Monday, September 18, 2006

Scouting Mission #1 - conclusion

Monday morning we headed off in the car to Maidenhead. It's about 4okm from Wendover to Maidenhead, but took us around 45-50 minutes to drive it. I think there were only a couple of lights along the way, but the roads are busy and not major highways. That was also apparently light traffic, as school hadn't restarted for the fall. A bit far to commute every day, even if it's a nice area.

We parked the car and I came with his office and met his new boss. Very friendly guy. They had a meeting with the lawyer who is arranging the paperwork for G.'s work visa. One interesting thing is, G. will only be allowed to work for his company, but I will be allowed to work for anyone. So, if you know of any fantastically-paying jobs for new mothers in the Maidenhead area, do let me know.

I phoned and made arrangements to see the house in Cookham again around lunch. We drove to Marlow to pick up some lunch and to have a look around the area again, as when we passed through on Saturday, it was incredibly busy. It still was very busy. It's a nice town, but somehow hasn't grabbed me. Everyone else from around there seems to think it's the cat's pyjamas, but as I said, it somehow didn't stand out to me. It's pretty and prosperous, but that's about it. We had some surprisingly good pizza, looked over a few rental brochures we picked up from agents along the way and then headed back to Cookham to look at the house.

On second look, we were still interested in the house, and told the agent as much. That it was definitely on our short list. However, the carpet downstairs has a lot of wear on it, plus a couple of strange stainmarks from furniture or potted plants or something. We would prefer something other than carpet, and certainly not the carpet that was there. Later in the week, we emailed the agent to say as much, that it would be our number one choice if something could be done about the carpet. We're still waiting to hear back on that. The landlord is apparently on holidays...

In the afternoon, we drove back to Maidenhead and talked to a few more rental agents there. One of them was able to show us two places that afternoon, before I had to leave for the airport. Both of these unfortunately were pretty dumpy. Nice areas and if you were thinking of buying them, they had a lot of potential, but as rentals they were crap.

We sadly had to finish the partner scouting mission at this point. I dropped G. off in front of his work and headed off to Heathrow airport driving by myself!! It was thrilling I'll tell you. Actually, it was pretty easy; even driving on the M4, one of the biggest motorways around London, didn't throw me for a flap. They are nice, big, wide lanes, all the traffic moving in the same direction. It's those narrow little country roads with big blind corners around hedges that terrify me still. The drive went back to the car rental agency went smoothly, except for one point where I missed the turn off from the traffic circle (or roundabout, as the Brits so quaintly call them) and took a large tour of the cargo and business area of Heathrow airport. I can't really recommend it for an interesting detour, but it wasn't tough to get back to where I actually wanted to go.

I cleared security (after being asked repeatedly if I had any liquids, cosmetics or anything else more dangerous than a Q-Tip in my bag, on my person or in a hidden compartment of my shoes) and left G. in England to work and to check out a few more houses the next day on his own.

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