as Marvin Gaye famously asked. And he’s every right to, we haven’t updated in a while.
We’ve been in Chester a month now, and got the keys to our new house two weeks ago, and got our wifi set up today. Moving in was difficult (and is ongoing). Here are some quick tips on how not to move:
- Don’t have children (or get rid of them for the day in any safe and legal way you can).
- Pack boxes logically – to avoid ‘books, bowls, bourbon’. *
- Label boxes properly – to avoid ‘misc., assorted, etc.’ *
- Be ruthless on the packing end – seriously. You don’t need it.
- Put up the storage before you unpack the things to go in the storage. Duh.
- Don’t pack all your tools in a random, unmarked box. Again, duh.
- Have friends. And use them.
- Wine and mid-2000s R&B. For real.
So, we’re still unpacking. It’s going slowly but it’s almost done – hopefully by next week.
We’re settling into the neighbourhood. We made some fudge, cookies and treats to take round to our neighbours and got a chance to talk to a few of them.
Recently, both of us read a book called The Art of Neighboring, which we found really useful. It’s about being purposeful in trying to get to know your neighbours and making real friendships. Not so that we can lure them in to sneakily talk about Jesus, but because getting to know people and being great neighbours is what Jesus was all about (and everyone inherently knows it’s a good idea, right?).
The Bookworm’s started doing mornings at her new school. We have been praying for her a lot (and about most things with increasing regularity), and really wanted to get back to some kind of structure as soon as possible to help her settle in. Today marked the end of her first week. Her review today was that she ‘loved it’, and had a crumpet. On Tuesday, she provided this piece of genius:
‘There was a smell. It followed me wherever I went. I had not smelled it before. It was a bit like a snack smell. I wonder what it was?’
The Chap really likes his sippy cup. He will be six months old in a couple of days. Here are his food likes and dislikes:
Likes: carrot/parsnip/celeriac puree, ice cream (naughty Mummy!), mango puree, stealing everybody else’s toast or cheese, trying to slap the glass out of your hand while you drink
Dislikes: beetroot puree (silly Daddy!), spinach, sitting in his Bumbo seat, people stealing back their toast or cheese
We have been so thankful for both their health. We know so many people whose kids have been sick and ours have been, for the most part, totally fine. We’re thanking God for it daily because transitioning into a new place and unpacking a new house is hard enough without all the snot, tears and vomit.
We were able to go to weekly Charleston/Lindy Hop dance lessons (with the awesome Swingstompers) during January but can no longer make Wednesday evenings (see below). It’s a super fun, fairly sweaty way to spend an evening and it’s been a great place for us to meet people. We’re hoping to pick it up again in March, so we can be like these guys, but we’ve got a long way to go.
And so, this week’s big event (and the reason we can’t make our dance classes) was the first official Vineyard 53 meeting. The Crowne Plaza was ace in hosting us. It was the first outing of our amazing hot chocolate machine, and the refreshments were off the hook (fudge! rocky road! fruit kebabs! cake!). John and Anna did a great talk about the journey that brought them here, and how knowing Jesus has impacted their lives.
For both of us it was super exciting to be there. The vibe was informal and fun, and new people had come to check us out. The whole team worked so well together despite potentially catastrophic issues (broken PA desk, hotel renovation, an almost impossible-to-locate room). There’ll be more info on the Vineyard 53 blog within the next couple of days.
- Chester Zoo (seven trips and counting!)
- Harvest Moon Espresso in Chester city centre
- Polenta (I’m obsessed!)
- Morrison’s (I’ve switched supermarket allegiance – they sell polenta)
- The Museum of Liverpool
- The first time in three years of having a house to ourselves
- Having a driveway, a garden and a gas hob
- Our friends
- Punctured car tyre
- It rains EVERY DAY
- Water bills are ridiculous here
- Our dining room radiator’s broken
- Having to miss your best friend’s birthday
- Job-hunting (about which, more later)