So we finally moved to London.
After six months in the planning, we packed up our house in Leeds and moved our life to the capital city. It was too good an opportunity for us to pass up and after lots of family discussions we decided that the timing was right for a change. Most people do it the opposite way round: move to London in their twenties when they have no ties (and no money I might add) and then move back home when the city has sucked them dry. We’re doing it the alternative way. Our eldest son was already working in London already and the girl is at University in Newcastle so there was nothing really holding us back and other family members encouraged us to go for it.
We rented out the family home in Leeds, which we’ve lived in for over twenty years and packed all our worldly goods into storage. That was quite a thing in itself, but all part of the process. In many ways, it was quite liberating to shed lots of stuff and de-clutter. Whilst that was happening, we went flat hunting in London. We had a reasonably clear idea of where we wanted to live — Shoreditch / Islington / Clerkenwell — all in North London and not physically too far away from where I would be working: I had a clear vision for a walk to work commute when I was working in the office. We wanted to be central but in the cooler areas where there was plenty to do and more importantly, areas we could afford to live in.
The property market in London moves lightning fast and flats came and went: in the end I saw a flat, outside our price range, but decided to go for it. It was in a great location and had plenty of space, fully furnished too. Julie hadn’t even see it and as it turns out wouldn’t get to see it for weeks, so it was a real leap of faith for her. Fair play — she just rolled with it, which has become a familiar theme for us. We moved in to Flat 13 (no superstitions for us about that number as I was born on Friday 13th) under two months ago so we’re still in the full flush of a honeymoon period, everything is still a novelty for us. But we’ve settled in well and with spring in full flow in London with summer around the corner, it’s great time to be in the capital.
We’ve never rented before so the trials and tribulations of having a landlord who has to OK everything is quite a new experience for us. We’re used to having the power as a home owner, but equally there is something quite nice about calling someone and the responsibility is theirs. It took time to get used to the noise too. Where we are is relatively quiet but very central and there is a constant background thrum that definitely takes some getting used to. Gradually we are tuning it out but initially it sounded like a real cacophony. City dweller friends tell me you get used to it and I do believe them.
In the coming months, I’ll be devoting Deanoblog to our adventures in London. Over on Globetroffers.com, you’ll be able to track our foodie adventures — of which there will be many! If you’ve never lived in London then you’ll be able to experience it first hand with us and if you do live in London or have done in the past you’ll be able to point us in the right direction.
One thing is for certain: we will be completely focused on enjoying the journey without worrying too much about the destination.