Friday, May 20, 2011

London Calling

Yes, I am still here, O Blog World. I gotta say I have enjoyed the last seven months (can it have been that long?) without the self-imposed ritual of daily blogging. The break did me good. And my job, for a while, was a great change of pace, one that took every ounce of writing will that I possessed and left me with nothing to contribute here.

But now the job is coming to an end. As I've mentioned elsewhere on the InterTubes, Dave and I are moving to London in July. I gave eight weeks of notice to my employers -- a little excessive, I know, but I wanted to give them time to plan for my absence, which might reveal some overinflated sense of self-importance on my part -- and I plan to leave work June 9.

What does that mean for blogging? I'm not sure yet. But I think I'll come back to it in some form.

The London move is incredibly exciting, and still seems unreal, even though Dave and I have given away or sold a whole lot of stuff and made plans for the sale or storage of the rest. (We'll ship some, too, but I am still a little foggy on how that's going to work. We found an international moving firm that will come and pack 20 boxes of stuff and ship it door to door for the low, low price* of $1,300. But something tells me there's a cheaper way. And beside, what on earth do I do about these?)

Dave is going to be a band director at a private school in London. I am going to freelance, I guess, or find some other kind of job. I don't see myself doing full-time journalism in the UK -- in fact, after this most recent stint, I think I may have come to the end of my journalism career. The newspaper business, as much as I love it, has been transformed dramatically by the real and perceived financial crunches facing the industry, and staffing just ain't what it used to be. I've done more daily work in my current job than I ever did as a reporter in prior years -- four stories a day hasn't been unusual, and when you wind up with that kind of quantity, quality inevitably suffers. (I've had no corrections, though, in my nine months on the job, for which I am thankful. D'oh -- jinx!)

And the dogs? Well, we're bringing them along, despite Ruby's persistently challenged health. A few months ago we launched the process of preparing to take them to England under the "PETS scheme," as it's known. This involved having them both microchipped, blood tested and vaccinated, and now we're waiting out a six-month window before they'll be allowed to fly. This means they won't be ready in July, and we're exploring ways to house them in our absence. It also means I'll have to come back to get them in October.

Anyway, if you've been following my blog at all, this probably seems like a bolt from the blue. But I'm glad to have a big new life change on the horizon, and I'm glad to be testing the blogging waters again. As exhausted as I've been by my newspaper writing, I've missed my blog. I have some ideas about how to restart it, and perhaps make it better. We'll see how those play out over the next weeks and months.


(Photo: First Avenue under the Queensboro Bridge, New York, May 13)


  1. It's so good to see you here! And boy does that move seem very exciting. I think I for one would love to hear about snippets of your life there.

  2. Steve,

    I read about your move on FB but the blog is certainly a better way to expand on things. I have all of my blog posts published automatically as notes on my FB page where they get more attention than on my wee, neglected blog. Anyhoo, this is certainly exciting. Will you be near Letty? So much to catch up on - perhaps we can get together before you venture off?

  3. Thanks, Bug! Gary, it would be great to see you before we go. Let's figure something out!

  4. how exciting!!!!!

    i totally need to pay more attention to facebook.....i missed this news.

    london - talk about fabulous shadow and light and STREET ART

    hope to connect in person before you head out! but if not on this side of the pond, count on it in london! london's on my short list of places to visit (one of my nephews lives in london and i've been anxious to check out things first hand with them)

    the dogs will adjust long as they are with you and dave they will be HAPPY

  5. Steve! It's so good to see you back in blogland! I missed you more than was reasonable. I hope you'll share all the deets about your move to London! How very exciting for you and Dave. You get to completely reinvent your life. For some reason I keep wanting to put exclamation marks at the end of all these sentences. Happy to see you, friend!

  6. I'm glad I started reading backwards to get to this news! Maybe you should bring Ruby and Ernie down here so they can be old with Jake while they wait to travel.

    As for Blogging, I haven't gotten back into that daily thing and I do miss the rhythm of it. I've also stopped spending much time reading other Blogs, so as a result my readership has declined. When I write, it's just because I feel like writing down something that is playing out in my head.