As I’ve made obvious many times, N and I have recently moved closer into the city. I realized this morning, whilst sipping my mug of cafetiere made coffee (the best), that I haven’t really devoted a full on entry to our flat and the area we’re living in.
I’ve posted a few pictures of the flat below… click on them for larger images. Oh, and pardon the laundry drying on the line, the dry dishes that have yet to be put away this morning and the messy bed that I just rolled out of as I’m off today.
Not too bad, eh? We like it well enough, minus a few little problems we’ve figured out. Because it’s so cold outside and we’re heating the room, condensation builds up on the windows, and in some spots, the wall. We’ve since figured out that at least once a day we need to shut off the heat and open a window to ventilate the space. With the bathroom, that’s not enough. Whenever someone’s home, the window is open unless the toilet or bathtub are in use. As a result of all of the moisture and condensation, last night we had to attack some spots of mould in different areas around the flat–all of which were above windows. And there’s a spot or two where the paint has bubbled and is flaking off. When it get’s warmer, we’re going to get a scraper and scrape it off and even it out and then repaint it. It’s only white, at the moment, so it’s not hard to match up.
So on a normal day, I get home from work and I hoover (love it) and do whatever leftover breakfast dishes there might be. I throw on the laundry if there’s enough for a load and then I do any prep-work for dinner. After that, I relax in a hot bubble bath with my book until N gets home 45 minutes to an hour later. And then we fix dinner, eat, wash up and either read or watch tv. It sounds really boring, but right now I wouldn’t dream of changing anything–it’s perfect.
The area we live in is called Tooting. And when I told my family that, they laughed… “tooting” is our nice way of saying “breaking wind”. Naturally for them, and me, I thought it was hilarious. The name of our flat building makes it even worse, but for personal safety reasons I’m not gonna get that specific–if you want to know, ask me to email it to you!
Right, so Tooting is a fantastic area. It’s biggest population is made up of Middle Easterners and Indians and most of them seem to be older. I honestly haven’t spotted as many people around my age/30’s as I have any other age range. This makes it a really quiet, seemingly safe place. There’s only a few pubs around and the majority of the people here are muslim or forbidden by their religion to drink. I like that. If I have to go out on my own after dark, I’m not afraid to. I’m still smart about it, like I would be anywhere else, but I don’t dread it.
The “High Street”, or the main road and shopping area, is very diverse. There are loads of curry restaurants, kebab stops, sari shops (which are so amazingly beautiful), Indian jewelry shops, halal butchers galore and lots and lots of little stalls selling fruit and veg on the cheap. The smells as you walk by some of the Indian/Lebanese/African/Middle Eastern shops and eateries are to die for–I can’t even begin to describe the savory chargrilled smell of spiced meats and roasting, curried veg. Sometimes I even catch a whiff of it in the flat when the windows are open. There’s a fabulous kebab place right near the flat that I’ll probably have lunch at today, just because of the smell.
Of course you’ve got the big chains as well–Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Poundland, TK Maxx and so on. But the little one-off stalls and shops are my favorites… they make doing the weekly shop so much more exciting. There’s a huge difference between going to a chain store and getting a bag of carrots for a pound that I’ll only use three of and then be lost at what to do with the rest–and going to a veggie stall and getting three carrots for something like 30 pence. It’s so much cheaper to go to the stalls and to shop around like that.
One of my absolute favorite things about where we live is the Catholic church (it’s the green dome in the pictures) across the road. Every weekday, at noon and six, the church bells count the hour. I absolutely love it, as does N, and we always stop whatever we’re doing, mute the tv or music and just stand, silently, listening and smiling at each other. I don’t know what it is about the bells, but we just adore it. I guess maybe because right after we signed the contract and got the keys and were alone in the flat, the bells sounded. It was an amazing feeling of “being home”, and maybe it’s just that we remember that sound and the feeling that came with it.
I suppose that’s all for today. I’m off from work since I worked on Saturday. I don’t really have any plans as N’s at work–just a coffee date at 5 with a friend.