Sunday, September 28, 2014

I've moved to England!

View of the castle on one of the many long walks from my college to town I have taken.

So I've arrived in Durham. The last few days have been a hectic rush of trying to get everything sorted over here and settling in. Simple things like making dinner have become so much more challenging (not even factoring in the fact that the supermarket is a 40 min walk away and there is not a non-non-stick pan in sight.)

Moving is hard. Everyone knows it is.

I used to have a quote on a post it note stuck to my computer at work - "Transition challenges the way you value yourself." I tried to re-find it on the internet just then but then I realised that I think it was a quote I made up from talks with my psychologist. But it's so true - trying to "fit in", make new friends, find your way around a new place... all those old boundaries that you had in your old life are tested and you have to keep them strong (requiring a lot of energy), or adjust them if need be. I've spent a lot of the week being exhausted, not just from having to walk everywhere, but also from having to concentrate to understand the myriad of accents I've been exposed to, and all the extra energy you need when you are meeting a whole bunch of new people at once in an unfamiliar environment.

It is refreshing only having the bare necessities, even if it means I'll now have to do laundry weekly (another not-so-simple task when you have to use the laundry room that is shared by two colleges' worth of students) until I accumulate some more clothes. I've started to make my room a little more homely, putting up photos and fairy lights (£3 at Wilco).

It's also bloody difficult to get a UK bank account - you need to provide them with:

  • your passport
  • a letter from your college confirming that you live there
  • three months' worth of bank statements
  • three months' worth of payslips
  • a letter from your employer confirming that they are sponsoring you

...and I had to book an appointment a week and a half in advance before they had any free slots (that's on October 6th). So that is frustrating.

However, overall I'm really loving it here. I'm yet to be rained on (almost a week!) and I feel like I'm living in a postcard. I'm looking forward to Tuesday when I have course induction and for some of the student fairs during the week when I can sign up to social groups within the university. It's going to be a good year.


  1. Hi Libby!

    I found your blog through a comment you left on my blog many moons ago -- I'm sorry I'm just now getting to yours. It's always so encouraging to "meet" other endo ladies online because I remember when I was first diagnosed that I felt so baffled and scared -- and continued to feel that way for many years. I'm so glad there are other bloggers like you bringing more awareness to the disease!

    And can I also say, I 100% totally know what you felt like when moving to the UK! My husband and I moved from the states to Edinburgh about 3.5 years ago and everything felt hard. We didn't think it would be too bad because 1) we were naive and 2) Matt had grown up all over the world so moving to and English speaking country seemed like a piece of cake compared to moving to Rwanda or Fiji.

    I hope you've settled in well in Durham. If you are ever up in Edinburgh, let me know and we can go for a cuppa.

    x Lar

  2. Libby - just discovered your blog from a link someone left on the Canberra endo site. On top of vigorously nodding to everything you say about doctors, endo and pain, as someone who also lived in the UK I can only say "WTF is with the bank account thing!??" I remember it being bafflingly difficult to get a bank account in the UK (so much so, that I left 10 pounds in my Lloyd's account so that I can use that on holidays or if I ever live there again. 10 pounds well spent to never have to get a bank account set up again!)

    Hope you are loving Durham :)


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