Tuesday, December 7, 2010

7/12/10 It's been a while!

   Wow I had no idea it's been so long since I've logged on and tip-typed away!!  I hope I can remember some of the things that have been happening here.  After our Christmas party fun we got down to work and took care of some projects around the flat.  Our spotty internet has made it quite challenging for Sean to get work done but I've been trying to help where possible.   I woke up one morning and came downstairs to find that his scanner/printer/fax machine got delivered at the most perfect time.  We sat down and attacked his mountain of receipts and credit card statements and did his expense reports.  It took forever but it was a huge weight lifted off Sean's shoulders.  The kitchen/living room has quickly turned into his office and I counted the days till our Ikea order came with his desk.  He really needed a proper set up and I needed to ship him downstairs out of my kitchen!
    The rest of the week was nothing special.  Sean had to travel but plans were delayed and cancelled because of a "snow storm".  Chiswick didn't get hit too hard but I guess other parts of the city got 6 inches or so.  We just had icy sidewalks and big pretty flakes! It sure wasn't a Dunkirk snowstorm but it was enough to really put a damper on the city.
     One of the biggest highlights of week was getting our boxes.  All nine!  It was like Christmas unpacking them, ripping off packing tape and spilling out the contents.  Everything arrived to us safe and sound but we're still working on where to put everything.  This flat doesn't really have any closets and we don't have dressers yet so our clothes are folded (most of the time) in piles on the floors.  We aren't too motivated to buy clothing storage so it may just stay this way till we leave!  I'm more motivated to buy baking and cooking things.  Later that day I got to work cooking up a big dinner for Sean with all my reunited cooking things before he left for more travels. The cooker is taking some getting used to but so far I've produced some tasty eggplant parm bake, a lasagna, spicy asian turkey meatballs and since we are sans microwave it's also been used for heating up leftovers.  The really nice point about cooking in this flat is that you can close the kitchen doors and create a cozy sauna. I haven't done any baking so maybe later this week I'll make some cookies or something easy. Mmmmm a cozy sauna that smells like cookies!!!!
     Sean travelled Friday and Saturday to Germany then down to Southampton in Southern England.  I stayed home and enjoyed the snow outside my windows.  I felt pretty lazy and just hung around the apartment and read.  Friday night I was tired from being so lazy and hit the hay at a decent hour.  I've been on a bad sleeping schedule...going to bed late and waking up super late.  So finally I thought I was going to get myself on a good schedule. WRONG. Friday night meant hooligan in the alley night. I was woken up at 11:30 to some loud screaching and laughing.  It wasn't too bad so I went downstairs to make sure our outside light was on. It was but I don't think it made a difference.  I also turned on the lights to the office.  Maybe people would realize that people are now living there and it's not a construction site anymore.  I'm sure everyone has that sense of reasoning even if they're piss drunk.  I managed to fall back asleep but was rudely woken up at 2:30 to a fight right outside our flat.  It was a really drunk girl and really drunk guy fighting over god knows what.  I spied on them from the bedroom windows and in my sleepy haze wished I had a beebee gun to shot at them.  I was at the perfect angle to hit them right in the back.  Further into the alley towards the street there was another group of drunks hootin and hollarin.  Where is that beebee gun????!!! Then I felt guilty for wanting to shoot people so I thought maybe waterballoons would work. No, they wouldn't. These freaks are standing out in the cold icy rain so I doubt water balloons would do anything. It must have been warming up outside because I could hear all the ice sliding off our roof.  Maybe a big chunk will hit them.  I crawled back to bed and pulled pillows over my head.  I made a mental note to research if there was some sort of noise  ordinance around here.  I don't understand where these people are coming from.  I mean there's a bar across the street, a liquor store and an all night pizza place right out on the high road so I guess our alley is that one center meeting point.  Holy Moly!!! It was so frustrating!!!! I hope foxes come out and eat their faces.  Maybe we can attract a whole pack of foxes and use them as security.
  Saturday when I woke up it seemed pretty sunny and warm out.  I saw people running on the High Road in shorts so I mustered up the motivation to head out myself.  It wasn't too bad out! I ran down towards the river and crossed on the Kew Bridge.  I found the Kew Royal Botanical Gardens.  The place looks awesome!!! I could only peak in through the big gates because there was a charge to get in but now I know where it is.  On the way home I noticed stairs that led down to the bank of the river where there was a foot path.  It was perfect! Exactly what I had been looking for.  The path was gorgeous. It was narrow with the most beautiful little houses butting up against it.  The only thing separating these houses from the path were mossy brick walls overflowing with herbs and shrubs.   There were also quite a few cute pubs which either had tables outside right on the river or big windows looking out over the water.    I even found a sailing club and a rowing center. Further up the river there was a regatta, rowing, not sailing.  I ran off the path and then got a little bit lost trying to head back to the high road but found some amazing houses.  They were like mini castles! I also found a cemetery, a school and a woodsy area where I bet all the foxes lived. I couldn't wait to show Sean all my discoveries.  I take him on runs through  secret gardens and to rivers.  He gets us lost in industrial parks and breweries.
