I have quite a bit to write about, many trips to catch up on and a mountain of photos to share. However, I am currently visiting my parents back in the U.S.A. and am writing from their computer. My photos are back in London so I will fill you in on what has been happening in the mews.
We have been living in London for about seven months now and the time is flying. Sean's work is getting even busier and we are trying to figure out if we will be staying for another year. I have a gut feeling we will be. Our guest room/Sean's office is getting lots of use between him constantly working and a healthy flow of guests. I love when people come visit. Not only is it great to see family and friends but it also gives me a chance to get out and discover something new. Hopefully we will stay longer so more people can come visit!
Our flat is feeling more and more like home and when we are out traveling it feels great to come back to it and the familiarity of the mews. I am in a constant battle with the laundry and our mini sized washing machine. I just don't understand it. Why does it take so long? Why can I only wash four shirts at a time? Sometimes I cheat and try to wash more than four but that results in a giant soaking knot of shirts with a completely dry middle. Drying a load? Forget it! I think when I get back I will be visiting the laundromat and forfeiting the game. You win mini machine.
The mews is feeling good. Sean is a pro at making friends with anyone who passes his office doors and we've gotten to know most of the neighbors. We had a locksmith come out and redrill the lock for the little french doors that open into the mews. Now Sean sits with his doors open and waves to anyone who passes by. It's also a good way to keep an eye on what's happening in our little corner of Chiswick. A few months back we hosted a potluck as a way to get to know our neighbors better. I made some invitations and Sean stuck them in everyones doors. No body was RSVPing and we were nervous that it would be one dud of a party. Slowly though they trickled in. We had a full house and it was great to get to talk to everyone and hear their stories. Once we all got talking we learned that people didn't RSVP because they had no idea what a potluck was. They guessed that it was either a swingers party or something to do with marijuana. Kind of odd that they still came. No no, they googled it and learned that it was a party where people are supposed to bring chili or bread to pass around. Something like that. It was a splendid evening and great to get to know everyone. We see these neighbors everyday going in and out of the mews and now it's nice to wave and know their names.
Sean wired up a bright motion sensor light onto our flat that shines into the alley to try to deter the public peeing. It did not work. If anything it just sheds lights on the giant puddle of piss. I have given up that fight as well. You win public urination.
The abandoned building next to us is free of squatters. One day I was sitting upstairs and saw a man jump down from the 2nd story into our mews then walk out. Sean, who was in his first floor office, saw a man falling from the sky. Later I watched the guy climb back up, sneak into the window then unload about a dozen or so suitcases and garbage bags. There were guys installing a big gate on the entrance to the building and now these guys were moving out. We should have invited them to the potluck.
The weird restaurant in front of us was sold and quickly renovated. It is now open and sounds like an amazing French restaurant. Of course Sean has become friends with the owners and we have been following their progress. A few weeks ago the place was still under construction but apparently now it's open. The owner/chef is incredibly passionate about food. So passionate it blows my mind when you hear him talk about it all. I hope we keep a positive relationship with these guys. Not for the free food or anything but in case there's any problems. Already he has put several dumpsters in the back of the place which means they're pretty much right outside our front door. Not cool. I'm envisioning stinky garbage, rodents and loud garbage collectors at 5am. We'll see where this goes.
Our upstairs bedroom has two fabulous skylights above the bed. I love the fresh air but lately pigeons have been hanging around. I am nervous they will fly in. I also made the mistake of opening the skylights and then jumping in the shower. Silly me. When I got in the shower it was sunny. When I got out the bed and floor were soaking wet. It randomly rains in London. Now the skylights mostly stay shut. You win crazy London weather. You win.
I don't know why I didn't pick up on this sooner but just recently we noticed how everyone says "you alright?" Everyone says it. It's their form of saying "what's up" or "how's it going." It always catches me off guard because it sounds so serious for some reason. I noticed it at the grocery store when I got to the cashier and she said "you alright?" ummm "Yeah I'm alright. Do I not look alright? Do I look confused? Do I look sad? What? Are you offended by my reusable bags? I'm alright." I noticed it at yoga when I go to the desk and sign in. "You alright?" um "I just climbed a flight of stairs. It wasn't much but yeah I'm a little winded. Geezz. I'm alright. It's hot in here, but yeah I'm alright." Sometimes people you know say it. Like when passing a neighbor. "You alright?" "What? Do I look lost? Is blood gushing from my ears? Is a big creepy man following me? Yeah I'm alright." How do you answer that? Do you even answer that? Do you answer it with another "you alright" right back at ya? I usually just blurt out the first thing that comes to my head.
.....(brainstorming some possible answers).......
"Yes, but just to let you know, I'm better than alright. I'm awesome. So watch out."
"No, I drank too much last night and I have this weird thing growing under my one toenail, and I bumped my elbow this morning"
"No, The pigeons were making me nervous"
"Alright Alright Alright"
"Are YOU alright?"
"We are all alright"
..........etc etc etc