Nath Knits

and should probably be doing something else.

Our house – Day 26



It’s a dreary, rainy, chilly day in London.  Which is comforting.  I was beginning to wonder if all that talk about the weather in England being dreadful was just propaganda, because it’s been beautiful every day!

It’s been a quiet week.  The entries in my daily journal, which I’ve been keeping since we left Canada, have been very terse since we got to London, because life has been a whole lot less busy.  It’s been nice to just hang out at home, explore the neighbourhood, and make the space ours.  Dr. Thingo’s been back to work since Wednesday.   I want to explore London, but I needed a break.  I think we’re going to start with the Greenwich observatory this weekend.  Yes, we live in the Royal Borough of Greenwich, home of Greenwich Mean Time!  Though we’re currently on British Summer Time.  Anyway.

I’ve been asked to post pictures of the house.  Ask and ye shall receive!

Front entrance. Note the hoodies on the stair rail. That’s because there are NO HOOKS ANYWHERE. No coat rack. Nothing. Where did they keep their coats??

Great Room, Living room view.

Great Room, dining room view. This is officially the office space. It should be good and cluttered in another 4-5 days.

Kitchen, view 1

Kitchen, from the opposite end.  Those magnets on the fridge are all Chinese syllables.  There’s a project for the next year!!

Vorlon’s room. It was the office/spare room. Much of the office crap is still there. They did clear the right-most closet, which is where Vorlon’s clothes are piled up. And one of the bookshelves, which you can’t see. That table next to the closet was a diaper changing table, and is still loaded with electronics boxes. I still need to deal with this room…

Bathroom. The shower scares me a little. I’m not sure I’m grown-up enough yet to take a shower without being super-alert so that I don’t accidentally hose down the whole bathroom.

Master bedroom.

Master bedroom, view 2. Sorry about the empty bags – they need to be taken down to the basement. Knowing us, this should take a few weeks.

Zebula’s room. It’s actually not pink – it just looks like that because of the light reflecting off the duvet. The owner’s 9-year-old daughter sleeps here and left a lot of her toys, which has been great!  But this room needs reorganising too.  At least it has a dresser and a wardrobe with a rod.

I love this house!  We’ve been so lucky with accommodations since we left Canada.  But we especially lucked out here.  So, the owners didn’t really declutter before they left.  But the house is large, and bright, and airy (the ceilings are super-tall).

The kitchen is extra-amazing – there’s a deep, tall counter, and the stove has two ovens and 5 burners.  After a fairly intense bout of reorganizing and storing stuff I won’t use, and marveling at the amount of tea (seriously, I thought we had a lot of tea. They have tea all over the place.  Tea with labels entirely in Chinese that I can’t identify.  So much tea!), I’m in cooking heaven!  Though I’ve had to get a few extra things (cheese grater, large mixing bowl, wooden spoons, more bowls for eating, glasses, French press).  There are no dry measuring cups, but there’s a kitchen scale, so I’ve been baking.  And there’s a rice cooker, which I’ve already used.  And an ice cream maker, which I have not yet.  And there was a drip coffeemaker, but I put it away after I got the French press.  And a mocha pot.  I’m going to need a cookie sheet.  And a decent knife.  And more tea towels (there are 2).  And more bath towels (there are 4.  I’m not organised enough not to need spares).  And a coat rack.  And maybe some kind of hand mixer (I miss my stand mixer already).  And the owner left her cookbooks, which I’ve already been using.  I’m going to like it here.

We’ve explored the neighbourhood a little bit.  It’s walkable (the places we’ve been have all been within about 3 km from here), but the buses are very frequent, and I bought an Oyster card, so it’ll be easy and fairly affordable to get around.  There’s no tube stop nearby, but we’re serviced by two overland train lines close by.  The transportation system here is a crazy combination of train lines, subways and buses, and I haven’t got it all figured out yet.  I did have to make a trip over to Canning Town to send my visa back to New York to get fixed, and managed to make it there and back without any fuss.

Oh, and we have two kitties, Seren and Zeki:


Zeki, who wasn’t feeling terribly social at the time of the photo shoot.

Seren is a teeny cat (she’s maybe 2-3 kilos).  She has a huge meow, however, and is very chatty and demands a lot of attention.  She’s the perfect size for taking a nap on your belly while you take a nap.  Zeki is also a sweetie, and is generally social and follows the kids around the house.  He’s fluffy, and has a confused look on his face all the time (it must be part of the breed), so he looks adorable.  They’ve taken well to us taking over their space.

I just got a mobile phone yesterday.  Phone plans here are ridiculously cheap compared to Canada.  I got a ‘Pay and Go’ phone (this means no contract, so I had to pay for the phone, but I got an older model BlackBerry, so it was cheap).  My plan is £11 per month for a year, but the first three months are free.  This gives me all the data and talk time I need.  Crazy.  Are you listening, BellRogersTelus??!?  Incidentally, if you’re on BBM, my pin is 2B2FFB65 – chat with me!  Sadly, though, international texts are still extra.

