Partly cloudy with showers

I have been researching public showers in London and my research, if I’m ever homeless or insane enough to live without a bathroom again, is paying off.

Today I discovered there are showers and changing rooms across from our flat in Paddington Recreation Ground. For the bargain price of £2.75, one can gain access to the changing room and have a hot shower. It was clean, a little old, the tap was a button which needed to be pushed every few minutes but otherwise, it was a good option.

Apparently there are also showers at Paddington station, cost £5. Seems a bit pricey in comparison.

Today I have my first cold, well, cough in about a year. Amazingly this is the first time I’ve been ill at Cashworth Mansions. It’s like my body knew it couldn’t shut down because there was nowhere to spend a day feeling rotten.

Today I spent most of the day on the sofa feeling rotten so it was nice to have a room to feel rotten in. I did fancy a warm bath which resulted in me having a shower in the park, not quite the same thing so tomorrow I’m heading off to Ironmonger Row day spa for a scrub up and I’m hoping to steam my cough out before we set off to Iceland on Wednesday.

But before that, we have the return of the intrepid two, arriving by train tomorrow evening…


Sledge hammers at the ready

After eight extremely long months, no kitchen, mounting costs, a lot of frustration and a lot of passive aggressive emails, finally, FINALLY, we received the go-ahead.

We are approved to knock down the smallest wall to make the biggest (well, bigger) kitchen. It had better be worth it after all this!

Get out the sledge hammer, I’m getting started!

Swimming with the fishes

Growing up I wasn’t a strong swimmer. I didn’t like putting my face in the water and couldn’t open my eyes.

Moving to Australia I discovered that everyone could swim like a fish and so I avoided swimming at school for years as I was completely intimidated (allergic to chlorine, sir)

When I was about twenty I had some adult swimming lessons and discovered goggles. I could see, I could dive, I was apparently a natural backstroker but I still wasn’t a strong swimmer.

Ironically I learned to scuba dive and snorkel and spent many years on top of the water rowing and sailing. Everything except swimming!

And so to this morning where I went for my first swim at the Swiss Cottage Leisure Centre. A handy ten minutes away by bike.

Over the past few years my swimming has improved but my swim fitness hasn’t been great. A couple of lengths was my lot.

This summer I’ve been swimming in circles in France (the pool being three strokes long with a good push off) and swimming round the boat in Turkey. With the added bonus of a shower, I wanted to keep swimming in London but it’s been hard to find a pool I liked.

And so for the first time I really enjoyed swimming in London. The pool was clean (no plasters yay) it wasn’t too long (25m) and it wasn’t too busy. I didn’t bother counting laps but swam for about half an hour and felt like I could finally swim.

As I’m now embarking on my new fitness regime for the winter with yoga and swimming, I’ll be jumper-ready before I know it!

Last weekend

It’s the last weekend in August, Big T and Agnes’ last weekend in France and my last full weekend of living alone in a war zone. The reinforcements have been drafted in.

Great news is that we have rented out France until the end of May next year, the house not the country so that’s a big financial help as we can’t afford the luxury of an empty house.

We had a lot of interest and everyone who saw it, loved it. I suspect we could have priced it higher but it’s covering its costs and we’re happy with that.

And so back to Cashworth where we’ve now had to add a building inspector to our payroll (another bag of sand, that’s a grand please, cha-ching!), two structural engineers and a general builder. No one’s been paid so let’s hope the bills come in gradually.

I had a clean up yesterday, things feel better in the two useable rooms and I’m busy procuring showers for the weekend.

Greetings from the trenches

It’s been quite an interesting (shit) challenge living without a kitchen or a bathroom but I’m quite impressed with my coping skills so far. I feel I’m almost ready to live off grid or go to war.

I came back from France on Tuesday and discovered the bathroom floor was missing and in its place was sticky residue on plywood. While the toilet is just about working, the whole experience of using the loo is quite traumatic as one’s feet get stuck to the board like a blue bottle on fly paper, everything is filthy and the idea of having a real bathroom seems like a very long way off.


Ironically it almost looked good before…

img_1911I went into work this morning at 7am having woken up early and realised there was no point being at home as I couldn’t shower, brush my teeth or have breakfast in pleasant surroundings.

Thanks to the corporate office where I’m practically living, a nice shower, several toilets and a big office kitchen with fridge. I now bring my packed dinner home (salad) to avoid cooking and washing up and this evening brought a thermos of hot water with me to make tea. Now that’s smart thinking!

We now await the delivery of the bathroom drain and tiles next week so that work can begin again and of course, we still await approval on the sodding wall but apparently with every possible question asked and answered (each one ending with a £ and several zeros) the end may be in sight. As if!

Our nemesis and a bit of (bad) mood lighting…


Anyway, despite my tone I am actually coping and have even been forced back to yoga to avoid being in the flat so there’s a positive.

How I’m going to shower at the weekend is a whole other challenge and I suspect I may be trying out a public swimming pool (pubes and verrucas). I’ll be taking flip flops.

And that was only day three.


With the beginning of my second half century rapidly approaching, I had decided I wanted to be in nature and where better than the one place I’d wanted to go for the past few years, Iceland.

Iceland is rapidly gaining in popularity as one of the last few unspoilt places left on earth (albeit one of the most expensive) so it’s good to go before it gets overrun with tour buses.

And so we’ll be spending four days on this hopefully unspoilt island in mid September exploring black sand beaches, waterfalls, geysers and hot springs in temperatures of about ten degrees.

Apparently it’s even a good time to see the Northern lights which really would be the icing on the birthday cake!

It’s not exactly Big T’s ideal destination (being more of a Caribbean at heart) but he’s bravely organised it and it’s how I wanted to welcome my next half century.

exciting Icelandic adventures in a woolly hat coming soon!

House for rent

We have listed the house in France as a winter rental.

If anyone fancies nine months in the South of France for an excellent price, get in touch, it’s pretty nice!

We need the money to finish (or start) the renovation at Cashworth Mansions which is costing us a fortune so fingers crossed the French house can help us out.

Big T and Agnes will be packing their bags and dragging their suntanned heels back to London in the next couple of weeks as it’s really time to get things moving in London.

Here we go!