I know it’s 5:05 as after seeing with my ears for a while I realised I had no idea whatsoever what the time was as the level of road noise had me reaching for my phone to find out for sure. Well I might still be in E14 but I’m clearly not in the silent bit by Limehouse Cut overlooking Bartlett Park, but rather a lovely bit overlooking Limehouse Basin. And very close to the entrance of the Rotherhithe Tunnel. And Commercial Road. No matter which way you cut it road noise was going to increase.
So I’m here, alone in a metal framed bed. With knobs on. I can’t begin to tell you how pleased this makes me. I’ve always wanted a bed like this, ever since first seeing Bedknobs and Broomsticks when I was very young, something is stirred in my head as I warm and happy memories are stirred by something so ridiculously ornate. I’ll have to read the manual though as I tried fiddling with the knobs and it didn’t take me to a magical land.
You can stop sniggering now.
What I didn’t realise was just how high it was. By the time I added my memory foam mattress topper I needed a step ladder to get in. Monty of course demonstrated that bears can climb, but then he always was a little show off. Oh yes, Monty, he’s found a cave sitting on a chest of drawers. I didn’t like to tell him it’s vase. At least I think it’s a vase, it has a hole in the top where flowers could go but looks like the sort of thing that people get to make a place look elegant. This one has a bear living in it instead.
When I turned up on Saturday morning I discovered three things. Firstly: I couldn’t get in and there may have been mutterings under my breath, this later became the discovery that we *did* need a landline as the door entry would be tied to that and until it appeared there would be no oh-just-press-our-number-and-call. No, you message or call my number and I’ll traipse downstairs to open the door.
As this has been ordered and an engineer is allegedly visiting on Wednesday you can expect a saga of irritation when it, well, doesn’t happen.
Secondly: my new flatmate was already there and after laughing at me (adds daffodil stew to the menu) he came down to let me in and explain the whole phone nonsense. As soon as he said I realised I should have known this because of the time when he provided shelter after some thieving toe rag decided to make my life very difficult.
This apartment I knew was furnished, I didn’t really focus on the details as frankly there were none and after the conversation I had with the agent at the viewing, namely:
Me: Are these storage heaters
Agent: Oh no, definitely not
Me: Are you sure?
Agent: Oh yesHmm...
They are by the way, where was I, oh yes, after that conversation I didn’t have a lot of faith in what would be said but he did tell me the beds came with the place and frankly that’s all I cared about. So the third thing? Just how furnished the place was. Not just the big furniture like beds and chairs, but the little from glasses in the, for want of a better name, very modern dresser to every possible thing you’d need in the kitchen. Everything. Except for a slow cooker which I was bringing.
There is even… a microwave. That or it’s a rubbish telly.
Crikey. This led me to photograph everything as otherwise there is no way I could record this much stuff. On the bright side it seemed bigger than I remember it and, more importantly, my new flatmate loved it. This was something of a massive relief as he had signed the lease on my viewing i.e. he foolishly trusted me to have picked an okay place. And not just one based on the fact that it had large metal framed beds. No sireeeee.
The upshot of the everything being present was that I re-planned my moving strategy - hahahahahahahahaha - and went for bring food, clothes, Monty and the iBastard charger. The rest can come over the coming week but it meant I would not have to make choices in the cupboards back at Contrary Towers.
Definitely a good thing that, I’m rubbish at packing.
So I loaded up two crates with the contents of the spice and baking cupboard. Added washed clothes to my cabin bag. Stripped the bed to get the mattress topper, found clean duvet covers and slung them all in the back of the Contrary Clio, by 19:11 she was full and I really wanted to get there and unpack as it would be a struggle.
I had planned things to be unloaded in a given order, namely the Lidl insulated bag that had the contents of the freezer and the bag with the fridge things, everything else could wait. 21 minutes after I took the picture of the car I took a new one to show, in the words of Paul Young, that wherever I lay my hat that’s my home. Well my bed anyway. The home will appear over the coming weeks as I mould it to my chaotic nature.
I also had a new duvet. As I had my littlest offspring visiting for the weekend the eldest came over too to watch over him whilst I did the Saturday morning check-in. After I’d shown them around the new place we scooted off to the Natural History Museum - not my choice - to have a poke around. Coming back we diverted via the Isle of Dogs Asda to do an initial food shop, buy a new duvet and get the eldest a mouse. As you do.
Why have I not got a new duvet before? This one was a revelation. Very cosy!
I took a break at whatever o’clock and scampered over to the nearest shop for bread and a bottle of something wine like and as I had much to do I was very naughty and picked up a take-away to avoid wasting time cooking. With my impromptu feast I returned home, dug out my bluetooth speaker, found the Amazon Prime instrumental jazz station and listened happily as I scoffed dirty food and drank pink wine.
Admittedly there was a chicken in the slow cooker but this wouldn’t be done until nearly midnight and that was fine as I didn’t really expect to be finished until then. This is food for the next few nights!
After dinner I continued putting away and sorting, there will be tweakage later but for now the layout will do as I have so much still to do. This was definitely something I could only do alone, anyone else would have been in the way and of course I needed to introduce myself to the new place.
I think we will get on. It’s true that I still have to work out how the heaters actually work, but that will come, but for now it already feels like home even if it lacks “touches”, they will appear as I decide what identity this new place will have. In the meantime I should get my lazy bottom out of the bed and see if I can manage to work the shower…
What can possibly go wrong?