Future visitors, fleas and a flood.
Saturday, 20.08.2016 - 12:57 pm.

Our friends have left, after two weeks of providing us with nice company. I kind of miss having them around, but on the plus side, we're back to our normal life, Andrew and I. It feels really good, our own little world. We've also been working from home, as the Psych Department is moving to another building next week. The new building is farther away from home, so we'll be working from here more and more.

There are still a few visitors on the horizon though. First, JC! His brother lives somewhere near London. I don't think I'll be able to take a trip down there, but I really, really hope he'll be able to come up north. After being able to overcome heartbreak between us (mostly mine because of him, but I know he had his share of sadness), his is a valuable friendship, and I'd love to get together to catch up with him and laugh about silly things. I'd like to point out, though, that he said "I'll arrive on the 26th!", but never answered my question if it was of August or September. I think it's the former. I'm not really holding my breath but he's keen on the idea of coming up here, so I'm crossing my fingers he'll make it.

Second visitor, or rather, set of visitors: BROTHER AND SISTER-IN-LAW #1!!! YES! They have also not set a specific date (or haven't told me) but will arrive at the end of September. They will spend some time here and then off to Scotland they'll go. I'm still not thinking a lot about this visit, though, to avoid getting impatient.

Another very important update of my life is the fact that our cats somehow got fleas. Fortunately, cat fleas don't stick to humans! Our cats live indoors but this is a big, old house and tiny creatures can come in and out quite easily. We controlled a flea invasion once, and once again we've bought anti-fleas powder and shampoo (Marla, our black cat, tolerates taking a bath, bless her), and we vacuum and we buy anti-parasitic pipettes regularly. Still, they're back. We're on a tight budget for the rest of the month, but as soon as we can, we're taking them to the vet. It's time for a general check-up, anyway. Soon it'll be a year since we arrived here.

A year! A year ago Andrew and I were packing bags and selling everything and preparing our cats. Now we're nicely settled down (and I'd live here forever!) getting ready for our doctoral confirmation review.

Another update: the kitchen flooded on Wednesday. Andrew has mastered the preparation of the traditional English breakfast and was cooking for our friends, who were leaving the next day. Out of nowhere, a pipe bursted and water started to flood the kitchen. Thank God it happened while we were right there. There was a power socket below the sink, Jesus Christ! C, one of our friends, found it while he was trying to fix the pipe, while Andrew, L (she's married to C and has been one of Andrew's best friends since college) and I tried to keep the water from reaching the carpet outside the kitchen. We turned off gas and electricity, and of course the water valve.

Luckily, the people from the house letting agency sent someone in 20 minutes. He fixed the pipe and gave us advice, we cleaned up everything, and we were able to have breakfast after all. A few hours later we had recovered entirely. Frankly, it could have been much, much worse. It could have happened while we were outside the house (we were away for five days just last week!). Hell, it could have happened while we were upstairs, and we would have stepped into the water rushing to find the source of the flood, not knowing that the water was electrified. Jesus.

Some story I'm writing (78 pages and counting, and I'm having so much fun) deals with floods. As I went into the kitchen, with Andrew scrambling to learn what was going on and how to stop it, I just stood there, watching the water level rise and reach my feet. I was frozen, fascinated, "hey, I'm writing about this!". It goes without saying that I'm not equipped to survive disasters.

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