Moving to the states

4 Years in the States.

Monday was our fourth anniversary of being in the States. As it is now Wednesday you can tell I forgot! I did actually realize it yesterday but I ended up working until 8.30pm last night on a very weird networking issue so didn’t have time to celebrate or anything.
I was back in the UK for 5 days over Easter to attend the funeral of my Uncle which was a sad occasion, but it was nice to meet up with other family members and some relatives I’d only met a couple of times.
People often ask me if England is much different to Ohio and normally I would have said no, but having been back I would have to say it is fairly different. When Kristen’s parents came over to the uk when we were living there, they would often remark how narrow the roads are, how green everything is, people’s accents are so amazing and does it always rain this much? My observation whilst I was back was how narrow the roads are, how green everything is, people’s accents are so strong and I wish it would stop raining! Actually that last bit was not strictly true as the weather wasn’t too bad – it rained heavily on the day we drove back from Croydon to Chesterfield – a 180 mile journey that took 6 hours – NOT fun – but the rest of the week was pretty good with just a few scattered showers.
I was pretty amazed at the strong accents I heard whilst I was there – although I was in Chesterfield there were a lot of people around with strong yorkshire accents but it was so different to hear all these different accents that I would have normally not paid any attention too. I still get comments about my accent over here in the States and still get asked to record people’s voicemail messages and to “just say something” to people when I’m introduced to them.

2 year anniversary

Yesterday was the second anniversary of moving to the States. The time has really flown by and so much has happened since our move. This now means that if we ever did go back to the UK then Kristen would have to go through the whole visa process again, which means the move is even more unlikely! I’ll write a longer post up later but right now we’re enjoying a secluded getaway in Hocking Hill’s. It’s unlikely we’ll go out from the cabin as the “road” up to the cabin has many potcaverns in them (too big to be called holes) and the car makes a funny noise every time we go over them. (I did manage to get 3 geocaches yesterday whilst Kristen was getting supplies though!)

I get interviewed!

Victor from Immigration Tales interviewed me earlier on in the week over skype and my immigration memory from the uk is now online. If you’ve ever wondered what I sound like (and like british accents) then go and check it out. Hopefully there are some useful tips for people in the same situation. A couple of websites that I would recommend are Visa Journey for information on the visa process and also MSN expats mailing list and also there are my posts on moving to the states.
There are also several other interviews that have already been posted with some really fascinating stories.

Oh – and keep an eye out on In The Trenches for my next interview about my life and career as a techie (which hasn’t actually been recorded yet…..

If you have to claim on your marine content insurance – persevere.

We had the misfortune to have to claim for our kitchen table that we moved to the states. The table top had cracked in the move. We filled out the paperwork for the claim and 3 days later got the response back :”We regret to advise that we have to decline payment of your claim for the following reason:The table is not noted on your completed proposal form or on any of the attached sheets, therefore you have not paid to cover the item and cannot claim for it under your marine insurance policy.”

My response back was something along the lines of “what part of H1 – Table do you not understand?” although I was a bit more polite.

Today we got an email saying the cheque had been approved.Makes me wonder how many people give up on their claims as they receive a standard form letter.

At last – the house is sold.

Finally – our house sold today and the money was transferred into our account or it would have done if the annoying solicitors hadn’t employed a sneaky trick to hang onto the money for an extra day. We had previously told them (several times) our account details at the bank but today they sent an email to us giving a summary of the house balance (less the estate agents and their fees) and asking us if we really wanted the money paid into our account that we had previously told them. So we’ve sent them a snotty letter asking for the money to be paid into our account immediately.
The whole house selling saga has been a right pain with lots of hassles with estate agents who lie and do not work for our best interests by telling people to put in an extremely low offer on the house as it is overpriced whilst at the same time telling us that there would be no problem selling the house at the price we were listing at and then having the cheek to tell us that they were trying to protect our higher price as long as they could – for less than 24 hours after they became our agent.
I would suggest anyone who wants to sell a house in the congleton area to stay away from HamRidingSimpson.

More good news on the house

We heard back from the Estate Agents today to say that the survey didn’t show up anything that the buyer wasn’t happy with so the sale is proceeding. In disappointing news we got a letter from the solicitors asking for the deeds for the house and the inventory – something we gave them about 5 months ago. After calling them they admitted they had lost the papers but found them after sending the letter to us. This is good news as I didn’t want to delay the proceedings by having to get another inventory done and get the paperwork back to the UK. Oh, and if you are looking for a solicitor, find one who uses email so you don’t have to rely on snail mail for correspondance (or the time difference on phone calls)

Our stuff is here….

I phoned the moving company up this afternoon as we had a letter saying that our contents were due to arrive at the end of May and our stuff is now sitting in a box on the pier in New York. They were talking about delivering it to us in two weeks and I had to remind them that they were putting it in storage until we had a job and a house. Good job I mentioned that as I would have not been happy if they turned up one morning with a big truck!