It's birthday week here at londoncasey, and I've just realized that because I've been titling all of these posts with what I actually call my relatives- that means that this one is titled "Mommy" and though I'm not 100% certain that I wanted the internet to know that I call my mom 'Mommy', well, meh. Let's go with it. (She typically gets called "Betsy" by those who know her.)
I'm leaving London.
My visa is up in mid-November and though I have spent most of this year trying to figure out how to stay, I couldn't manage to find a method that would both work (you know, legally) and feel right. So I'm heading back to America and I am (ever so tentatively) starting to get in to the idea.
About a month ago, when this decision was really made and I closed the doors on the half options that were still floating around- I talked to Laine and *FREAKED OUT* about things like...phone bills. And health insurance. And the price of food in America. Because I've not really dealt with those things in the US, only in the UK. (She promised me that I would be able to figure it out and then forwarded a link to a freelancers union in NY. She's an excellent sister.)
At the end of this month I will be done with all of my contracted work, though the tykes may continue to pull me in for supply/substitute teaching the first couple months of school. What this means is that though my income drops dramatically come September, I do have this glorious gift of time coming to me. And it feels like a good bookend in a lot of ways- I showed up in London (and, in fact, started this blog) with a whole month of time on my hands, a travel card, and a sense of exploratory adventure. Now I get the chance to leave like that as well.
I'm done with teaching for now. I'll be moving in the middle of the school year and it's not something I've been particularly excited about for a while (you may have noticed the diminishing number of tyke related posts). It very well may be something that I come back to, but I shouldn't think I would look for classroom teaching positions in America. (For one thing, I really really don't have an education degree.)
I'm done with the bass. I don't think I posted this to the blog, but I don't own a bass any longer- the one I had been playing in London now has a happy home in Norway and my American bass is helping out the Seattle Youth Symphony.
And maybe I'm done with London. (Maybe just for this round.)
Things I still want to do before I move back to America
1. Go punting. Andrew is moving to Oxford in October, this may become his responsibility.
2. Do some more rambling. There's an awful lot of the country I've not tromped through yet, and some more tromping needs to happen.
3. Go to Kew Gardens. I still haven't made it there yet, which is ridiculous given how much I like plant museums.
4. Have a massive birthday party of goodness. I did a bouncy castle last year, this year needs something new.
5. Do some European travelling. I'm going to France (finally) in, oh, a week! I'd forgotten it was so soon! But I want to see Berlin and maybe Hungary too.
6. Go camping! I want to burn things and sleep outdoors and get really, really muddy.
7. Get my English finances in order so I don't worry about having messed something up once I'm far away again.
You know why this list isn't longer? Because I do the things I want to in London. I go to improv class every week and I have a marvellous yoga teacher, and I get to be involved in all of these cool and exciting games and I walk in a London park at least three times a week, and every time I get on a bus I sit on the upper deck (and very often in the front), and I wander over to Trafalgar Square and squee at all of the squee-ing Harry Potter fans just because it is there and goodness me I am blessed. Not least because everywhere I go I am surrounded by some pretty extraordinary people.
Lucky, lucky, lucky me.
I'm going to miss here. But maybe it's time for something else.