Friday, September 28, 2012

Great Summer for Anglophiles

2012 has been a great summer for us (American) Anglophiles. It seemed like every time I turned on the television there was something British on. It started with:

Queen Elizabeth II's Diamond Jubilee (loved all of the news coverage and the great documentaries that were shown on public television)


then the showdown between Andy Murray and Roger Federer in the men's Wimbledon tennis final (that one was a real nail biter for me!)

then there were the London Summer Olympics 2012 (which gave the world a look at Britain beyond the royal family and the pomp and circumstance. Plus, Team GB earned 65 medals, including 29 gold medals!!!)

and then Andy Murray won the tennis US Open (the first Brit to win a Grand Slam since Fred Perry!)


A very exciting summer indeed for those of us who love Old Blighty.  One of my co-workers got so jazzed up about GB from the Olympics coverage that he is going to London on vacation in two weeks. (You don't have to ask if I am super jealous, right? Because I AM. Maybe he will bring me back a souvenir Jubilee mug if I ask nicely.) At least great British television is on with "Doctor Who" running on BBC America, and "Call the Midwife" about to start on PBS, and Masterpiece will be showing new "Upstairs/Downstairs" in coming weeks, and then comes series 3 of "DOWNTON"!!!!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

My Humble Abode

My House! (It is less blurry in real life.)
So in the interim between my last post and this one, I bought a house! And I moved into it!  Both of which have been very exciting and new and different and challenging.

Buying a house can be really stressful/emotional because you are walking a tightrope across a chasm of personal (someone's home) and professional (a real estate transaction). I was SO lucky to have a wonderful Realtor who helped me ask the right questions, advised me on price, and negotiated the deal. I was initially disappointed to have deals not come together on two separate houses before finding the one I bought, but it was my Realtor's guidance that protected me from dropping a lot of money into properties that (based on comparable sales in the area) just weren't worth the asking price. The house I bought was more affordable than either those earlier properties and is WAY nicer.  Third time's the charm!!  And it is just what I wanted: a Cape Cod house in a really New England-y part of Connecticut.

All my stuff got moved into the house on the last day of August, despite the fact that I swore that I would never again move on August 31-September 1, but moving on those days in CT was infinitely more easy than that particular turn-over in Boston. I still have some clothes left at my parents' house, but for the most part, I am moved in and am about 80% settled. I still need to repaint some rooms and get a new carpet upstairs (it has seen better days), but all but four of the boxes are unpacked and things are making their ways into their new homes.  It was awesome to get all my stuff out of storage! There were things there that I'd forgotten that I owned and was pleasantly surprised to see them again. It was like going on a major shopping excursion, without having to pay for it all at the end!!

Of course, there are household projects that I want to accomplish in the near future, but the house is in really great condition. (The previous owners already had updated the bathrooms and kitchen, which is SO MUCH bigger than my previous kitchen that I know that I am going to become a much more enthusiastic chef going forward. If you don't count the fact that I have been eating pasta and yoghurt most nights since I moved in.)  And I am going to have fun with the yard. I have already mowed the lawn. (I hadn't mowed a lawn in 20 years! It comes back, just like riding a bicycle. My dad was so proud.) ;-)

Slowly meeting neighbors, but the ones I have met are really friendly. I am very optimistic about it. Everyone on the street waves at each other, which was what I was hoping for in a neighborhood. It is a HUGE change from my old neighborhood in Allston, and I am still adjusting to that. (And to having a house with an upstairs and downstairs instead of a flat condo.)  It is really quiet at night; all I hear are the crickets. And while I don't miss the drunken students or the loud music from a car, I am used to hearing traffic or the train so I still have to put on my white noise machine to help me fall asleep. (Then again, I don't miss waking up to the front door of the building slamming at 2am or hearing noise from other residents' apartments.) It isn't far to go to the supermarket or get gas, and, while CVS is no longer right across the street, it is within a five minute drive. (There are also two really charming old, local cemeteries which I am dying -bad pun, sorry- to visit with my camera.)

So hopefully I will be back to blogging with more regularity in the near future. (If you follow me on Twitter, you probably saw all my snarky comments about the craptastic Olympics tv coverage, and you will know that I have been watching Masterpiece Mystery quite a bit. "Doctor Who" has just started up again and "Downton Abbey" starts in the UK this weekend so I will try to avoid being spoiled for those two, at least until my curiosity gets the better of me.)  If you have any tips for a new HOUSE owner, please feel free to share them in the comments. (And if I come up with any good advice, I will share it with you!)


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