Monday, September 26, 2016

An Empty House

They packed us up today. All bwo' hard work took 5 hours for two packers to wrap, box and stack in the truck.
The truck then drove off to pack all this in a container which was waiting somewhere on the 316, because it was too big for Petersham Drive and caused a major road block. Our container (20ft) will be leaving on 29 September on NYK Daedelus (at least it's not the Icarus) arriving Oakland 1 November.

I did find out one useful factoid. I always wondered why there are always many trucks and 18 wheelers stopped at every lay by approaching a motorway. It seems that the law requires every truck to stop for 40 minutes every 4 hours to let their brakes cool. At least that's what James the packer told me. And he should know.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Working From Home

I know it's not much of a picture but it's a view I already miss. It's the view from our ex-office breakroom. The road to the right leads to the station and sitting at the tables eating salad you get to watch the Strode College students coming and going along with the rest of life in Egham. Our last day at Centrum House was Friday. For those of us moving to the US, we have a few weeks of home working until Visas are stamped and shipping gets done. But today was my first day of working at home with no office. Now I have spent days working from home many a time. My home office is comfortable, I can concentrate and get things done. Somehow today was different though. Knowing the team is done and that there are a few of us spread all over the South West working from home feels very weird. No walk to Waitrose to pick up something for lunch (or Big Fry on Fridays for the sluppest veggie burger and large chips - the chips were killer though).

Well there are only three weeks to go before I start work in Folsom. Lots to do, many miles to cross, we have done a lot and deadlines are approaching. Fun, fun, fun.

Monday, September 5, 2016

The Great Grape Harvest of 2016

Bwo thought the grape yield would be low this year. Well, she was quite wrong. Jenny and Karol helped pick the bunches and prune the grape vine right back as it was starting to take over the house. Two full buckets and numerous bowls later, we had many more grapes than we knew what to do with. The Jennys took the buckets and bwo went around and dropped bowls off at the neighbours. Quite a harvest, and you thought you could not grow grapes in the UK. They are actually quite sweet this year.

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Musings on the pitter patter of rain on leaves

I think I will miss the rain the most. It's been dry here for a few weeks, but today the rain started while Rox and I were out walking through the little forest near the house. The sound of the rain on the leaves and that fresh smell makes me feel at peace. It's been a busy few weeks, what with packing up and starting the new job. I recon it's been close to 20 years since I started a completely different job. In the past I stayed in the same area, engineering and engineering management. Now it's operations, finance and planning. So far it's been interesting, but challenging as there is a lot to learn. Still experience teaches one that the feelings of inadequacy, and self doubt are natural at the beginning and things will improve. Still we have a long way to travel, a lot to learn and much to do.

That said, I will miss this country. I like the quirkiness and uniqueness of things here. The UK has been around long enough that it does not have to pretend it has it's shit together completely. I like how the country seems to revel in the unusual and different, and yet has a deep appreciation for history. I like the green and the river. And that dogs can walk without leads. In all the time we have been here, only once did a dog pick on Roxy and the owner was so embarrassed that even now a year later she blushes when she sees me. I like the beer, and the New Inn and the number 65 bus. I like the supermarkets that do not have the ridiculous range of choices you find in the US but have what I need set out in a logical and predictable fashion. English understatement is nice too. I will miss this place, the lane at the back of the house and the creaky floors. I hope we will be back someday.