The sheer madness of the past few weeks of our lives has meant I have no time to get weepy or sentimental about our flat. But it doesn’t mean I don’t have random moments of remembrance and gratitude.
Bryan and I ordered in last night and took a few minutes to survey the past 3 1/2 years in our flat. I always have a hard time in these situations because I definitely attach meaning and importance to inanimate things. This flat has been no exception.
We moved to London 3 1/2 years ago, fresh off a plane, not knowing what to expect. Spring was coming and life seemed filled with possibility. We were newlyweds even- imagine that! Within one month of arriving, an estate agent brought us into this flat: two short flights up, above a dentist, on a little street with a dynamite location and lots of boutique hotels and small embassies. One block from the best High Street in London. We were wary of seeing flats but we walked in the door and the ridiculously high ceilings and floor to ceiling windows were flooding the whole place with sunlight. We said, yes please. It didn’t hurt that it was the exact layout of our previous Brooklyn apartment. Something about the familiarity made it that much better.
Talking last night, we reminisced about the sheer volume of people who have visited us here in London, in this very flat. Almost every family member multiple times and more great friends than we could have ever imagined. We feel so lucky to have such a fantastic support system and super fun people who would come all this way. They all stayed in the second bedroom and all endured our funny shower and funny toilet flush and funny moving chair on the stairs for the dentist office and I think they all had a really good time in one of the best cities in the world. Hopefully.
We also recalled what we felt like in 2008. Traveling around Europe pre-children. Starting news jobs. Figuring out this foreign culture.
It’s hard for me to believe now that once upon a time, our flat looked like this (circa 2008):
More recently it has felt too small. Toys everywhere. The accumulation of stuff. A family of two that started and then is on the cusp of being four. We’ve been under construction siege and mouse siege and fly siege and landlord siege. It was time to move on. No time like the present. Due date notwithstanding.
And so we move to a place nearby and we are excited. But I know we will miss:
- hardwood floors
- these crazy tall windows
- built-in bookshelves
- french doors out to a terrace
- the wall I convinced two friends to paint a perfect shade of brown/gray
- the sounds from the street so that it’s impossible to feel alone
- the proximity to the tube
- being able to peer over the balcony and see who is arriving on the doorstep
- the memories of people being here and the fun times to be had
- knowing the venue origins of both my babies (TMI, I know)
- the nursery I made to bring our first baby home to
- living in Flat 1