“Before you open the door to a potential flat, expect the worst. Envision seventeenth-century plumbing and eighteenth-century electricity. Picture a bedroom three times smaller than your college dorm room but with ten times less storage space. Any London flat that exceeds this expectation even slightly is worth considering. If your only problem with the flat is that the washing machine is in the kitchen, that the fridge is smaller than the TV, that there is no dryer for your clothes, that there is moldy carpet in the bathroom, that the bathtub has no shower attachment, or that the sinks have separate hot and cold water taps— then put down an offer immediately.”
– Jerramy, Fine The Regal Rules for Girls (a partially silly but mostly hilarious and occasionally useful book I read once)
Monday – flew in, practically had to beg for a cab because none of the cabbies wanted to go so far out of their way as we required, got to the house we’d rented (from the landlord Jeff had as a student) in the mid-afternoon. We hopped onto the housing sites we had found, narrowed down the flats we were interested in looking at and made a couple of inquiries.
Tuesday – Sent an email about a particularly promising flat only to have the estate agent call us seconds later and arrange a viewing for just an hour and a half after that. As advertised we find a one bedroom flat about 20 minutes walking from Jeff’s office with a great view, lovely lighting, and all the major appliances we were looking for. Also recently painted and wonderfully easy to clean. We made a rent offer. Two hours later it had been accepted. We said we’d be able to move in any time the following week if that wasn’t inconvenient. Landlady responded by asking if we could move in this weekend. Uh…’k.
Wednesday – Hurry up and wait. Spent our nervous energy wandering around the West End, completed our full Londoner assimilation by watching Channel 4 and eating takeaway in the evening in celebration when everything came through.
Thursday – Signed the contract and scoped out our new neighborhood a bit more.
Friday – Picked up the keys, made sundry lists of necessary house-setting-up-stuff, and bought a couple of cheap but necessary items to start. Made contact with the landlady who was completely lovely – praise Odin! Treated ourselves to The Woman in Black in the West End and gelatto to toast the occasion.
Never say the Small Dog team doesn’t get **** done. Fly in to flat in four days time. We’ve spent the last two days transferring things over and slowly building up the small but necessary household arsenal of things Responsible Grownup Types need to keep a place going – like shower curtains and wastepaper baskets. I’m now starting to tentatively comb through websites on the next great search: a new job.
Tomorrow though, since it’s the Summer Bank Holiday, we’re spending it being tourists for the last time and heading off to the Notting Hill Carnival for a bit before getting straight back to the work of settling in. Huzzah for a (mildly hectic but) kick ass week!