We’re mostly done with our move – Aggie is here with the boys, dog and cat. “Here” is not Middle Tennessee as the plan was a year ago, but Hoogezand, ten miles out of Groningen in a row house I bought there. Stuff that we still have to deal with:
1. Getting the paperwork in order so we can get married at last;
2. Getting the paperwork in order so that everybody can get residency permits;
3. Getting the paperwork in order so that we can get Aggie’s household goods delivered to us without it costing us an arm and a leg (what with the cost of the residency papers, we would have no limbs left).
The Dutch authorities’ love of official paperwork gets thrown into stronger relief when you attempt an international move. When you simply live here, it comes in drips and drabs; when you move a family over, you’ll quickly find yourself outputting a stack of paper the size of your forearm. The length, I mean, not the width. Dealing with it all is like a second full time job, but one that eats up the money you make in your first job. Me going to the US would have been much easier in that respect.
There’s also a lot of work that needs to be done on the house itself, but we’ve got the basics covered and the rest of it is not urgent.
In the mean time, I have some ideas relating to what I want to do with the comics. I hope to get started on drawing again next weekend, but what I draw may not be primarily Rogues of Clwyd-Rhan. I am going to have to find a way to recover some of the cost of the move, and this may be easier to do with new comics/art concepts than with a comic that has been going on for nearly 20 years.
I am also thinking about what to do with the blog. I have some series planned that I want to get started on: I want to review every album I’ve bought in the past year or so; I want to do a series on Dutch art and culture for the benefit of Aggie and other expats who are interested in it (or need an education urgently, but let’s not talk about the Expatica forums right now); I also want to do a series defending people, organisations, art forms and ideas that I believe are unfairly maligned. Aggie has a blog about her own experiences in the Netherlands that she uses to inform her friends and former co-workers and students back in the US, and I think the Dutch art and culture series will complement that nicely. But more on that later. Today, there’s more work to do on my old apartment before I hand in the keys on the fifteenth.