Like all new relationships, it takes time to get comfortable with each other. You don’t know how they take their coffee and they don’t know which side of the bed you prefer. You’re on your best behaviour at all times until things imperceptibly change and suddenly you’re holding hands all the time and finishing each other’s sentences. Plus you fancy the pants off each other…
That’s when the good stuff really starts to happen.
So I have been going on dates with Londontown — hanging out in Portobello, exploring Brick Lane and Columbia Road flower market, playing in Soho and the West End, jumping on the tube at odd hours of the afternoon to go find bookshops I Googled five minutes earlier. The tube is still a novelty and I thank my lucky stars that I don’t have to do the commute that I used to do. The invention of the iPhone and Google Maps has improved living here by one THOUSAND percent. Plus there’s been more sunny days than I had in Bath (what is it with west country weather?) and the flat is coming together nicely.
Suffice to say we are appear to be in the honeymoon stage of our relationship, Londontown and I. She’s wearing her best for me and I’m flirting my little heart out. There’s a list of stuff that isn’t so great, but i have these pink cartoon hearts in my eyes right now so I’m ignoring the list and just enjoying this phase while it lasts.
It’s true true love.
1. I’m currently experiencing the curious state of being a tourist in the place I live [sidenote: i just typo’d that and wrote “the place I love”]. This isn’t hard in London — or Bath for that matter, plenty of tourists there too — and is underlined by the fact that I’m constantly taking photos with my iPhone. It’s like having a form of photographic tourettes, where I can’t walk past a single shop window or street corner without stopping to pull out my phone and snap a pic.
2. A sweet thought I had this morning: I can’t wait to run Unravelling again in January as I’ll get to make the weekly videos from the new flat! :) I love that the move is bringing a freshness to everything in my life. I want to keep clearing out the old to ease the bringing in of the new…
3. Last Sunday I made the pilgrammage back to Brick Lane. Well, I was intending to go to Spitalfields market but since I’ve been away they’ve built a proper glass roof over it and installed Wagamama and a host of other shops and suddenly it’s not really a market anymore. Which was disappointing. Luckily Brick Lane is close by and boy howdy, my head just about exploded when i turned the corner from Princelet Street. So much colour and life and vibrant awesomeness. I don’t remember it being quite so up-and-coming ten years ago (though the Vibe bar is still there. Spent many Sundays afternoons in there) — i love the feel of the place now. I danced to Grace Jones’ Pull Up To The Bumper in the street. Couldn’t stop smiling.
3. It feels a lot like jetlag, what I’m feeling these days. I’m transitioning into a new routine and my body is slow to catch up with me. Deep sleep is elusive and it’s taken me two weeks to realise the reason i keep waking at an ungodly hour is because that’s when i’ve set the central heating to come on — the hot water in the pipes makes the floorboards creak, waking this light-sleeper up. Remedied that this morning. Small moves, Ellie*
4. The teacher/reporter in me is feeling the urge to take notes and record all I’m feeling and learning about change and transition. I think I might be literally writing a new chapter for a future little something…
5. Thankful for new seasons of The Vampire Diaries, Grimm and True Blood. They’re making my evenings extra cosy.
* Name that film!
This is the first time I’ve sat down at this computer, in the chair I usually sit in to write, since I moved house earlier this week. This morning I finally got the broadband working, so I don’t have to rely on my iPhone to connect me to the world (THANK THE GODDESS FOR IPHONES). I’ve been posting photos to Instagram constantly, the act of noticing, recording and sharing grounding me as i float though this strange transitional time.
Moving house is not for wimps, eh?
The move itself went without a hitch, the removals company I used were AMAZING, sending me two guys who were so professional and good humoured it was a delight to work with them (seriously — there are five flights of stairs to the flat in Bath and five flights to this new place. Good humour was needed ;-) Even the guy who rocked up with the hoist (to get furniture through the third floor window) was a sweetheart.
The move took two days, packing and loading the van on day one and driving to London/unloading on day two. My sister was with me on Monday, helping to clean the flat (she is a cleaning ninja) and hold my hand in case I freaked out. I got the train up to Londontown that night, leaving under a full moon — this felt particularly auspicious. There were a few overwhelmed tears on the way to Sas’s place, but she and Ash looked after me in their warm and cosy house. Next day we drove over to my new place and got the keys, taking a few feet shots in the empty flat (obviously) before the boys arrived.
Everything fitted in the flat, thank goodness, though there was a moment when it looked like the sofa wasn’t gonna make it:
We went from this…
So I am a Londoner once again. I’ve walked past my old house several times already — the first time I found so many feathers in my path it felt like a certain someone was welcoming me home. I had a few concerns about moving back to my old stomping ground, but being somewhere familiar is proving to be a good thing. Enough time has passed — I’m not the same girl who left. In all honesty it feels like my DNA has been changed, i am so remade.
The last few days I’ve been tentatively walking around my new/old neighbourhood, reacquainting myself with the area and figuring out where the doctor’s surgery is (and the nearest Starbucks, of course. There are three. Ridiculous, non?) There’s been a few teething troubles with the flat, but on the whole it’s all good. The light is gorgeous, even on cloudy days. The wooden floors are epic. The space is smaller in some ways (hello tiny bedroom with no radiator) but bigger in others, and I can already feel the potential for expansion that’s coming. I feel like a house plant that’s just been repotted — my roots are ready to push out into the new soil. My leaves want to reach higher.
I’m ready to grow bigger.
But first, I need some sleep. Remaking all your routines is exhausting! And where the hell is the iron/linen basket/spare pillows going to go?