So, it’s been a while since my last post. Things have been extremely busy with getting settled into our new place – but as this blog is meant to be a way for our loved ones to keep tabs on us, I wouldn’t be doing my duty if I didn’t provide a quick update.
We moved into our new place about six days ago and couldn’t be happier with our rental pick – loving the place as well as the neighborhood. Both are a huge change from what we came from in NJ. In NJ, although our apartment was a one bedroom, one bath, we had a ton of space. Here, the space isn’t too big but we got what we lacked in our hood back in New Jersey – options, options and more options! There are a ton of restaurants, shops and grocery stores all within walking distance (or a short bus ride away). And the people in the neighborhood have been really nice. We’ve met several dog owners (some even American expats like us) and Penny has made friends with some of the dogs already.
Our place is a bit bare at the moment since we are still waiting for the few things we brought here from the states. The ship our things are coming on has been delayed which means we won’t see our things for about another week. Have I mentioned it’s getting cooler here? Definitely not the weather we packed for (t-shirts, tank tops, TOMS = summer). So, we are anxiously awaiting the arrival of our clothes and the few other things we brought over: pots/pans, a bookcase and a wine bar (a VERY important wine bar!). We are NOT, however, anxiously awaiting the 20,000 boxes that will arrive – mainly filled with junk (oh happy days!).
To start making this place feel like a home, we’ve had a lot of shopping to do. At first it was “Yay shopping!” And then it was “More shopping?” And now I’m just like “Ugh, no more shopping!!”
In the past three weeks or so, we’ve been to IKEA twice and to the mall about three times. Now remember, we are car-less here in London so that means lugging all of our purchases on public transport – hence the multiple trips.
Photograph: Murdo Macleod for The Guardian
(Ugh, no more shopping!).
And while I’m typically a huge fan of online shopping, here I feel the need to see and touch what I’m buying before committing. Let’s face it. It’s not as easy as jumping in the car to the closest Bed, Bath and Beyond for a return – so I have to be 1,000% sure I want something before I pull out that card. Thankfully, through our combined five trips we have been able to get the basics that we need to make this place start to feel like a home.
For starters, we got a couch which doubles as a sofa bed. This was extremely important being that our real bed still hasn’t arrived and we’ve already been here almost a full week. We’ve been sleeping on the sofa bed which Andy assembled on our first night in the new place and is actually quite comfortable. And speaking of, since when do you need actual tools to build IKEA furniture?? We had no idea and Andy had to run out to the local “off license” place to buy a £2 screwdriver to assemble the damn sofa bed so that we’d have somewhere to sleep that night. Although it took about three hours (including the trip out for the screwdriver), he, thankfully, saved the hour and we were able to sleep on the sofa bed without it collapsing – (six days in and it’s still going strong!). In addition, the only other piece of furniture that we’ve got is a small dining table (which required a monkey wrench for assembly – wtf?).
Today, we went back to IKEA (second time now) and spent waaaaay too long picking up some more basic items that we were in need of including a coffee table, a tv stand, a chest of drawers, night tables, and an office desk & chair. I see many fun nights of IKEA furniture building in Andy’s future (yay Andy!).
Hopefully, in one week’s time we’ll be a lot more settled with our stuff finally having arrived and our IKEA goods built perfectly…
We’ll keep you posted!