Shad Thames

So on 9 April I said regarding moving flat,

I’m keen on SE1. If I can find a reasonably priced flat in ‘Boss House’ on ‘Boss Street’, then I’m totally moving to Shad Thames.

And now here I am. Living in a flat in Boss House on Boss Street in Shad Thames. The definition of ‘reasonable’ is up for interpretation.

I’ve been in the flat for a week, and – while there are some kinks still left to work out* – I am quite pleased with my new home. Not only is the flat great but the building and concierge are great and Shad Thames, itself, is great. I had some reservations about living in Shad Thames initially, thinking I’d be more suited for the more boho spirit of the Bermondsey Street area. But, having spent time now in both places, I have to say I prefer Shad Thames. Sure, I don’t shop at Reiss and wear loafers (a seeming requisite of the upper middle classes), but I like nice things. I like stepping outside my flat and being surrounded by other people who like nice things. Oh, and I like being so damned close to the river and Tower Bridge. And I like my exposed brick and my enormous warehouse windows.

I bought a bicycle yesterday from a really great bicycle shop in Peckham (definitely not Shad Thames, Peckham). It was only £170 for an aluminium framed step-through hybrid bike with mud guards, a pannier and a bell. And I’ve parked it down in the basement garage. I’m going to start cycling places since I’m so central and there’s the possibility of saving nearly £120 a month in travel costs. Just one more benefit of living just south of Tower Bridge. I rode the bicycle home from Peckham, which took me on the busy Old Kent Road. And, even though I hadn’t ridden a bike since 2005, it came back to me rather easily, and it wasn’t nearly as scary as I imagined it being – riding on the London roads. Granted, it was a Saturday afternoon. We’ll see how I feel about cycling when I’m doing it in the pissing rain in November, battling all the cantankerous cab drivers…

Still, feeling pretty smug…


* need to get a second set of keys cut, need to get a key to the basement garage, need to get two sets of blinds fixed, need to get the refrigerator looked at, need to get the pilot on 2 hobs in the kitchen fixed


Offline Excuses

So I’ve been offline for a while, not blogging.

But I have good reason for this.

First off, my grandmother died and I took a last-minute transatlantic voyage and week off.  I didn’t really want to take a week off, but this enforced ‘holiday’ was a product of the cheap airfare.  I felt woefully put out, in that I got NO dissertation work during this time because people wanted me to go here, there, this that and the other AND I had no virtually no internet the entire time I was there.

Second, as soon as I got back to London, I had a week to pack up my flat in Bloomsbury and move to Wandsworth.  I did this on Saturday and Sunday.

So, that’s that.  I haven’t been cooking at all, and nothing much has been going on in my life besides being constantly on the go/offline/moving.

The flat is wonderful, but we have no furniture and no internet.  I’m in a pub just across the road that charges £4.15 for a pear cider but has one of the most swish interiors I’ve seen in a pub as well as free wifi.

Yes, it was 11:30am when I got here.  Yes, I started drinking at 11:30.  Yes, I’m a little drunk right now.  Yes, I deserved this drinks after the loooooong weekend of moving, cleaning and unpacking.  No, I’m not going to have another.  I have to go to the grocery store and buy staple foods that I’d allowed my cabinet to run out of during the final weeks in Bloomsbury.

Also, hopefully Red will be keen on the idea of going back to Ikea (we went yesterday and had a massive fail. The items we wanted weren’t available to take home, so we decided we’d order them online and have them delivered.  Except I just found that the work table for the sitting room is not available online, nor are the wooden folding chairs for the small table we are getting, so we’re going to have to make another trip out to Croydon to pick these up.  Thank the good lord god for Red’s membership to Street Car.)

Also, our delivery date on our chest of drawers and table (and miscellaneous other things) is August 11th.  Nice.

And, in case you were wondering, that ‘nice’ was inflected with seething sarcasm.

