It's been quite a while since my last post. I'm currently back with the aunt/unc combo of S&D in their lovely country house. Life has been pretty hectic this last while, so I'll just fill you in with what's been going on.
So I spent about 9 days lodging with Em and her landlady n' daughter, and had a really nice time. They all made me feel really really welcome, and it was a lot of fun to hang out with them in the house, watching tv or a movie and swapping gossip and scandal. As the only guy in the house, I even managed to earn some Guy Points by fixing some fuses and the oven. Huzzah!
As I said in my last post, the flat-hunting wasn't going very well. It's an horrendously boring, expensive and soul-destroying task, and requires a horrible mixture of intruding on people's lives (if they haven't moved out yet) and dealing with (sometimes less-than-ethical) estate agents. One of these guys, we'll call him 'Gordon', was so sleazy and cocky (and looked about 12) that all of the shitty grief-holes he showed us were unappealing. Another guy, whilst very nice, took us to places that my hetero life-partner (Mark, but we'll call him Sparky) had already been shown around before I came over.
Then...we found it. The Über-Flat.
Nestled half-way between the paradise of West Hampstead and the bustle of Kilburn, in a small quiet street called Netherwood, the flat is great. A split-level two bedroom, it's got a large living room, a nice kitchen and dining room, and loads of storage. Upstairs, two big bedrooms and a bathroom. It's in a really safe area and has a big heavy gate for security. I love it. It's even the upper flat in the building, so it covers the 'Zombie Invasion' criteria. The best aspect is a small balcony with a corner table for eating breakfast, and a load of space for planting a few plants/herbs/vegetables.
The only problem is the move-in day. The flat came onto the market because of a family crisis for the current tenant (which is sad) which means he has to go home to Portugal. We were supposed to be moving in on the 28th of September, but it looks like we'll be waiting another week.
I'm not really complaining though. Hell, at least I've found somewhere, and have a nice place to stay in the meantime. I feel a bit bad about the guy who we're moving in after, but there's nothing that can be done, and it's good to know that the new landlord let him quit his lease without taking his deposit or trying to squeeze money out of him. It seems like an omen that he'll be a nice guy.
For the rest of my time in London, I went to a few museums, and tried to soak up a bit of what London's about. The Imperial War Museum in Lambeth had fascinated me since I was brought there at the age of 9, and it's still magnificent. I also had the below-mentioned meeting with the Firm, for which I had to shave off the fuzz, and saw the people with whom I'll be doing my training contract and working for a few years. They all seem lovely.
We went out for drinks a few times, and they all seem like a good laugh.
All in all, I'm very happy with how the flathunt went, and when I move in, I'll post some photos.
I'm currently in Kent, and every day I'm taking the kids on the two mile walk to school, across fields and through woods, it's very beautiful. Again, more photos to follow.
Finally, today (Thursday 24th September 2009) is a very special day, as it marks the 250th anniversary of one of Ireland's most famous exports (after Riverdance, music and Colin Farrell's libido), the black velvet; Guinness Stout.
So, to honour this beautiful day, I'm walking up to the local pub The Bull, and ordering a pint of the black stuff to be drunk at the exact time 17:59.
Happy Arthur's Day y'all, and sláinte!
ps - I've completed another of my 101 things to do. Number 38 - Find a flat in London.
Completed - 2/101