Monday, June 29, 2015

Out of the Country and back in again

Oh dear, it really has been this long already! Thank you to my dear friend Valery for checking in, I thought I might do a quick update.
So the first month here in Davis has been productive, I have submitted a major grant proposal, a revised version of a paper and did all my training. Ordered some material we needed to start actually doing something in the lab and prepared for the interview.

Yes the interview. I flew out on monday, landed in Dublin on tuesday at lunch time, flew to the UK on thursday morning early, back to Dublin late on friday night and back to San Francisco on Saturday morning. Let me tell you it was intense. What did I get out of it all? (a part from a uti which started coming on 2 hours on the plane ride back to SFO...) I will know by the end of next week. I thought it went well, but it may be just another Fulbright fiasco, I did my best, not necessarily I get the job. It was a great experience and it will be a fabulous opportunity if it comes through. I promise I will keep you posted.

Mike and I are more apart than ever. Yes we are very civil, we have our routine, we have sex, etc, but we don't talk. I actually don't feel like talking much at all to him, I rather talk to friends and colleagues. To be honest this has always been the case, even during the treatments, if you are bothered to check out old posts, I was very much dealing with it all by myself. Only now it seems so much more obvious and so much harder to accept. I knew I always compromised on the emotional aspect and mental connection of our relationship, I thought after all nobody is perfect. Just now the fact that he seems to be the only one not knowing what to say if I am worried or need reassurance about the interview etc, is unbearable. The trip away was great to get some space. I was very happy to come back and see the children but with him I am feeling very much I am playing a part. I will give it some time, we have had lots going on, maybe it's just that.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Already a week!

We are in Davis a week already and it is such an easy place to be we have settled in brilliantly. The 10.5 hours journey over was not bad at all, Martina slept for maybe one and half hour after lunch (it was her nap time) and Oliver could not believe his luck that he had no restriction to watching cartoons, ipad, reading a book, more ipad, games, more cartoons, and he was very well behaved. Then of course the journey is long and the excitement wears off pretty quickly, so we had a few laps around the isles and met a few people who were delighted to entertain a bit the children. I managed to watch 3 movies, though not continuously, but I got to the end of all three.

Mike's amazing cousin Ann had got me a bike which is the main way of transport here in Davis and they gave us also one of their car too for the summer which saved us a lot in renting one. We came up to Davis last saturday and the house we are renting is fantastic. It has a lovely garden, it is very spacious and just child friendly. The owners are a lovely couple who are currently touring around in their vintage car they have restored. We are about 6 minutes bike from the university, Mike got himself  a second hand bike that he will sell back to the same shop at the end of the summer and we borrowed a trailer for the children. They love it, we love it.

Work for me is slow as it was still term time in UCDavis and my collaborators were still very busy, but that suited me fine and I have managed to do some more work on a major proposal as well as my interview back in the UK. I love working from the garden, there is a lovely decked area with a table and a fancy parasol and I can be in shorts and bikini top and work on my tan as well as the proposal. Mike's set up in his group is much better organised and so he has already done a safety induction, discussed the projects etc. Next week should be better for me too.

The children settled into the new time zone within a couple of days which was brilliant, and in fairness Martina slept quite well even the first night. The love love love the child care, it's such a cute place, they have a completely shaded garden with chickens and fruit trees! Mike bikes them there and goes to work, it's not directly in line but everything is very near. We have found the nearest Walmart and we have been to the farmers' market this morning. It's fantastic. We will go somewhere for a week in July as the daycare is closed and then again the first week in August. I am a bit nervous I'll do very little between the travelling and the holidays, hopefully I'll conclude something and more importantly learn some thing valuable. I'll try and keep the blog updated and if you are around a free to meet some weekend we'd love it!

Thursday, May 28, 2015

It's nearly time!

We are flying off for our US adventure tomorrow. So so exciting but also a bit sad having to say goodbye to colleagues and friends. Yes yes I know it's only 3 months and we'll be back, but with everything else going on on the job front I am not sure we'll be in Dublin much longer...I got yesterday an official email that I have been invited for interview on the 25th and 26th of June. I have to fly back to the UK (via Dublin, much cheaper and and I can just spend a couple of nights at home) in less than a month time! I have to prepare yet another presentation, let's hope for the best.

So we are leaving at lunch time, we have 3 small suitcases and a big one, we'll buy what we need in California if we are missing something, can't be bothered packing the whole house. Wish us well for the trip and I'll do my best to updated soon!

Thursday, May 21, 2015


Time is slipping through my fingers it seems. All of a sudden is the end of another week and we are one week away from leaving for Davis!

