So I know it seems that we’ve been over here forever, but it’s all been a series of small moves to this, our permanent perch. We’ve only been in this house for a week. And, after a long week of running errand after errands, chasing down one item or administrator after another, we’re finally feeling somewhat settled. Our evidence?
– We have a rough work scheduled hammered out, with me running off to work in the Bodleian in the mornings and Sydney doing the same in the afternoons. We’re hoping to find more work time eventually (perhaps with my morning beginning a bit earlier if I have a desk set up upstairs and Katherine resumes sleeping through the nights, and with Sydney carving out some evening hours after dinner), but this is a start.
– We have acquired a bunch of things that should make life around here a lot easier. A stroller, soon to be a washer, food and cooking implements, etc. Different bedding: the English seem to believe in really heavy comforters, but we haven’t had a need for anything more than a light blanket thus far. What is with them? or us?
– Katherine and I have made regular visits to the university parks, a seven-minute walk away, where I’m trying to coax her to run and play, rather than stand still and stare at the dogs that come by (this is England; there are a lot of dogs). And I manage to get in a couple of loops around the park, so I’m once again getting some exercise (finally!).
– This morning we made a family trip out to Port Meadow, a huge green area to the west of the city centre. Sydney went off to birdwatch while Katherine and I said hello to the cows (which share the meadow with the runners and walkers and such, necessitating a lookout for cowpies all the while). More learning for Erin: England, when windy, can be quite chilly, and a wet wind takes a lot of the fun out of strolls in the meadow. And if you lean down to clean off the stroller, don’t then brush your hand clean against the nearest green plant; I ended up making contact with nasty stinging nettles, leaving my hand tingling several hours later. Sydney marvels at my luck. Katherine, although not quite awake for real play, trotted up and down the path and then gravitated toward the river, where she pointed at ducks, swans, and boats. She seems a lot more interested in water than in grass and paths; she must be Sydney’s daughter.
– After our morning outing we came home, where I whipped up some cornbread and Sydney made homemade baked beans. The result was a rather fabulous meal: spicy beans topped with avocado, paired with cornbread that came out quite different from normal–and better. We found some really dark brown sugar in the grocery store on the way back from our walk, and I used some malted bread flour that Sydney had brought home, so we ended up with a really rich, nutty cornbread.
– Katherine and I are really enjoying the scenery from our front window. It’s a real treat when I lift her onto the windowseat, where she can watch the people walking and cycling by. Every now and then they notice us and wave, which makes Katherine turn inside-out with smiles. She forgets to wave until they’ve walked away, though, so we’re going to have to work on that again.