Oh, and I also blew up my new Aerogarden.  I bought an American–>UK adaptor at Argos and asked Red if it was all right to use (listing the voltage information that means nothing to me in an email), and he said it was.  I sent him another email asking if he was sure, and he said yes.  I turned on the outlet and BAM!! The Aerogarden exploded and blew all the appliances in the kitchen.  Luckily, the other appliances were turned back on with a push of a button and a flip of a switch on the fuse box, but I’m afraid my new Aerogarden is RIP.  It hasn’t quite hit me yet, as I bought it on the last day I was in the US and was really excited to get it plugged in in the new flat and growing basil and oregano and marjoram and shit, but those dreams have been put on hiatus for the time being, what with the recent UK voltage Aerogarden death.

Maybe this Bulmer’s Pear morning intoxication is dulling the pain.

God, it’s hot

Yeah, I know I’m from Florida and I should be able to handle 90 degrees. 

But what I always took for granted was a blessed little thing called air conditioning.

I’m sure if I didn’t live in the flat situated on the brink of the Hellmouth it might not be so bad.  I might be able to open a couple windows, retreat from the blazing sun coming through the area immediately in front of the windows and catch a cross breeze.  But I do not.  I live in a little flat that has one window that’s technically not supposed to be opened (but we make a jail break every night by completely unscrewing the lock and taking it off the window) and no where to retreat to when the sun is blazing.  This means, basically, that I have to keep the blinds closed all. day.  Because keeping them open would just multiply the greenhouse effect in here by five trillion.

And yesterday, just when I thought I might vomit from heat exhaustion, I went to leave the flat. And I pulled the handle on the door.  And the handle came out in my hand.  Blind panic ran through me as I crumpled to the floor in utter disbelief.  How was I to get out?  There is only one door, and they sure as hell took my fire escape ladder when they locked up the window in the first place (not to mention the fact that they never brought me a fire blanket even when the engineer paid me a visit and said, ‘I’m here to check your fire blanket’, and I said, ‘What fire blanet?’ and he said ‘It’s inside by your kitchen. Everyone has a fire blanket’, and I said, ‘Um, I’m pretty sure I don’t have a fire blanet’, and he said, ‘Sure you do, everyone does. Just let me come inside and see it’, and I said, ‘Okay…’ and he said, ‘Huh, you don’t have a fire blanket’, and I said, ‘Yeah, I didn’t think so’, and he said, ‘I’ll get them to get you a fire blanket right away’.  That was about two months ago.  Still no fire blanket.)

I tweeted about my imprisonment (because I had my Blackberry in my bag and didn’t know what else to do).

Waves of heat nausea were coming on strong and fast.

I needed to get out.

I clawed my way out by prying the door open from the crack underneath.

We still have no door handle, because it’s just too hot and humid in here to close the window and lock it back up to put in a maintenance request.

I am so glad we are moving.


All this is to say that I’m on a cooking hiatus. It’s TOO DAMN HOT to be cooking in here.

For the voyeurs

Okay, so Linzi made a throw-away comment last night about how she kind of wanted to come over to my flat because of how small I make it sound; she wanted to see it for herself.  If any of you are wondering why you’ve never been invited over to my flat despite the fact that I live in the smack dead-centre of London, this is why: there is no room for you here.  I once had someone come over and one of us had to sit on the floor because there’s no space for another chair.  It’s that bad.

Le foyer:

front door


So I’m holding the front door open.  And I’m standing outside.

Just as you walk in the door, you see the toilet and shower room. 


You take a step to move out of the ‘hallway’, and the room spaciously opens…

side room

That cabinet you see there contains our bed, which is folded down every night.  How do you manage to do that with a table in the way, you ask?  You first must fold down the table and move the chairs, of course.


Here is another picture of the back of the flat to give you a panorama effect.  You know, since there’s so much to see.

Then you have the desk/breakfast table/entertainment centre/bookshelves… (I’m standing in the far corner of the room, to the side of the bed enclosure just to fit this all into the picture.) 


Don’t ask why, with such limited space,  we have two massive monitors on our desk.  Just don’t. (and for the record, the two generally organized bookshelves in the middle are mine.)

I know what you’re thinking now.  But where is your kitchen?


Tada! Right next to where the bed would be when folded down.  I’m expecting mad respect from you all now in regard to my culinary prowess.