Day 2 (don’t worry, promise to stop counting soon)
We went for a stroll down High Street before dinner last night and DH said ‘have you noticed everyone looks different? Different shapes and sizes, different styles, different.’
Who knew 3 years in Japan would have such an impact on our expectations of ‘the public’.
MissM is struggling already with the differences in the taste of food. We bought some ‘cream cheese and bread sticks’ from M & S and I said ‘this might be our new dippy-cheese (aka Kirri sticks)’ and then realized, other than for snacks at home, there’s no more need as there’s no more home made school lunches (YEAH ME!)
MissM’s first words on tasting them was ‘there is no way THIS is anything like dippy –cheese’ so stopped eating.
Our M&S dinner was OK, tho MissM didn’t like the crinkle cut oven fries. We ate the McCainn skinny oven fries in Japan; these ones were thicker so let’s hope that’s the only difference.
DH and I realized that for the best part of MissM’s memory she’s ‘Japanese’ in many ways, or at least used to Japanese things, tastes, sights and sounds. It might take a bit more adjusting that we thought.
We all did something on our walk we’ve not done in years …. Went into a DVD/CD shop, yep HMV is alive and well in Winchester and bought a few DVD’s to keep MissM amused. Not that it’s a bad thing, but there’s only 4 channels on the TV in the apartment and none are kid friendly.
Funny how we automatically expect hundreds of TV channels offering every kind of entertainment available.
MissM and I are going to do some home schooling. Yes, I know. We are going to have to do a LOT of deep breathing to survive this, but she ain’t on holidays and if we can do an hour in total over the course of the day we’ll be fine. She is keen to do some Mathletics, and abcya.com, which is a start. We’ll buy a pretty notebook and pen and she can start a journal on her first few weeks in Winchester.
We were awake at 4.10am this morning. It’s 7.15am as I write this and I feel like it should be lunch time.
I decided to use the time wisely and Google:
· Things to do in Winchester
· Things to do in Hampshire
· Hampshire for kids
· Winchester for Kid
Get the idea?
As a result, I’ve discovered LOTS to see and do in our new local area; subscribed to a few interesting newsletters (only time will tell if they are relevant and/or useful) and most satisfying of all, I’ve understood every single word.
While MsA chatted with me ‘thought you’d be house hunting not playing tourist’ and I said there’s a time and place for everything.
We’re house hunting on Thursday. Part of me is trying to be as optimistic as possible while keeping it real. Like most cultures, non fee paying school enrollments is based on living in the catchment area of the school. As we are arriving at mid term most schools are full with waiting lists. If we find the right house, but there’s no place available at the school we’ll keep looking (no point living in the wrong catchment area)
If we find a school and the house is so-so we’ll have a decision to make. We’re happy to compromise on the house for a great school, and have already discussed what those compromises might be so we’re ready to pounce if needed.
The quickest solution is to successfully interview with a fee paying school on Friday and enroll MissM on the spot to start Monday, freeing up time and energy levels to house hunt anywhere we like (within reasonable driving/walking distance to school).
We know we’ll all end up where we need to be, but in the meantime it’s a little bit stressful. Moving to Yokohama was easier in as much as there are two International Schools, and housing is available in several areas. We’ve such CHOICE here which has it’s own merits but it is frustrating.
Don't really expect to find THE ONE tomorrow, but it would be nice