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…

The beginning of the end

Thursday morning and it was time to start the inevitable move. 

The advance party of outdoor sofas and pot plants were going ahead and so as we carried the first sofa frame out of the front door at 7:00am, the door slammed shut behind us. 
We were locked out and there was no way in. 
Luckily we were dressed and had shoes on but that was as far as it went. 
Melt down!
After frantically banging on a neighbour’s door, we were able to get hold of the porter. Eventually he came round but without a key as the estate agent had taken it for showing the flat to prospective tenants. No!
Luckily we’d left the French doors open and so Letad was taken up on the roof and climbed down by ladder on to the balcony. We were back inside. Hurray! Keys were grabbed and would not be left behind again. 
We managed to get stage one complete and I set off to work for a sit down in a nice clean office. What a nightmare start to the day. 

Everything else will follow on Friday and we have two nights left in the Little Flat in Chalk Farm without Internet or furniture. 

Needless to say we have a very nice ceiling rose in Queen’s Park and not much else…

Homeless on Sunday. 

Sub zero

Another week in New York where temperatures dipped to -11 degrees Celsius this morning. 

It wasn’t too bad if you didn’t mind your skin freezing off in three minutes. My eyes froze, my ears froze, instant frostbite?
The cold was dry, a biting wind, crackling with static. It hurt to breathe and I coughed from the frigid, dry air. 
Ironically it was clear with bright sunshine and blue skies. A good view from the Empire State Building I suspect. 
It was a relief (as usual) to get the car to JFK after an exhausting week. 
Back to London for the last week at Chalk Farm before destitution. 

Time differences

The joy of international travel means falling asleep at 8pm unable to keep one’s eyes open for a single second longer only to find oneself wide awake at 3am. Sure enough, I’ve been awake for hours.

I don’t worry these days as I know I’ve had a good seven hours sleep, it’s just not at the most conventional time.
Day one of the conference begins in three hours. Let’s see how I’m feeling by 4pm this afternoon!