Monday, June 23, 2008
Not quite there yet...
This was supposed to be the entry that opened with an excitable, emphatic 'We're in Edinburgh!'... but...
Instead I'm sat at a borrowed picnic table that's serving as a temporary desk, surrounded by empty shelves and wondering just how the English house-buying system ever evolved into this drawn out torture. Like with any of these things, it's the uncertainty that gets to you. Our buying process is currently suffering from information constipation - there seems to be a hold-up a couple of links down the chain that wasn't as close to not being a hold-up as we were led to believe... so plans have got out of sync and, well, we now have the minimalist space we once dreamed of (and there's a little too much echo), a rather limited array of crockery... and I am typing at a picnic table. As you might have guessed, we're a little ahead of ourselves and the majority of our possessions are packed up and gone.
Tom, for the most part, is coping very well with these unsettled times. There's been the odd wobble - the questions about whether he'll still be going to his school and whether Mrs Charlton and Mrs Henson will be there - but for the most part he's finding the process exciting. We were nervous about the whole process. There's a story my parents like to tell about moving house when I was around two - I refused to remove my coat because I wasn't stopping. The length of time that this went on for has, I think, crept up over the years. But we have been sensitive to the little guy's feelings and Nik has done an incredible job of preparing him. We learned very quickly that packing stuff without his knowledge would meet with an adverse reaction and so he has been involved at every step. He helped make the boxes up (and hid in each one), pack some of his toys (his first line one morning was 'I've packed some more of my toys!' after we'd left an open box in his room) and load his push-along car on the van.
The biggest sigh of relief came with the dismantling of the beloved racing car bed. Tom dived in with his screwdriver and, in five minutes, the job was done. He's even loving the whole camping on the floor thing. All we've got to do now is move...
So why Edinburgh? Well, if you're in the UK and follow such things, this might be reason enough but we have a few others too. The company I work for has opened an office in the city (on the Royal Mile no less) and, after four years, I am done with working from home. Nik did her studying in Edinburgh, loves the city and she has family there too. For Nik and I then, the city is perfect but what about the wee man?
First and foremost, there is a pretty solid financial incentive. When we move, Tom's 'private' implant will no longer be our responsibility and will become state funded. I've checked. Twice. Just to make sure. If Tom had had meningitis in Scotland, under current legislation he would have had bilateral implants automatically and we discovered that this level of support applies to incomers too.
So that's good news for him... the sort that leaves a bittersweet taste given the number of children and adults with single implants in this country who don't have this option open to them (and NICE are yet to rule either way - current expected date September 2008 with a 4th appraisal committee meeting on 17th July). We have always counted ourselves fortunate in being able to push ahead with the second implant in spite of the decision made by the PCT and have prepared ourselves financially but this is an enormous relief and provides some stability and assurance. Until the NHS goes belly-up that is.
We've also found a wonderful school a few minutes walk from where we're going to be living. It looks like a fabulous fit for Tom - a little offbeat, small and focused on the individual. It's worthy of its own post but here's a primer on Rudolf Steiner schools. I've just watched one of the dvds posted there and discovered that Tilda Swinton is a Steiner parent. Now I'm not one to get starstruck but she does say the very thing I was going to finish on - the school makes you wish you went there and you can't get a much more positive recommendation than that.