Dear Aunt Agatha,
The tidying continues. Cleared out more junk from the yard, and it is good to know there are loads of places to dump and recycle stuff around here. Any metal items we can drop off for free at a salvage depot. Tin shed - RIP.
I've been working out where to put a cat flap. The cats have always been used to an indoor/outdoor life, and we don't intend to confine them to the house for the rest of their lives. We've been warned that things can get messy if they try tangling with raccoons, but those midnight visitors haven't been back since we got Gyspy. Now the main worry is making a meal for one of the eagles that occasionally pass by our way.
My first instinct was to cut a hole in the back door into the playroom. It is the only suitable door in the house. Apart from the front door, everything else is glass sliders. Luckily I inspected the door carefully before I started work, because I discovered that it is actually lined with metal. Would have made a real mess if I'd tried to cut it.
Eventually had another thought that it would be easier to go through a wall instead. We are so used to brick and (thick) stone walls that it just didn't occur to me before how easy a job that might be. I wasn't going to tackle that myself, but we got the guys round who did the kids' bedrooms. In the end it was only a couple of hours work. Who'd have thought? We've got to keep remembering the differences between here and the UK.
The biggest thing this month has been concentrating on job applications. Of all the arrangements in moving over here, this is the one remaining (and rather important) item that has not yet fallen into place.
One thing I've learned is that things can move very slowly over here. And, at least in Government, the interview process is a whole lot more formalised than I've been used to. I've hired a number of people over the years in Guernsey, and the process was very lightweight. Place an ad in the paper, with a closing date. Sort through the replies looking for possible fits. Invite the top runners for interview, which will often be driven by filling in gaps or following up interesting points in their CV's (oh, and they are called resumes over here), then decide and make an offer. The whole process can easily be over within a few days of the closing date. Here, I'm often waiting weeks to hear anything, and I've learned that some of the hiring processes are very rigidly constrained, asking all the candidates identical questions and scoring them, and many of them involve written assignments too! Not convinced that will always give the right result, but those are the ground rules here.
Other than that, we've been enjoying lots of sunshine and living a fairly outdoor life. Walks and picnics, and discovering loads of parks and trails within easy distance of home. I like this place.
I have to finish with some worrying news. We've discovered that Rufus has diabetes. We are consulting with the vet to see if there's any prospect of controlling it through diet before we resort to insulin, but it is not looking good.