The movers came last week and packed up our household belongings. They loaded a truck up and took our stuff to storage to await the shipping container for cross-Atlantic transport. Hopefully by now, our belongings are on their way to meet us over here in England...where we will see them in 5 to 6 weeks.
In preparation for the movers, I relied heavily on advice from Budgets Are the New Black author Jolyn and her post on how to plan for movers. I've moved a lot in my life, but have never had movers come in and pack everything up for me. Her advice to gather everything you are taking with you (and don't want the movers to pack up) and put it in your vehicle was great advice! And many thanks to Mr. & Mrs. O for the lending of air matresses for sleeping the last couple of nights in our house.
Our flights from GRR to ORD to LHR went well. C traveled well and behaved wonderfully well on the redeye flight from Chicago to London. Many thanks to lady H from the local Cheltenham office of Z's work, who arranged a one-way rental vehicle from London airport to our destination town--after trying a couple different official channels, she was the one who got it done. We really should send her flowers. Thankfully, Z has been out here a couple of times before and was comfortable driving us the 2 hours or so from London to our new town (driving and steering wheels are on the opposite side from the States over here in the UK).
Obviously, the riots in and around London were on our minds. But thankfully, London Heathrow Airport is on the NW side of London, mostly away from the hot spots. We got directly on the carriageway (highway) from the airport and arrived without incident.
We are put up in temporary housing for 30 days (yes, I know, I can do math too--30 days is not the same as the 5 to 6 weeks it will take our belongings to arrive, we may be sleeping on the floor in our new place for a couple of weeks while we wait for our stuff to arrive). We'll rough it if necessary. For now, we are in a nice, furnished, 2 bedroom flat that is close to the town centre (read: if I need Kleenex, I walk downtown; if we need eggs and bacon, I walk downtown--it's wonderfully European!) and a very large park with a playground (to which C requests several times a day to go). Tomorrow we will be driven around by a Relocation Consultant who will show us various properties for let that we are to consider, and, in fact are expected to decide upon in the one day. Apparently, this is the way you find housing here. One jammed packed day of showings, then you pick what you want (assuming, er, hoping, there was a desirable choice in the lot). We know we would like to lease a home in the same area as our temporary flat. It is a convenient location and access to the large park is wonderful. Here's hoping we find a place that will meet our needs...in one day.