Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘rain’

What a week! It’s generated it’s own Things That Are Weird post (forthcoming), on estate agents and renting in general. I’m a veteran renter, but this was well outside my experience, quite confusing and stressful.

But first (finally) the weather: Winter has hit. At least the start of it has. After a very mild, quite lovely Autumn it has turned to a cold and rainy winter.

I’m sure you’ve read about the downpour that hit parts of the UK. None of that was near us, it was much further north and west. I don’t think any of it affected Jed’s parents either, as they are rather high up, despite flood warnings in their county.

Nevertheless it has been wet. Reminding me of those horrible wet weeks you get in June in Sydney, where it doesn’t stop raining for days. Where you have to avoid puddles and running water in the streets. Where you will get saturated if you are out in the rain for more than 4 minutes, despite your umbrella. Add to this the cold temperatures, it was reasonably horrible. Thank goodness for central heating.

Luckily there was one clear day in the midst of all this rain, on the day we moved. It was cold, but all our stuff stayed dry, and we warmed up once the lifting and carrying started.

Which brings me to the move. Sheesh! Well, to be fair the move itself went smoothly, thanks in a large part to the help of Poki and DiscoDoris at short notice.Tthe majority of our stuff was into the house at 3.30 in the afternoon, and we had a bed set up in time to sleep.

The sheesh! part is our estate agents. At 5.30 pm on Monday, the day our lease in the Redhill was up and we had to move somewhere, they finally agreed to let us sign the lease so we could move. After a month of miscommunication, loss of paperwork, conflicting information about what would be required, and the most rigorous background check I have ever been through I was about ready to shoot someone when they decided that yes, by statement of savings would be sufficient to give us a 6 month lease in case one of us lost our income. GAH! After I’d been expressly told a week earlier that this was not possible as “I might spend it on a car tomorrow” – OR I might decide having somewhere to live is more important than a car!?

It was horrible, we were facing the possibility of continuning to live in Redhill in a less than ideal situation for another couple of months until I could secure permanent work OR staying in a friend’s spare room for the same period of time, with most of our stuff in boxes.

But now it is all wonderful, (if you ignore the half unpacked boxes in each room).  My kitchen is unpacked, out of the boxes it went into back in January. My plates, and my cutlery, and teatowels, and serving dishes and… yay! The kitchen itself is slim, and doesn’t have loads of storage, but it is lovely, usable and well-lit. You can see what you are washing up. It reminds me a bit of the house in Glenhaven, the one in Chelmsford St and my sister’s former apartment in Chiswick.

The bedroom is very large, almost too large, although I’m sure that will be less of an issue once we have everything in and arranged properly. There’s space for a bed for L, which we’ll be getting soonish. She’ll have the small alcove at the end of the room, which made her smile when I mentioned it. Possibly as it’s obviously a space unto itself, or that she’d been thought of already and included in the plans, or both, or something else. Whichever it’s a better situation for all of us for sleeping.

The bathroom is white, tiled, large and has a proper pressured hot shower with separate taps to control temperature. Not a dial. You don’t realise the things you take for granted until they are gone. My shoulders are telling me every morning how happy they are to be getting proper hot water pressure again. It’s a lot like the bathroom I had the last time I lived in Croydon (albeit in Sydney, not London), which was one of the things I liked about that house.

The living space is enough, not huge, but also not small, and is attached to the kitchen in a sort of open-plan way. It suits us well. There’s a large bay window with a door leading onto the private garden out the back.

All in all, it will do nicely for a while until we’re a lot more stable in other areas of our life and L needs a room to herself when she stays. Photos will follow once there’s no boxes to be part of the shot.

Let the next phase of this adventure commence! It should be a good one.

Read Full Post »

Thunderstorms

There was a fantastic storm over Sydney this afternoon, the first of the season. I was caught in it on the way home and got saturated. Which I absolutely loved. There’s something very liberating about walking in a summer rain shower. It’s warm enough that you don’t have to worry about getting cold and it just smells so wonderful.

While walking in the heaviest part of the down pour I felt the most happy and most at peace that I had all week. I was hopeful again.

A storm over Sydney in 2004

There’s a strong tradition in my family of being outdoors during thunderstorms. When we were younger we would all gather on the front doorstep to watch the storm roll across the Sydney basin. Then when we were slightly older, my brother, sister and I would put on our gumboots and tromp outside to play in the gutter. This eventually involved taking off the gumboots and using them as a scoop to throw water at each other. We’d dam the flow of water with our feet and kick water at each other and generally just have fun in the rain, secure that we could wander back inside to a warm house with towels.

The Thais have a very different idea of rain. They are scared of it. In a tropical country that experiences monsoon. It has something to do with catching the flu and something to do with acid rain. They used to think I was mad when I would walk (not run) between shelters when it was raining, usually asking “aren’t you scared?”. Thailand had some fantastic rain showers. One morning the entire school was lined up for assembly, singing the national anthem. Off to our right we could see a cube of dense water approaching, “cube” is the only way to describe the way this rain was behaving. That was the fastest anthem I have ever heard, since we couldn’t move until it was finished. Then we all bolted for the classrooms.

Rain makes me happy. A serious downpour makes me very happy. It’s nice to remember what that feels like. It’s been a dumb week, month, thing.

Read Full Post »