February update

Sunday 28 February 2021 – St Leonards-on-Sea.

It has been a few weeks since I last scribbled typed some notes on how things are going and what Eleanor and I have, or in this case, haven’t been up to. February continued to be cold, and Covid continued to keep us in the UK in some form of lockdown; however, the forecast for both is improving. The Covid news continues to get better and better; vaccinations have been moving along at a great pace in the UK, Eleanor has had her first, and mine is in a couple of weeks, and the lockdown is having the desired effect with the number of infections and critically ill trending down. Daffodils and crocuses are appearing in the park, a sure sign spring is not too far off.

I have been trying to think back on the things that have happened in the last few weeks, and can really only think; not a lot. There is news of a sort, not BREAKING news, but news nonetheless.

I have changed my mind on selling the flat and am now going to rent it out instead.

  • I had a rental agency visit to view the flat and can expect to get quite a lot more per than I thought. The market here is very good at the moment, or bad I guess if you want to rent. The price of gentrification being paid for by those who can least afford it. I justify to myself by knowing that I only have one flat and the rent I will get still won’t cover my mortgage; though it will be closer.
  • We have been taking time to have a good and honest look at the possible costs of relocating to NZ; it was not something we properly did before Eleanor got her visa and it is a LOT more expensive to live there than we thought. Auckland is less affordable than London, I knew it was going to be expensive, just not by how much.
  • Booking a room in managed isolation is very difficult, and you cannot fly to New Zealand unless you have a room booked first. The managed isolation folk only release rooms up to three months in the future and they are booked out immediately, we have yet to work out the timing of when to get on the site to book. In saying that there are only taking bookings to the end of May which is too early for us.
  • What this does mean is my plan to try and find some work before we left has been completely thwarted. We are going to have to travel to NZ first and then look for a job once we are there. I am starting to see jobs asking for applications for NZ residents only now. A change from a few weeks ago.
  • The cost of living plus not having a job, means we can realistic commit to six months in Auckland before having to think about coming back, where we can at least live rent free.

With the possibility of having to come back to the UK between three and six months meant it made no sense to sell the flat. If we get work in NZ then we can think about selling the flat at a later stage, but at least I have the choice then. With this in mind I am going to ask if I can take a career break before I resign, which means the potential of a job when we return.

We walked to Bexhill one afternoon and then caught the train back to St Leonards. It was my first time in a train since November, when we last did the six minute journey from Bexhill. I am planning on taking the train to London for my vaccination. I can then take photos out of train windows again.

There was an amazing snow moon one night, I have never heard of these before. The moon was huge and sitting low on the horizon so Eleanor and I took a quick walk down to the seafront. It was the first time we have been outside in the evening for ages. With nothing open there were few people out, it was cold but nice to be outside for a change.  Though I have walked a little over the past few weeks I have struggled with motivation and am rarely getting out for a pre-work walk anymore. We always do a short walk at the weekend, but I really need to extend the range else I am just going to spread and it will all become so much harder.

I will chuck in a couple of sunset photos to fill the rest of the page. The two orange images were taken on different nights out of the bedroom window and the other was taken from beach.

Hopefully March will be more interesting.

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