A Quick Update About the Move

Moving my belongings over to England has been quite successful. The moving company that gave us the best quote allowed us to fill a dedicated truck full of items and have them driven over. The alternative would have been to share a truck, which would drive the cost down significantly, but unfortunately, no trucks to this area were planned for a while. So we filled the truck, using about one-tenth of half a percent of the truck’s capacity.

The driver was a cool Polish guy named Bartek, and he was not very eager to drive a 150 pound crossbow across the border, but did everything in his power to make it happen. It worked out well.

Now the apartment in Amsterdam is pretty much empty, and we managed to arrange for Robin to live there for the coming year. That would allow me to have a fall back scenario just in case things don’t work out with the new job here. His girlfriend moved over from London a few days before I moved to England, and they’re going to move in together. I can’t imagine having an easier transition in that situation than that.

I’m going to miss gaming, but we’re scaling back our frequency to once a month (but with more hours each session). We even picked up a new player by the name of Eugenio, in the wake of Edwin deciding to quit gaming. He sat in on a session and seems really eager. I’ll likely be back in Amsterdam for the weekend mid-October and have another session.

And now I have another handful of days before I start my new job, which I’m both excited and nervous about. In the meantime, I am being confronted with English bureaucracy. Opening a back account, applying for a national insurance number, getting background checks done for my work as well as my landlord, etc. It’s unpleasant. I’m not very good at this. I consider it a distraction. It costs me a lot of time.

It’s lovely to continue living with Joasia now that her sabbatical is over. The situation at my previous employer was the spark, but the idea of continuing to live together was the catalyst. My family is very supportive, which is nice. I will have to make sure to go back often enough to cater to everyone, while simultaneously also getting to have fun. Hopefully I will be able to make that work.

Moving to England

Man, moving is a pain. Arranging for transportation; transporting it yourself or having a company do it for you. The different options and price ranges, deciding between convenience and cost, considering the insurance and possible value of the goods you’re moving. Going through all your things and packing them up*… I’m not having a good time.

We’ve pretty much ruled out transporting things yourself. I was looking into it, but it basically means that I shave off a third of the costs, but it means I would be on the road for at least 10 hours a day for two days straight. I tried to combine it with someone I know who is moving the other direction, but our schedules didn’t align, and I couldn’t pick the van up here and drop it off there because you can leave a vehicle with a left-hand steering wheel in England… aaaaargh!

On top of that, we’re trying to hold on to our apartment in Amsterdam because our move isn’t permanent and there’s a lot of uncertainty to contend with (e.g. the exit of the UK from the European Union). That’s not going as smoothly as desired and will likely end up meaning we’re going to have to hold on to our apartment in Amsterdam as long as we’re legally allowed to if we are not able to come to an agreement with the owner of the building.

All in all, it’s making me stressed and not the most pleasant person to be around. Luckily, the people I’ve seen this week have been delightfully tolerant. Joasia, Moulsari and Eva have all managed to take my mind off of the stress and annoyances, while simultaneously making gentle cooing noises in order for me to stop being so aggro. Much appreciated.

In the meantime I’m trying to figure out how to continue with gaming and I’m happy to see that Robin, Richard and Dennis are all committed to continuing even if it means reducing the frequency and increasing the duration of the sessions. We’re also looking for one or two new players to join us, which would be wonderful.

The coming week I’ll be working my last week for MBS from England, wrapping up a lot of documentation. Then we’re off to Ireland for a few days to hike in the Wicklow mountains and explore Kilkenny. After that a few days off before the actual move.

*I’m throwing a bunch of things away, which is making me quite happy. So it’s not all bad.

A Radical Change

Yesterday I announced to my team that after more than sixteen years of service to MBS, I am leaving the company. Some people were visibly unhappy with the announcement. During my time here I’ve seen others make the same announcement and noted that it was hard for them to say the words. While I certainly don’t think it was easy, I thought it was easier than expected.

I suspect that the people who were unhappy with the news are so partially because I’ve become their go-to guy, and partially because they might be fond of me. The latter I can’t help, but regarding the former, I’m sure that they’ll quickly find that everyone is replaceable. It might take a few days, but business will continue as usual.

Over the next few weeks I will be moving to Exeter. I’m arranging for Robin to live in and take care of my home here in Amsterdam, just in case the exit from the European Union by Great Britain will not go entirely smoothly or if things don’t work out well with the new job that I’ve found in Exeter. And then I’ll move. There is a lot to be arranged and a lot to be wrapped up, a lot of which isn’t entirely clear to me yet, so it will likely be a chaotic few weeks.

In the meantime, my pendulum swings between excited and terrified, between happy and sad, between confident and diffident.

Eleven Years

It’s hard for me to accept that I haven’t seen my mother in exactly eleven years. The sadness I used to feel is very different now. I find myself wondering what she would think of who I am now, how she would feel about my place in life. Whether she’d be proud and what she thinks I should improve.