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Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Swallowing the anchor....

Swallowing the anchor is the cruisers' term for packing ones bags and moving ashore. The term is apt, the process can, at times, be about as pleasant as swallowing a large lump of pointy steel. In our usual way we aren't hanging about too much, choices are thought about, options explored then we go for it in a pretty decisive way.

The key things here are a house and transport. Up in Cumberland we found a brand new house, very close to the kids school and ready to rent just when we want to move up there, at the start of August. The house ticks a lot of boxes, three good sized bedrooms for all of us, a large basement room for office / guests, and a big garage to set up as a workshop area. Lots of storage too. Sadly, it's darned ordinary, unimpressive and contains one of my biggest pet hates about North American houses, which is that the most distinctive feature is the garage door. Sigh. This is temporary, we keep reminding ourselves, although we expect to be here at least a year.

Next up, a car. Given that we are likely to be hauling around a lot of stuff, and/or kids friends, and/or guests, the obvious choice was a mini-van. Seating for seven, lots of space, comfortable. Also boring, not very fuel efficient and wallowing around the bends. We'll do our best to shop very locally and use the car as little as possible. We kind of managed it in Cambridge so hopefully we can do so here too. We think we found a decent example, it's 2002, with quite a lot of miles but seems to be in good shape. There are so many to choose from that prices are very reasonable, in fact it's less expensive than any car I ever bought in the UK.

To help us drive less, and enjoy the local area, bicycles are essential. I found a good one locally, second hand, and spend a half day with Max helping me to clean, adjust, oil and generally turn a scruffy neglected bike into a pretty good one. Then, yesterday, we were browsing the Charity stores (a favourite activity lately) and found a nice mini-mountain bike for Issie for $30, which seems like a good deal. It's very like the bike she had back in the UK which she did very well on. In the same store were cycle helmets, and Max got a very cool one for three bucks. Reduce, reuse, recycle.....
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