The last couple of months have simply flown by.  Between looking for an apartment to live, and then sorting out all the little details of renting, moving in and school excursions and various activities, I can’t believe that I am looking at the start of Month 4 in England.  The last 6 weeks have mainly been spent in and around Richmond.  We haven’t travelled out extensively sightseeing in London.

We moved into the new apartment about 4 weeks ago.  Moving in day was hectic.  For one, it was raining.  Then we had to have the Inventory Clerks check the apartment, to make sure that anything that wasn’t done or marked etc, is noted, so that we wouldn’t be blamed for it on the way out.  Our Inventory Check-In Clerk was very thorough, and I was glad that she was on our side.  The previous tenant did not do a good job of leaving the property.  Visually, it did the trick, but there were a lot of things, once you opened the doors or looked deeper, that it wasn’t what it should be.  It was a bit disappointing, as it meant work at our end having to clean it up.  I mean, what were we to do – Move out and look for a new place.  We couldn’t really do that.

The movers were really good.  They had a tough job of bringing heavy furniture up 4 flights of stairs.  The lift was no bigger than our pantry back home in Australia, so everything had to be hauled up, except for the boxes.  Boy, they are very strong.  Gotta admire their work.  I certainly couldn’t do it, and quite frankly, many men I know couldn’t do it either.  Our furniture, of course, are Australian made and they are a lot heavier than the furniture made in England – or the ones that I’ve seen.

The flat was in complete chaos.  There were boxes in every room.  The most challenging was the kitchen, as there was no place to put the boxes there.  So, as fast as the kitchen boxes came in, I was busy trying to unpack it all and find a place to store it.  I tried to be as methodical as possible, knowing that in some way, where the item found its home was where it was probably going to stay.  So far, that theory has rung true.  And I had a lot of kitchen stuff.  Didn’t realise it in Sydney, but I had doubles of everything – can opener, scissors, wine opener (4!) etc.  In the end, what we did was throw the extra ones out with the boxes that they came in.

Another big problem were the clothes. We had so much of it.  And piles of clothes, towels, linen and bedding were on the floor.  I felt like I was at the Jumble Sale at the local school.  There was a definite sense of not knowing where to begin.  It took several days to sort everything out, including clean the place.  And there were times when I would move from room to room, wanting to clear it up or sort through stuff, but being quite perplexed as to how to get started.

Though we’d asked for our apartment to be professionally cleaned, assuming the previous tenant would at least have to do this, we found that this was not done at all.  Sadly, the toilet/bathroom was the worst.  Not sure, but I don’t think the previous tenant has a sense of smell, and neither did the estate agent or their cleaner, I might add.  Not good.  After a month of cleaning the toilet/bath area, and trying lots of different scented products including candles and my wonderful bottle of Crabtree and Evenlyn Room Spray, I think we have made a vast improvement.

So, we are settling in and finding our way about the apartment.  Whilst we were very comfortable in our corporate apartment, it is very comforting to have your own things around you.  We also bought our new 42″ LCD TV and got cable/broadband installed with X-Box Live – complete couch potato entertainment on tap!  I have since pulled together a big pile of stuff that now needs to make its way to the recycling centre or charity shops, and tried to organise as best we can.  That’s now sitting in our lock-up garage, which is looking quite full and needs to be sorted through.

To date, we’ve had 1 visitor, 1 sleepover party and 1 dinner party.  Not bad for the first month in our new place.