Thursday, January 21, 2010

(2005) Getting ready to move in

January 2005

Dear Aunt Agatha,

After all the excitement of Christmas, and some brilliantly sunny unwintery days, we had our first taste of snow. Only a couple of inches, but kids v. excited! I walked Megan to school in it, I think I might have a photo somewhere to send you. Apparently this is a rarity for Victoria. They seem to see the white stuff about as often as Guernsey.

We are in the habit, on our frequent visits up the Peninsula, to drive past and say 'hello' to our new house. They were under a foot or so of snow long after downtown had cleared up. Something for the kids to look forward to in future years maybe?

We're busy planning the logistics for our move next month. Loads of people to contact, utilities to arrange, home insurance, and various change of address notifications. The biggest headache was picking through the options for phones, cable TV, and internet. There are various providers to choose from who provide some or all services, and all sorts of combinations and discounts for combining services. We ended up choosing Telus for our landlines, and Shaw for cable and high speed internet.

Seems American companies are fond of using technology in place of human beings when it comes to customer service. Trying to get help from Telus was one of the most frustrating exercises imaginable. We want to open a new account. "Please enter your account number" the recorded voice insisted. We don't have one. That is what we are trying to obtain. And don't get me started on their voice recognition system that I guess can't cope with anything not in an American accent.

Then again, other things were remarkably painless. Like dealing with the lawyers to sign papers and arrange for payment. So much easier than Guernsey, especially with our realtor still steering us through the process.

Of course, we called our shipping agents in England ages ago to let them know when we wanted our container delivered. We contacted the Vancouver office this month to find out whether or not it had reached them yet. Apparently we were extremely lucky. It set off by road from Montreal the day before severe weather hit them. Most other containers from that shipment are still stuck there! Now all we need to do is receive the customs paperwork, sign and return it, and arrange a date when they have a driver available.

And to round things off, we've been busy buying things for the house. Yes, we'll have all our furniture and other things from Guernsey (so relieved it didn't end up floating around in the Atlantic!) but our old bed will go into the guest room so we need a new one big enough not to look silly in the huge master bedroom, and of course we couldn't bring over any appliances so we need things like washing machine, dryer, TV, and DVD.

And, very importantly, we did pack all our UK videos, so Ali had to find a video recorder with international settings so we can play them.

The last three months have gone in a complete whirl, but now we are so close, we are looking forward to finally having a house of our own over here.


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