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Do you have any photographs that Joel and I are in? We submitted six with our initial green card application, all different clothes and haircuts and backgrounds, but the lawyer reckons our case would be bolstered by about ten more. We'll have some wedding and some honeymoon, but we don't generally take a lot of pictures when we're out and about. If you have anything with us in, especially if there are other people in the picture as well, I'd appreciate a link.

I'm not worried about the interview -- my box of evidence of our lives together is pretty compelling -- but it's good to be over-prepared for anything that could go wrong. Hope is not a strategy, my friends.

Apparently drainage is not a strategy either.

We had a thunderstorm last night. In previous lives I loved thunder and lightning, but that was before we moved into the Casa del Floodplain here and heavy rain became the enemy. Whichever Mensan designed our back yard decided that a slow slope towards the back door was exactly the best gradient for our garden and this means that every time there's a lot of water in the yard, half of it ends up in the bedroom. It gets pretty bad. Having initially blamed our laxness in cleaning the drains, we're realising now that this is just how our apartment rolls. It is a floody apartment. The previous owner must have been flooded at least forty times during her tenure here and didn't do anything about it. Or, we should note, disclose it to the buyers of her apartment.

So, sigh, finding someone to dig a big old hole in our back garden becomes top priority. That's a big pain, but what's more of a pain is waking up at 3am, laying down towels as sandbags, clearing the floor and low shelves, unplugging everything electrical and making a bucket chain to fill the bath from the back yard to reduce the amount of water we're going to have to mop up later. This is our third time, so we've gotten pretty good at it by now. It's not a skill I want to practice.

So, termites, mice, floods, finding contractors, green card application, reams of paperwork for the apartment sale in our building and I'm leaving the country in less than three weeks. I'm... not stressed exactly, or at least not yet, but I have enough things going on in my brain. It would be ok if everything else stayed a bit quiet for now.


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