20 March 2005

The Practice Trip to England (V)

Here I am at Heathrow, waiting for them to call my flight home for boarding. My time yesterday as the Wellcome was only moderately productive. Lon called from France, which did give us a chance to catch up and square a few things away. Unfortunately the administrator in charge of financial matters wasn't in on Friday, so that stuff won't be fully resolved until next week (when I'll be in the US, of course). It doesn't much matter to me, as long as all the relevant authorities are satisfied. I am slightly disturbed about my visa, though, as it sometimes takes a few weeks in the mail, which is really more time than I can afford. Maybe I should look into one of those agencies in New York that expedite them.

News on the housing front is a bit more hopeful. I met a nice girl named Rebecca who used to work at the Wellcome and is just now moving back to Oxford. She's renting a house that's still being refurbished by the new owners, starting in May. It's gutted now, so looking at it wasn't too impressive, but I suspect that's for the good, since everything will be brand new when they finish, and I have no strict deadline on when I have to move out of John B's spare room. Plus it is literally less than 10 minutes walk to the Wellcome, which will be perfect. Plus, I really love the idea of moving into a new place with all the roommates at once, so I won't feel like I'm arriving in an existing home.

The place is in a decent little neighborhood in Headington, near the town center (and as I said, near work). The only problem is that the guy who's negotiating with us is a bit of a goon. His brother runs most of the construction projects they do, and I think this is sort of first try at being the point man. He seems well intentioned, but unable to give us all the exact details of the finished product (since many of our questions have to be funnelled through the brother). Anyway, we agreed upon a provisional lease, subject to the completion of the house to our satisfaction. I really had good luck falling in with Becca, though, because she's been looking at places in Headington for two months now and has fairly exacting standards (she currently lives with her financier boyfriend in London, so she's unwilling to move into a hovel).

So basically I've got both short- and long-term housing squared away and my finances in at least somewhat better shape than when I arrived. All that's left is to fill out some forms and mail them off, get the visa dealt with, and wire my deposit to the landlord and I should be in good shape. See you all soon!

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