Well, I am settling into my new role as unemployed housewife :-) Every month there is a "Spouse Coffee Morning" where the embassy spouses who don't work generally gather at someone's house to eat, chat, and catch up on what everyone is doing. There is also a more general group of spouses from all the different embassies and they gather about monthly and go to museums, galleries, etc. This month the two events were combined because it was a farewell to a very well known and well loved spouse who's leaving post at the end of the tour. At the event I met several woman (mostly from other embassies, I have finally met almost all the folks from our embassy) who asked if I worked at the embassy. When I said no, they each said "Oh, well then I will see you next month" Yup, I am a lady who lunches (and does laundry, and dishes, and runs to the two produce vendors, fishmonger, butcher and grocery store on a sadly regular basis)
The other news of the week is that we passed the embassy housing board and are on to negotiating the lease with the landlord of the house we want. We are supremely excited and still keeping our fingers crossed. I had tons of lawyerly fun completely revising the lease and making it more fair and more suited to our situation and I was very surprised that the landlord didn't fight most of the provisions I thought he would really want to negotiate. This means either he does recognize what a cash cow the embassy is, or he isn't actually planning to do any of the things we are putting in the lease that he has to do. Since he is our next door neighbor, though, I doubt he will be too difficult. As many of you know, I can be quite difficult myself and does he really want me knocking on his door every day asking when things will be done? So, we have passed a couple of hurdles and we still need to get the lease finalized, signed, and for him to get the work on the house completed. We saw most of the furniture that is in the house and we are perfectly pleased with what he has done (for the most part, and he is changing some things around to meet our requests).
Our car is scheduled to arrive in 2 weeks at at that point we should really become explorers around the island. So far we have not ventured too very far away because of the unpleasant roads and bumpy buses. Today our fun event was a self-determined walking tour of the gardens of Valletta (there are 3 rather large and supposedly very nice gardens). We both decided we prefer our gardens to actually have a certain level of trees, bushes and other plants in them and decided none of the ones Valletta boasts are worthy of the name. Also, Terry has decided that a garden that has a pond or fountain but doesn't have red ear slider turtles living in it should not call itself a garden. I thought that was a bogus complaint. So far "our" garden (the one local to the house we are pretty sure we will live in) is the best we have seen so far. Go us!