So in April we said goodbye to our first London flat (and goodbye to having wifi at home until mid May!).
I was blasé about this move. After all, last time we’d moved home, we’d packed up our entire lives, driven 10 hours, and moved country. This time, we weren’t even leaving South East London.
And unlike last time, we were so ready to move. Our petite place had become to feel even more so, like it had shrunk in the wash somehow over the last year. Perhaps it was the kitchen sink that was always blocked, the mould that refused to die in the bathroom (and then destroyed my Scandi shower curtain in revenge) or ‘the day ALL the blue bottles came’™.*
Which is not to say that the flat was all bad, not at all. Just as time went on, the things that were funny at first – like the step that always caught your sock and put a hole in it – became less so. But we did get much better at darning socks. And darn it – socks, blockages, mould and yucky flies aside – we had fun this last year. 2013 will always be the year we moved to London and that flat will always be part of that.
So we approached moving with the excitement of two kids waiting for Christmas. Impatient, a little grouchy, a little too over excited. We packed in a hurry as if that could make the move happen faster. And then all of a sudden, as with all things you wait for, it had happened.
Which, of course, is an understatement. There was lugging, there was lifting and shifting, and cursing ourselves for having so many books (a hallmark of any move we have ever done).
Not surprisingly, packing up all your belongings into boxes (and a multitude of tote bags when you run out of boxes) was more tiring than I’d have liked to admit. And oh being without internet for such a long time, well, oft.
But it was totally worth it.
I think we’re in the loved up phase with this flat… where every eccentric angle, every ray of dappled sunlight spilling through the windows, every drop of rain tapping at the skylight (possibly my favourite thing ever).
And ok, so it’s a rented flat, but it feels like it’s somehow very much ours and just to have somewhere to call home again is really rather wonderful.
Of course, we’re still sorting things, working out what fits where, discovering a need for furniture we don’t have yet… and even with more kitchen cupboard space we still don’t have room for all the vintage china I’ve collected over the years. But that’s the fun of moving right?
And the furry felines we live with… well, they seem to have settled in just fine. There’s carpet to roll about on, stairs to scamper up and perhaps most importantly a bit more space from each other. (Theirs is a relationship built on being always at least a couple feet apart, unless there’s a spider in the room.)
And the humans… we’ve settled in not too badly too. With more kitchen space, we’ve started cooking properly again (now we have an oven that doesn’t take 90 mins just to cook a veggie burger), I’ve started doing more crafty stuff (see the bright neon chairs in the second picture!), and generally just doing more happy chilling out when we’re at home (instead of frustratedly trying to tidy a flat that was impossibly impossible to tidy).
Yes, everything is going to be all bright now… or at least, a little more neon than before!
*the day ALL the blue bottles came™…
A day that will live on in my memory forever.
If you’re eating, planning on eating, really dislike blue bottle flies, don’t read this bit!
You’re still reading? Ok, well, you’ve been warned…
On a warm humid day, I was working from home when I heard a buzzing in the next room. I opened the door and there were two big bloated blue bottles doing circles around the room… Blurgh. I threw open the window and managed to sort bat them out of the window. Closed window. Felt a bit blurgh. But they were gone, so that was that.
Only wasn’t there a buzzing noise again… This time coming from the cupboard with the washing machine. I opened the cupboard door and four more blue bottles flew out. This called for reinforcements (i.e. fly spray). I dashed to the kitchen to grab it, only to discover that there were now three other blue bottles in the kitchen/living room. It was all getting a bit Hitchcock for my liking. Ok, so there were 7 flies to deal with… except… there were now 10. What the…
I threw open another window to give them the chance to leave before I got crazy with the fly spray.
In the aftermath, I had to pick up the dead flies – with tissue paper – and some of them popped. I still get shudders thinking about this. (I’m pulling a really freaked out face as I type!) But it was done. No more flies…
Except, oh no, not again… buzz…
And so it went on. Buzz, spray, squelch.
I phoned the other half, now quite freaked out at the invasion that seemed to be taking place. He helpfully suggested that our downstairs neighbour might have died. (She hadn’t.) Which did nothing to calm me down. (I’d also very probably inhaled too much fly spray by now.)
By the time he came home, I’d ‘taken care’ of 30 odd blue bottles. I was also irrevocably disturbed by the whole experience. I had eyes like a bush baby that had just spent a whole day dealing with blue bottles…
After some investigating (which I refused to be part of), the other half identified that they were crawling in through the washing machine cupboard. I promptly disowned all knowledge of this cupboard for the rest of the time we lived there.
Blurgh. Blargh. Blergh. Blorgh. Blirgh.
If you read that far, I owe you a cat picture. And gin. And a hug.
I need all three myself!