We have our cat back

Electra wasn’t able to fly with us as we were staying in a hotel at first and didn’t know how long we would have to wait for a house, plus we packed all her paperwork, including the document giving details of her rabies vaccination, so that needed to be repeated and then we had to wait 30 days before she was allowed to fly.

We used AirPets in the UK and AceCaspian in Azerbaijan, who have worked together before and all went very smoothly. Kelly, from AirPets kept me informed how Electra was getting on and sent me some photos.

She arrived in Baku on Wednesday morning, unfortunately to the wrong terminal! She was supposed to go to the cargo terminal and instead went to the passenger one and was left in the arrivals area. Not quite sure how long she was left there for but eventually she did make it to the right place. But without all her paperwork (vaccination schedule, certificate to fly and her pet passport) that customs need to release her.

This is where Zhanara from AceCaspain was really great, she managed to negotiate releasing Electra using the copies of all the documents that AirPets had sent a few days earlier. Very relieved to get the phone call saying she was now on her way.

She has settled in really quickly, straight out of her traveling box and started to explore, she found her food and water straight away, and has been rubbing up against everything to mark it as hers. She is looking remarkably chilled out and wanting lots of cuddles.

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Introducing Dougal 2

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We have our new car. Very excited to have this as it I have been a bit stuck in Stonepay this week. It will be great to get out and explore a bit more and get to the fruit and veg markets. Our driver, Turan,  seems really good, he is coming on Monday to pick me up. It is a bit odd having a driver again and I’m sure it will take some getting used to but the driving in Baku is absolutely terrifying that I am much happier leaving it to someone else. (I did drive in Korea which was bad enough but driving here takes it to a whole new level, though there are some who do brave driving themselves especially at the weekend when the traffic is less.)

You might be wondering why the car is called Dougal 2, well because we had a Mitsubishi Pajero (called a Shogun in the UK) the last time we were here, which was unsurprisingly called Dougal, named after the dog from the Magic Roundabout. I have just been doug1460looking up the wikipedia page, I never knew that the program was originally in French and the BBC brought the animation but without the scripts, so a new script was made just from the animation, which might explain why the stories were a bit odd at times.

Whilst on silly facts, the Pajero is named after the Pampus cat from South Argentina!

Some photos of the original Dougal, looking right at home off road around about Baku. Really looking forward to getting out and doing a bit more of this!

 

 

 

All moved in and unpacked

We got into our new house on Wednesday, when both the air and the sea shipments arrived, well nearly all the air shipment, 8 boxes were missing but fortunately they turned up the next day.

Wednesday was chaos, there were nearly 200 boxes to be sorted into different rooms and then unpacked, furniture reassembled and bedrooms made ready for that night. It took another few days to get everything else away but we are finally there and everything is sorted.

Really pleased that we have managed to get everything sorted so quickly, we still have the pictures to put up, which will happen over the next couple of days (we have to get housing to put the wall fixtures up) and then it will feel a lot more like home.

 

 

Finding things to do

We have been in the hotel a week now and expect to be here for at least another week possibly ten days. And whilst there are definite advantages to being in a hotel (like laundry returning neatly folded in a black box) but there are a few downsides as well. It is hot out which makes exploring harder – though we did find a good playpark yesterday – and there are just times when you don’t fancy going out.

So we have been doing lots of craft and building things.

 

 

Birthday in a hotel

This is the second birthday that Katrine has had while living a hotel, the first was in the Lotte Hotel in Ulsan where she came away with a giant pink whale soft toy. And yesterday she turned 10. She had already had her party with all her friends from the UK before we left,

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She had a tree climbing party, with her best friend Tillie, who also has a birthday during the school holidays.

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We tried to make her birthday as special as possible, it isn’t every day you enter double figures. Whilst we was asleep we decorated the room as best we could.

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And had lots of fun with balloons.

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She was surprised at breakfast with a cake and all the staff sung happy birthday to her. And the hotel gave her a cake later on as well (at 10 at night, when she was already asleep so we get to enjoy it today)

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imageMost of Katrine’s presents are in the shipment, so she will have to wait until we get into our house to get them, Fortunately, Aunty Lynsay wasn’t organised enough so her present had to come in our suitcases, a genuine a rainbow Loom. Plus Gregor got her a loom book and extra bands and we surprised her with the sleeping kitten (with breath movements and it purrs).

 

We have chosen a house.

We have managed to arrive in Baku at exactly the right time (totally by coincidence) as 15 brand new houses have just been completed and ready for occupancy. Some have already been allocated but we still got a choice between the remaining.

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There are 4 different styles of houses to chose from, all with the same floor size but with slightly different layouts and house colour.  We picked a house with layout E, as we preferred the separate rooms downstairs and that the balcony is from the upstair’s landing so everyone can access it.

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It is right at the end of the cul-de-sac, just behind where I took the picture of the street above. Which means that the garden is slightly squint and narrow in places, but we do get trees (I am envisioning a hammock gently swinging and maybe some Swallows and Amazon style tents slung between them). For the next year the access to the street is down a passage way right next door but then it will move to the other end so we will be away from the traffic. Plus it is really, really close to school – cross the road behind and they are there – no more long commutes for us in the mornings.

The inside isn’t fully finished, so we don’t have a moving date yet but have been told it will be soon, but it is looking really good.

 

We are in Baku.

On Monday we relocated to Baku. It still feels a bit unreal as this last year has been so confusing, first we were going to the UK, then Baku, then it was all off and we were staying in the UK, then possibly back on and now definetly back on and here we are!

The flight was pretty uneventful, though we were sitting at the gate for a long time as there were heavy thunderstorms in the area. But this was great at the captain invited any children on board to come up and have a look round the flight deck.

One very happy Gregor in the Captain's seat.

One very happy Gregor in the Captain’s seat.

We are staying in the Marriott this time and liking it a lot, the staff are very child friendly with lots of smiles, we have 2 connecting rooms so loads of space and great views.image

We are right next door to our old apartment, which just adds to the slightly unreal feeling about being here again. This hotel looked a lot different last time we were here!

You can really see the sand on the windows in this picture, inevitable in a semi-desert.

You can really see the sand on the windows in this picture, inevitable in a semi-desert.

Our old flat was on floor 13, so if you see where the white part of the building juts out and then go up a further 3 floors on the right hand side, that is our flat!

We spent yesterday just hanging round the hotel and lazing in the pool, where Gregor managed to gather a collection of swimming woggles and aqua-aerobic weights.  And today we are heading to Stonepay to check out our new house! I will remember to take my camera so I can post photos of where we will be living soon.

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