Goodbye Greenwich, hello New York

All day long I’ve had that song from My Fair Lady in my head; ‘I’m getting married in the morning, ding dong the bells are going to chime!” Except I’ve been singing “New York, we’re coming in the morning,” instead.

Tomorrow’s the big day, The Big Move.
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Here we go round the mulberry bush

My parents are moving house too, and asked if I wanted any of the old family children’s books. They gave me the most amazing pile of old books, mostly belonging to my mother and her three older brothers from the 1940s and 50s. The Secret Garden, with gorgeous swirling drawings, some classic Beatrix Potters, an old book of nursery rhymes.
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Failing my Moving To New York To Do List

Struggling to keep to my official ‘Moving To New York To Do List’ at the moment, which includes all sorts of tedious-yet-vital things. Check the airline’s baggage allowance, get the kids’ passport photos for visas, sort out International Driving Licences, call the house insurers, yaddah yaddah yaddah. There’s just so much to think about when moving countries (click here for my tips on what to bother shipping out).

Instead, I am happily ordering yet more classic British children’s books online. Alfie’s Christmas, Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes, We’re Going on a Bear Hunt… pretty much anything involving Julia Donaldson, Helen Oxenbury or Shirley Hughes.
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Checking for horns – school interviews for three year olds

This week we flew our three year old out to New York to meet the schools we had short-listed on our previous visit. The interviews seemed to go well, since both offered her a spot.

With the help of a schools broker through relocation specialists, NYC Navigator, C and I had flown out earlier to view four schools that still had places available for this September, and narrowed it down to two. They were all incredibly warm and inviting, but explained that they would need to meet the child before they could offer a place. Presumably to check for horns. Continue reading “Checking for horns – school interviews for three year olds”

Poxy Chickens – vaccine differences between the UK and New York

Met another mum at a local Greenwich playgroup this morning who’s just back from a year in Manhattan with two kids very similar ages to ours. I invited her round for tea and she’s reeled off lots of useful information, including fact that some New York schools require a chickenpox vaccine certificate.

I didn’t even know it was possible to get a vaccine. Only last week I saw a notice on the nursery doors warning of chickenpox going round, and thought “Oh goody, so they can get it young”. Surely a vaccine is much better. Made some calls. Turns out it’s actually not possible to get it done in the UK anyway, since one of the two vaccines is no longer stocked here.

For a full list of the vaccines usually given in New York, click here.

C’s back in New York again this week. Massive rush to get all his laundry washed and ready for packing again. We’ve made a little recording of him reading The Gruffalo, to play to the girls at bedtime. They love it. And so do I.


“Has she got a tail?”

C has been commuting weekly between London and New York. He works all day and then walks around Manhattan in the evenings, searching for the right neighbourhood for us to live in (for more on this, click here). Luckily Greenwich is very close to London City Airport, which flies direct to JFK.

C flew home to London City Airport this morning, we were all up and dressed and waiting by the window at 7.30am. T went berserk with excitement when the taxi pulled up, and 16 month old B toddled over pointing a podgy finger and chanting “Da, Da, Da, Da”. So lovely. And I have a present, a shiny new iPad with which to write this blog and also keep in touch with everyone once we’re gone. Brilliant. Feel like a smart, sophisticated, technologically savvy woman of the world. Wonder how long that’s going to last.
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Houses and kettles

Apparently Americans don’t really use kettles. How can they not use kettles?? It doesn’t even bear thinking about. Friends tell me it’s tricky bringing British electricals to America unless they have a transformer. What is a transformer, though? How can you tell if the kettle, juicer, baby monitors, slow cookers and so on will work? Am going on the assumption that basically no electricals will work and we should just buy everything new on arrival. New for New York, has quite a nice ring to it…
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The Big Toy Purge

With the NY move looming, we’ve begun The Big Purge. Challenged the girls to choose their favourite toys that would fit inside their toy hampers. Anything that wouldn’t fit, goes to charity.

Braced for tears and pleading, it was actually fairly painless. We’ve kept all the baby dolls, wooden toys, and anything – naturally- involving a princess. It was actually C and I who found it the hardest to let go of some of those toys. The book that T first smiled at. The bunny rattle that B enjoyed waving on the nappy changing table. C even argued to keep a few favourites back.
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Greenwich, London to Greenwich, New York

So. We are moving to New York. C’s boss is heading over and wants him to come too, so all four of us are heading over for the next few years. It’s the perfect time, really, since our two girls haven’t started school yet, so we won’t be disrupting them too much. The eldest one, three year old T, currently has a touch of an East London accent and refuses to believe that “somefink” should actually be pronounced “something”. Heaven knows how she’ll sound in a few years. The littlest one, B, is only a year old so I suppose an American accent is inevitable for her. For both of them, probably. Strange to think our children won’t sound like us.
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