We had a delicious lunch at a Nepalese/Tibetan place in Woolwich where I want to go again!  And there’s a Vietnamese place next door that was also delicious.  Thus negating the stories I’d heard about the dismal London food scene (who spreads these rumours around??).  I haven’t had good luck in the supermarket/food shopping department, however.  I’ve tried 4 different supermarkets in 5 days.  The Marks & Spencer is nice, I guess, if you want prepared foods, but not so great if you want to cook by yourself.  The Sainsbury’s is ok, but a pretty hefty walk.  Mind you, that’d be good for me, I think…  The Asda was fine, but Superstore-like, which I find offputting (I don’t need to buy shoes with my cabbage).  Also, Asda, I found out later after some research prompted by the fact that they sell George brand clothing, is a subsidiary of Walmart, so that was the end of that.  Then there was Tesco’s, which is even bigger and more Superstore-like, so I probably won’t go.  What I was really hoping for was an old-school setup where there was a butcher and a greengrocer and a baker nearby, but that isn’t proving to be the case.  But I got some recommendations from my landlady for a butcher and cheese shop and fishmonger about 4 km away, so when I finally scrounge up the courage to get on her bike, which she left me in the basement, I’ll go check them out.  Or take the bus.   Or walk.

Speaking of cycling courage, it’s taking me longer to adapt to left-hand driving than I expected.  Jaywalking (or even just crossing the street) is nervewracking – I have to look both ways about 5 times before I decide it’s safe enough to go (so, don’t jaywalk, I hear you saying…)  I can’t even imagine cycling on the left yet.  I’m glad I won’t be driving!

There’s a public library a 5 minute walk from here, and a park, with a cafe right next to it, so that’s promising.  I already got a library card, and the kids and I have taken out some books.  The library is a branch of the Greenwich library system.  It’s fairly small, but we can also go to the central branch a little farther off if we decide we’ve exhausted the selection here.

We’re still waiting to hear from the school board about where the kids will be attending school, though they did send a confirmation of the receipt of our application.   School starts in two weeks – I hope they send word soon!

Author: nathknits

Mom, knitter, IT nerd, trying to make it all run smoothly.

16 thoughts on “Our house – Day 26

  1. OK…first….who are those people with the weird names, Zebulon, etc …I love your new house. It’s huge for Europe. I envy the fact that you will be living this adventure for a whole year. So, tell me how are the kids adapting? Would be fun to visit you with your mom when she gets back on her feet. You have to take the kids to Warner Bros Harry Potter studio….if they are into this of course. It was amazing. We got back from England on Tuesday. Still feeling a bit jetlaged. You are so right about crossing the streets in London…..even for a Montrealer. Look right…look left….look right and left….what is this??? We also had a taste of the transit system. I think it’s functional if you can figure it out. I love the train stations…they are like being in a movie….especially at King’s Cross. We loved our 5 days in England. Was not the first time for Dan and I but a first for the girls. They also loved it. We spent quite a bit of time at Piccadelli Circus….what a zoo…..never saw so many people at one place. The girls wanted to see a movie so we went to see HEAT…..cost $90 for four tickets. The movie was however a lot of fun. Anyway…..just heard rain on the window pane…..working tonight (yep even on a friday night)…so off I go. Hugs to everyone and the new kitties. XXX

    • If you manage to convince my mom to come, you’ll have accomplished a near miracle! You’re welcome anytime!

  2. One of my favorite places to eat in London is WaggaMama. Not sure if that’s spelled right, but if you end up near one in London I recall them being quite tasty and fun to eat at. -Kristen

  3. I tried to send you a BBM but I don’t understand my phone. It wouldn’t work. Help? P.S. House looks great! I’m sure you’re fast asleep at this hour anyway!

    • I saw you tried, but I couldn’t reply. It says something about ‘pending authorisation’ – from you, I guess. I tried at my end with your pin. We’ll get it figured out! I hope you’re having a good sleep!

      • You’re now in my contact list, and I tried BBMing you, but I guess it didn’t go through. Well, there’s always FB and blogs! Glad to hear you found a farmer’s market.

      • I tried BBMing you. We’ll see if it works. I found an even better farmer’s market this morning!!

  4. Does WhatsApp exist for BBM? It’s like Skype for texts. It’d be great to catch up – looks like the sabbatical dream come true.

  5. cool digs!!! beautiful pussy cats…how will you come home to your kitchen after 1 yr in this one???
    I know nothing at all about London .. can’t help you…oh well.

  6. I love your place! It looks so open and bright! Glad to hear that the kitchen is well-stocked. I feel the same way about the grocery stores here. I am not that impressed and I can’t find all the baking stuff that I am used to!

    Your cats are adorable! I wish we had one here, too, as we are all missing our cat at home!

    Will you post photos of the exterior, too? I am curious to see what it is like there!


    • But the farmers’ markets make up for the grocery stores. And I have a lead on a butcher and fishmonger. And I placed my first delivery order with Sainsbury’s and received it this morning (I needed a bunch of large and heavy things to start myself off). I bought some chocolate chips. They come in 100g packets. I laughed.

  7. Kitties! OMG! How did you manage to get rental cats?

Leave a Reply to nathknits Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s