    Sean came home later Saturday night and I warned him about the weekend hooligans in the alleyway. We had plans to sit in the living room and watch the shenanigans unfold, see where these drunks are coming from.  Maybe we could stand in the window and look shadowy and creepy and scare them away.  Well, we ended up going to bed pretty early. Sean was exhausted from traveling and I was tired from being up so late the night before.   I slept pretty sound for most of the night but heard a ruckus around 12:30.  I got up and went to the window to see what was going on.  All I could see were feet.  Then I heard someone yell, in a very American voice "don't make me come down there with my baseball bat!!!".  Hahaha it was Og next door! I tried waking Sean up "Sean Sean I think Og is going to beat someone up with a bat!"  After that, things got quiet and I went back to bed.  I had to laugh, I wonder if those two next door were also dreaming of things to throw down on the hooligans.
     Sunday Sean and I went for a run and I showed him all the things I found the day before.  We even discovered a little place under the bridge that rents out kayaks.  That would be so fun to do!! Kayak around the River Thames! When we got home we made plans to go out for Sunday roast with Snowflake and Og.  I like this Sunday roast thing! Meat and potatoes! I had the pheasant, it was tiny but really tasty.  It was so nice to sit for hours and share stories with our  neighbors.  We traded horror stories about Visas, packing, and all the dead ends we've all been hitting since getting here.  We wallowed and laughed and brainstormed things we could throw down into the alley.  I liked Snowflake's idea of tossing down firecrackers.  We also thought that maybe we could get a big guard dog and leash him up outside our front door. Oh the possibilities now!  Og and Snowflake also gave us some good advice on things like health insurance and taxes and all those other fun things.  I think they have us beat though with overseas hardships.  Their two cats that they brought over are stuck in quarantine till March!!! Those poor kitties! They get to go on weekends though and visit them. But how sad!  We had a great time during Sunday roast and after three hours of chit chatting we parted ways.
   During our roast Og and Snowflake mentioned the yoga place down the street and how much they loved it. Sean and I made the decision that we would go to yoga and do some other exercise than running in the cold.  Well Monday morning we went from icy cold to boiling hot.  The yoga class was 90 minutes and in a room that reminded me of the time we went to NYC to the Turkish Bath Houses.  I was nervous I'd get dizzy and just pass out but I did pretty good. At one point I looked over and I thought Sean was literally melting.  Luckily we bought in on the 30 day unlimited new student deal so hopefully we'll be able to get our money's worth.  Afterwards we hydrated nonstop and I felt so tired but so stretched!  I went out later in the day to the bookstore and picked out a couple of guidebooks for Barcelona and a book about Gaudi.  Sean has to be in Barcelona for Tuesday so we're flying down on Sunday and making a mini trip of it.  We don't have many days so I'll have to go through the guidebooks and do some precision planning so not a minute is wasted.  I can't wait to go to Barcelona!!!! It was my job to look for a hotel and do the booking.  I think I got a good place.  I also figured out flights and trains for when we're home over Christmas.  I'm not a very good travel agent and wouldn't want that job full time.
   We got a call Monday night informing us that our Ikea delivery was the first on their list Tuesday and that we needed to be up at 7 and ready to answer the door.  Well, of course, they didn't come till 8:30 and we did a speed assembly of a few items before the sweaty yoga class.  It's so nice to have two cute little arm chairs and an ottoman in the living room.  We moved the mini couches up to the bedroom to use as things to put clothes on.  Sean's office is looking really good right now! His desk is set up and already littered with office supplies.  He has it facing so he looks out through the alley and out to the High Road. Hopefully that's not too distracting!  The futon is down there too. It's nice but a little hard right now.  It too will need more pillows and cushions.  I guess you have to think that when you try these things in the store they've been broken in by hundreds of customers testing out the furniture.  The brand new stuff is quite firm right now but I'll sit in it a lot so it'll be perfect for visitors!!!!!
   Well, leaving blogging for this long is too hard.  It's too hard to think back on the things we've discovered.  I can't stop drinking water. I think I sweated out three gallons during yoga class. Oh! I was spying out the upstairs windows and I saw that the girl across from us has an easel set up in her kitchen! She was painting Sunday and I decided that I would also set up my art stuff so she can spy on me.  Maybe we can have an art night some time! The office directly across from us is moving out. I guess they were a charity but now they're gone. I wonder who will move in there!  They weren't too exciting to watch.  While we were out with Og and Snow we discussed the sketchy restaurant below the charity.  We can look right into their kitchen and we see people making food, not really busy.  The weird thing though is that we NEVER EVER have seen people in the restaurant.  We think it's a front.  But maybe that's just us wanting some mystery and suspense.  Maybe Chiswick isn't all babies and kids. Maybe it's also drunks and weird, empty Lebanese restaurants.  My loving fiance, Sean, just went to the corner store to buy us a little chocolate.  He also brought back the December National Geographic which has a little article and free poster of Gaudi's The Sagrada Familia!!!!! I already looked into what time tours start and how much it costs to take the lift to the top of one of the spires.  I can't wait! I'm so excited!
     Ok, I can not neglect this blog for as long as I have. I will write. Even if it's boring.

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