We’ve been in London now just over a month, and what a month.
I won’t claim it’s been easy. Having to set up your life – all those bills, accounts things to sign etc all the while trying to maintain normal working lives is far from easy. And just when we thought we’d gotten on top of things, the bulk of our worldly possessions arrived at the end of last week. Almost 200 boxes & packages of various shapes & sizes that now have to be put somewhere. Sally excels at handling things like this and I don’t. I had to leave her to it and go play with the kids for a bit, which was my way of coping, of not a particularly helpful one! Some people like the challenge of organizing vast quantities of unorganized mess and some people don’t. Hundred-year old British houses weren’t built with the closet space you came to expect in post-war NYC apartments. And boy do you accumulate a lot of stuff in those closets!
There are more than a few upsides of living here though. The parks we knew about and love, but also the quality of the food in the supermarkets. That’s just as well as we are not spoiled for choice on the takeaway front though, as we were in NYC. That probably sounds like a ‘duh, you’re not kidding’ kind of remark. But we had gotten used to having cuisines from around the world within a few blocks of our apartment and now it’s Indian or Pizza, mainly. Extremely good Indian and reasonable pizza (though not up to NYC standards). But that’s about it thus far. So we have to get back to cooking, and now everything we cooked with has turned up, we can.
As part of this culinary journey, we took a trip to the only Whole Foods store in London the other day, thinking it might serve some American stuff that we wanted to try and get (although there’s very little you can’t get in London supermarkets and I’m not looking to bulk up on Velveeta any time soon). However it became apparent quickly that in order to differentiate itself from the other British supermarkets, Whole Foods London was thoroughly hardcore organic (with prices to match their Kensington location), and as all the supermarkets here are at least softcore organic and some approaching hardcore, that’s a touch way to differentiate. We left with not very much and me muttering about how they can survive in a down economy with the competition they face and the dollar/pound ratio now moving slowly in the wrong direction for them. Oh well. No Mac ‘n’ Cheese in a box, is basically the extent of our food shortages; hardly something to worry about.
We haven’t had a vacation this summer at all. Last week was a ‘staycation‘ for me if you like. But it wasn’t a break from anything much, unless you count a trip on your own with two young kids to the Natural History Museum and a few rounds on the local pitch ‘n’ putt a vacation! That will come in October.