We have been in Scotland nearly a month now and we starting to finally feel like we are settling in. Well, I think Andrew settled in much faster than I did as I was the one left in the shuffle of being the "spouse/partner" of a PhD student. There has been a ton of events for Andrew as he starts on this incredible journey and embarks on this very new step. I have been a bit overwhelmed with all the events for both of us and most for Andrew. The university has been incredible at welcoming the incoming students and preparing them for life as a PhD student.
Although, I must admit, I am not sure how well I have been prepared for being the partner of a PhD student. Our home is still in a bit of chaos and there are boxes yet to be unpacked. We don't have nearly enough storage and I feel as if we are bursting at the seems. I thought we down sized pretty significantly, but I was shockingly unaware at how little space for storage we would have and how much I thought I "needed."
However, I don't want to sound too much like a downer because we have been making progress everyday at unpacking and finding a place for everything that we decided to bring along with us. Which brings me to Ikea...
Oh thank you Ikea, for all of your options to create new spaces, storage spaces, and rooms pretty. We have made several Ikea runs and will probably be making several more as we continue forward. They are a reasonably priced store and can provide almost everything that you may need when setting up home. Unfortunately, the nearest Ikea is about an hour and 40 minutes away in Edinburgh, but it does give us an excuse to see our close friends Adrian and Heather Holdsworth who live and work in Edinburgh and help run a small bible college.
But Ikea you are a pain in the butt when it comes to putting items together. Andrew and I haven't even purchased complex furniture. We have purchased two book cases, a shelving piece for the bathroom window and finally a large shelving unit for more bathroom storage. We still need to come and purchase a couple more shelves for clothing.
We had to also purchase an electric drill. We tried at first to follow the steps as outlined by the Ikea "cartoons," oh I mean instructions. But it was horrible. After straining our muscles and hurting our fingers trying to use this Z shaped tool with brute force get screws into the connecting parts we googled others experiences in putting together Ikea furniture and 100% said don't bother with the stupid Z tool go get an electric tool. Everyone shared in our frustration and in our pain. So we iced our thumbs and headed for the local hardware store, Mica Hardware in St. Andrews.
Mica Hardware is the quintessential hardware store with all sorts of eclectic items all over the store. It ranges from pots and pans to dressing makers to pillows to bug spray to grills and charcoal to lawn care to home improvement to home cleaning and electronics of all sorts. The owners are friendly and you can negotiate a bit for some of the items. Its perfect and everything I hoped a small town hardware store would feel like. We received an amazing deal on a drill because it had been in the window and the packaging was faded a bit and it was dusty. Otherwise it was perfect and a life saver for our Ikea projects.
Yes, we tackled the Ikea monster and can I say that we are now the slayers of the Ikea dragon!!!
With our Ikea pieces put together the chaos is beginning to fade and I will feel even more comfortable and at ease that we are close to being finished.
Additionally, I think we both feel like we are bleeding money at the moment as we try and set up house here. We planned and knew that we would need to purchase these items and we are making really good inexpensive and needed choices but it still feels uneasy. We expected these purchase and even anticipated them, but the reality is that its not easy.
Finally, my cup of coffee. I am today finally enjoying my first cup of home made coffee. For those who know I am a French Press lover. Its my favorite way to make and enjoy my cup of Joe :). I even shipped a few bags of coffee beans which I had not gotten to and was super excited to receive and rescue from the shipping boxes. However, the idea of grinding our own beans is a very new concept here in Scotland and well the entire UK. Hunting down a grinder for my beans has been a challenge, but it was delivered yesterday and tested today. Yummm the coffee is fabulous (of course I added some Starbucks flavour syrup) and as I look out my windows to the stone buildings outside I am thankful for this adventure.
I am thankful for how this will challenge me, change me, ground me and allow me to understand and know my husband better.
I hope we get to see some of you soon on our side of the pound!
A perfectly tarnished child of God