building a new life, brick by brick

bricksI’ve been in the U.K. nearly ten months now, and it has been amazing.  Rainy, snowy, sunny, exciting, (and, during driving lessons, occasionally terrifying), fun, and fascinating. Since February (when I have been keeping an “official” (okay, June is a bit shaky) tally), I have read over 150 book and started reviewing for Bookgeeks.  Who, I must say, are all sorts of awesome.

Aside from the fantastic Bookgeeks, I’ve also finally started reaching out and actively building a life here. Mostly by learning how to drive, which I must admit has been terrifying, hysterical, and frustrating all at once. The hysterical bits are usually at the beginning of the lesson when I reach for the seatbelt on the wrong side or (just the once!) stick my hand out the window while I thought I was reaching for the stick shift. Oops. Luckily, I appear to have the worlds-most-unflappable driving instructor, so he just gently corrects me, and we move on. (After telling me the story of one student who managed to drive into the centre of a roundabout and then attempt to flee the car in his stress and terror). Trust me, being a middle school teacher and being a driving instructor are closer than you might believe.  At least the fourteen year olds don’t have control of a thousand pounds of steel.

Other than the adventures on the left side of the road, I have also, I think, managed to snag myself a job.  It’s not completely final, but I have strong hopes, and I am more than looking forward to having a *bit* more structure to my days, an intellectual focus, and, of course, a way to pay for the horseback riding lessons.

It is getting darker earlier now, and there is definitely a chill in the air. I’m driving about on my own, and I feel like I’m getting to know Manchester.  It’s been a good almost-year.