I went back to the UK on monday and the visit was excellent once again. Shortlisting will take place tomorrow, it appears I will be shortlisted and they'll fly me back from California sometime over the summer for the interview. Phew, that's intense but so so flattering they think I am a good candidate for the post! Mike when I told him about me going back for a second visit had a serious melt down. I never see them coming and every time it wrecks my mind and shakes me to the core. His negativity was global, could not see us living in the UK, did it not matter to me that the children were born in Ireland, he could not imagine them growing up in the UK, English people are very different form the Irish etc. Serious serious shit came up. Thankfully these are rare events, in 12 years together I think this is the third time, but I know I can't take many more of them and told him as much. The following day I had a headache from hell, couldn't eat etc. Only in the evening he had already changed his mind as he saw that there are a ton of opportunities for him too, he in fact knows someone there already etc. It's unreal. He is completely incapable of dealing with changes, in fact he doesn't want to talk about possibilities until they are more probabilities and so all my efforts of initiating a discussion on possibly moving for the last few weeks were ditched pretty quickly by him with "well, there's really nothing to talk about yet, is there?". I do feel we are very disconnected at the moment, I have my own things, my own thoughts and he is somewhere in the background. I actually prefer to discuss this possibility with colleagues who are super supportive than with my husband. There's something wrong here, isn't it? Let's hope the summer will help us regroup.

Oliver is back to his normal sweet self and is a pleasure to have around, however this weekend, starting tomorrow evening I'm on my own with the children as Mike is running a race in the west of Ireland with his friends. So give me some strength and calm, I'll need it!!

Sunday, May 10, 2015

The more I waited...

...the more difficult it was to start blogging again.

So if you are still out there occasionally checking on me, I will give you a brief bullet point update of the last while.

  • Work: I had been invited to the UK to give a talk at a particular university. Following the talk, I have been strongly invited to submit an application for a top ranked position at said university. I did. I got an email yesterday saying that as the process is slow, would I go back before i leave for the US to meet other senior management staff to look for possible interactions etc? This is a major opportunity but I am torn as to whether we should really consider moving or not. Some decisions will have to be made soon.
  • Davis: three weeks to go! Both Mike and I will engineer some travelling (work related) while in the US, it's a unique opportunity to strengthen our cv. So Mike will fly across to Wisconsin, while I will go to North Carolina and Boston for a few days. It's practically the same distance as it would be flying from Europe, but somehow it seems less of a problem when you are already there!
  • Family: Oliver spent two weeks in Italy with my parents, I had been invited to give a talk in Trieste, so I flew home with him on a saturday night and flew back on my own on the tuesday. He had a great time and my parents brought him back yesterday. There is a bit of "deprogramming" to do as always, but it's not that bad at all thankfully. Martina meanwhile enjoyed some only child time with mamma and daddy and we had the amazing experience of only having to settle one for the night! What a bliss!!
I hope you are all doing well, I'll try and get back to blogging again. Hugs to all.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

The Davis Project

As it often happens, everything is coming together really nicely!

We have a house in Davis, a sublet from a lovely couple that gave a really good deal we think and this is all due to Mike's cousin who went to see the place and talked to the owner. She sort of made a case for us as visiting scientists, and the owner decided to reduce the asking price also based on the fact that her husband is three quarters Irish and one quarter Italian (the American way!) so he thought we would have been the perfect tenants! We are delighted, the house has a lovely, secure, and shaded garden, it is close to the University and shops and has space if my sister and parents are coming to visit.

Next we sorted out also childcare. After thinking a good bit and thank to my dear friend Rain we decided to look into small day cares and we found this amazing one called Magikal Child, only 12 children, running since 1999 and of Waldorf inspiration. I skyped with the owner twice, she is so lovely, a yoga teacher and the place looks really nice. She showed me the rooms, the lovely children, and it felt just right. It is only 10-15 min cycling from the house so we hope we can leave the car at home most of the time. Again she gave us a very good deal, it is unusual to have children staying only a few months and summer is quiet for them so again we felt really loved by everyone.

And yesterday we celebrated our 8th anniversary! Onwards and upwards!

Monday, March 9, 2015

#MicroblogsMonday: Bad news, Good News, Good News

No Fulbright for me. Gutted to say the least, not sure what I could have done differently as the interview went very well, so hopefully I will get a better idea when I get feedback in April. Maybe there was just a better candidate!

Meanwhile I had also been shortlisted for internal funding through my University to sponsor the trip the the US, I went for interview and I heard just last friday that they funded me! They did cut the budget (expected) but it's still better than nothing.

Both Mike and I will retain our salary for the duration of our stay (we have booked the flights, 29th of May-24th of August) which is great news and we have probably also found a house to rent in Davis too!