try to realise just how lucky i am. Being able to return to work just for one, having had the chance to live in italia for just a while and of course finding my beau.

Except he won't be arriving until Jan 3rd in the new year and whilst house hunting should be a fun thing to do with all this promise on the cards......it's not. But hey - we've been lucky so far so the rest will be just plain old hard work.

But really....when you're searching for a new place to call home, especially a room in a shared house (dbl with room for a desk anyone?) you want it to be a shared experience. To hop from one teeney box room in london to another, discussing it's merits over a coffee and giggling about how paper thin the walls were.

Instead the italian is stuck in the homeland and I'm relaying every contact i've made, sending photos and haggling over prices.  He's stressed....I'm stressed. It's stressful. Why didn't i realise how expensive it was to rent in London. The rent prices begin to look just like numbers with no significance. A 3 is a low number right? except when it's followed by 50 and that's per week!

So a few weeks were filled trying to hold down a full time job, search around for xmas presents, sort out my paperwork and crash on my parents sofa at the end of the night.

Now at least xmas is out the way! After returning to my folks on xmas eve, emotional as hell, bursting into tears from the stress of it all, I headed to the pub to meet with a much needed positive energy in the form of Kristina. Laughter, booze, hugs and kisses followed.

Christmas day filled with food, booze and telly....have never appreciated a chilled out xmas more.

But the truth may be that I just miss the italian, plain and simple.

Saturday, 8 December 2012

HE GOT THE JOB!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

back in blighty

So here I am....

Sat in a starbucks about 2 minutes from Kings Cross St Pancras, London.

I'm back. Sorry for the lack of an update, it's been a tumultuous past few weeks living in Limbo land.

Just before I had left for Italy I wrote this on my facebook timeline....

I remember an old catholic joke about a man who spent his whole life going to a church every day and prayed to the statue of a great saint begging "please, please, please, let me win the lottery." 
Finally the exasperated statue comes to life and looks down at the begging man and says "my son, please, please, please, buy a ticket. 
So now I get the joke, and I bought a ticket......

So that ticket to me to Rome and more.

 Medically speaking Italy kicked my butt, I have to spent close to 200quid on anything mosquito related, to finally discover that i'm just pretty much allergic to the buggers.

Such is my perfectionism, I couldn't stand to think that i had failed.

Failed to snag me some kind of job that could sustain me in the surprisingly expensive city. But I console myself with the fact that half of italy can't get a job and if they can - they are paid peanuts for it.

Maybe I can give a fair evaluation on my time in Italy after some weeks of settling  back in London.

But there you have it. As a wise man once told me....looking back on the past is nice but really....you need to look forward to the future in order to change it and make it the best you can.

So I've landed back sans Sicilian into the craziest time of year - Christmas (yuck). He's staying a couple of days for an interview and then I will have to say goodbye as he coaches it back to Stansted and boards a plane to Roma.

And then I think my heart will literally.............break.


Tuesday, 27 November 2012

accenting

british accent in rome  
I used to walk around town here talking quietly (very non italian).  
Not ashamed of my british accent, just ashamed at my still poor italian skills. I'm now embracing my accent and am quite enjoying see people trying to figure it out. 

'She looks italian but she's.......not'

I did manage to have a semi conversation with a lady in a pharmacy about make up!
(but i also completely blanked a guy who was probably trying to ask for directions about an hour before)

you win some, you lose some

But really - ask any foreigner living in Rome trying to practice their italian skills.
The moment you try is the moment one of two things happen....

a) they finish your wandering sentence with their broken english and latch on so they can practice

b) even if you got it 99% correct and they know what you're trying to 
say they still look at you as if to say.....'whaaaa???'



Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Positive thinking

I'm a big believer in positive thinking. Yet i've always had the inkling that too much positive thinking leads us to think that we've pretty much achieved our goal and all we need to do is just sit back and wait for it to happen.

Now this article goes some way to supporting that theory.....''The power of negative thinking' is a good read and warns us that visualizing our aims as already achieved can backfire.

Here's the start....go feed yourself some nuggets of inspiration....
Lie back and picture life after your ambitions are fulfilled, the motivational gurus used to say, and you'll bring that end result closer to reality. Make an effort to visualize every detail – the finished screenplay sitting pretty on your desk, the gushing reviews in the paper, the sports car parked outside.

The gurus claimed these images would galvanize your determination. They said you could use the power of positive thinking to will success to happen. But then some important research came along that muddied the rosy picture.
(read more)