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Thursday, March 17, 2005

On the move....

I've mentioned in several earlier posts that I've had the opportunity to make a move from an apartment ('flat' in UK terms) on the first floor of the University owned apartments to the top floor flat in the next building. There are all sorts of reasons for my desire to move, not the least of which is the wonderful view and exposure to daylight that the new flat provides. There are other benefits as well, including the isolation that the new flat affords. Being the only apartment on the very top floor, it will give me a break from the noise I had to endure in the groundfloor flat which was located right next to the building entrance. And it would also give me a greater sense of security after last month's break in.

And so, although I only have a few months remaining on my fellowship here at Belfast, I decided to take up the offer made by the Queens University Estates department folks who were kind enough to allow me the opportunity to make this adjustment.

Yesterday and today were moving days.

It's really surprising how many material possessions I've accumulated in this relatively short time in Belfast. The flat I was assigned had the benefit of being "furnished" to the extent that it included things like microwave oven, toaster, kitchen utensils in general, a very uncomfortable living room set, and a bed. In addition, I was given the resources to purchase other things such as the television, a few lamps, clocks, etc. -- all enough to make the reasonably comfortable for the period of my posting here in Belfast.

And so you would think that I would take that all into consideration when contemplating this move because the new flat contained almost nothing -- not a utensil, not a lamp, not even a bed. (It did have an equally uncomfortable living room set.)

And then came the decision point on Wednesday morning -- a decision forced by the folks who provided cable service/broadband service/telephone service for my flat. They called my mobile to say that they were sitting waiting for me to let them in to my new digs. That's the moment when I decided to move was a "go". No more hedging, I headed to the Estates office where they gave me the key and the move began.

By noon on Wednesday I was sitting in an empty flat with wires strewn about, all waiting for me to hook up the various instruments of communication that are so critical to my life. So the first things to move were, of course, my laptop computer, the television set, and the telephone. In the 40 or so hours since I have been conducting what can only be termed an "incremental" and completely disorganized move. Thanks to friend Stephen, I was able to get the bed upstairs by 7 p.m. last night, and by 11 p.m. this evening I was about 90% moved. (Which provides my answer to anyone who asks what I did on St. Patrick's Day in Northern Ireland....)

I must say that so far the view from the living room window has more than compensated for all the stair climbing required by this move. Today has been a typical overcast, rainy, and generally dull Belfast day, but somehow being able to watch those huge gray clouds pass overhead and the still bare trees sway in the wind makes all that effort worthwhile. I've been trying to set up my web cam so that I can broadcast the view back home to Randi, and if I succeed I'll try to set up a web cam site that can be generally accessed. But for now I plan nothing more than to sit and relax a bit.... The plan is to be finished with the move by tomorrow evening....
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