Makeup on the train

It’s strange to watch women put on makeup on the train. I can’t imagine wanting to put on foundation in front of anyone let alone hundreds of strangers. Where’s the mystery?

I remember seeing men shaving and brushing their teeth while driving along the freeway in LA. It was bizarre, dangerous and something I didn’t need to see. 

I know I’m mildly uptight but really, some things should be left in the bathroom. 
Get up ten minutes earlier people! 


I have joined the ranks of commuters (temporarily) as I’m now travelling from Bush Hill Park to Camden. 

I don’t like commuting very much but to be fair, it doesn’t take that long despite taking three trains and I’m at work earlier than when I was walking. It’s always the way, the closer one lives, the later one arrives at the office. 

People look very miserable commuting and are glued to their mobiles and iPads. Headphones are on and no one interacts. 
I’ve been in denial. I’m not a commuter. 

Chalk Farm… a retrospective

By 3pm the Little flat in Chalk Farm was spotlessly clean and empty. It was a cold, rainy wet Sunday afternoon which captured the spirit of the day perfectly and there was nothing left to do except wait for the Dad of Letad to collect us and our basic supplies for survival as we embarked on being homeless. 

My thoughts turned to Chalk Farm, the past three years. 
From the first night when I was homesick for LA and could hear monkeys from London zoo, to the Agnes B days when I skipped through Regent’s Park in the spring. From the meeting of Letad to adventures in France. From the start of my job, flat hunting by bike and finally the purchase of the Money Pit. Too many memories to mention but always home to the lovely little flat with the spectacular view of London. 
I hope the next tenant loves it as much as I’ve done. I hope that Mousel, the very small mouse finds another sympathetic flat mate and I hope that Letad and I are as happy at the Money Pit as we’ve been at Chalk Farm. 
Not long now. 

Another day, another large glass of wine

In spite of Homeless Renovator’s Meltdown, progress was made and by 8pm we were in the pub with a drink in hand to recover from the day. 

Dry January has been replaced by Wet February, it would appear. 

I spent most of the day cutting plasterboard for the hall ceiling. Dressed in a dusty blue boiler suit I looked like a large grumpy Womble but it turned out I was quite good at cutting plasterboard even if the measurements were in inches, centimetres and millimeters. No wonder there were issues with the Mars probe. 
And so to the last night at the little flat in Chalk Farm. Hard to leave, it’s been a fantastic three years and quite a leap of faith…

Renovation Meltdown!

I’ve just had my first true Renovation Meltdown which, given the past twenty four hours isn’t entirely unreasonable. 

I was washing the ceiling rose to get the last of the residue off when I suddenly smelled smoke. There was a small burst of flame and the wiring blew in the light fitting. Water and electricity do not mix. 
Luckily no one was hurt (except my pride) but it was the catalyst for an emotional overload as I just wanted to get one job finished. The wiring wasn’t the only thing to blow in the front room this morning. 
I’m feeling better after a coffee and a sit down but the first homeless renovator’s tears were shed… they won’t be the last I  suspect!

The flat echoes

Back to Chalk Farm where the empty rooms echoed strangely. 

We sat on the kitchen worktop (chairs not being an option) and talked about our memories of living in such a fabulous little flat and such a fantastic area. 
And so another moment of nostalgia awaits as we spend our penultimate night back in the midget’s bed. It looked much smaller than we remembered having hidden it under our bigger bed for the past year. 
The last weekend. 

Stowed and stored

After a day which was so far out of my comfort zone I was in another universe and not in a good way, everything finally made it ito storage. 

I had a little strop at the storage place as I was given the wrong unit. Problem solved when they doubled the size of the unit for same cost. Who says I don’t have a price?
Another minor strop with the removalists as they were late and tried to overcharge me. Still to be resolved. 
But then after the most physically challenging and stressful day I’ve had in years, I went to Queen’s Park and discovered we now have a floor! Hurray, we’re back to where we started three months ago!
Two glasses of wine later it all started to feel like a blur and suddenly nothing seemed that bad!
Is the worst over?

The advance party

Having left all my worldly possessions (except the Dyson vacuum cleaner) in the hands of two Romanian removalists, I’m now making my way to West London by train. 

If I get there first I can check in and get the paperwork sorted out while I hope the van shows up, let alone shows up before 5pm. 
Time check: 3:50pm
I’m so ready for an extremely large glass of wine… 

So far so good

And so by 3pm everything except the sofa is out of Chalk Farm. 

Once the sofa leaves I’ll head downstairs as they pack up the van and then it’s a mad dash to Wormwood Scrubs to the storage place to unpack everything. 
The little flat is looking very empty and takes me back to moving in day three years ago when I arrived with two suitcases and not much else. 
How my life has changed since those early days!

Packed and waiting…

And so having bubble wrapped everything to within an inch of its life, the bloody removalists are running late. 

This is what happens when you go with the cheapest estimate. 
I have to get everything to the storage place by 5pm. They were due at 1pm and are now maybe coming at 2:30. It’s Friday afternoon in London and I’m now doing deep breathing to try and stay calm. 
There are six flights of stairs here to negotiate, the world’s smallest lifts and everything has to be repacked at the other end.
Letad is at the Pit inching us forward while I handle the move out of Chalk Farm… badly at the moment. 
Stress levels are high…