Spring is coming

Well the days are getting longer and it's getting warmer. The daffodils have been poking through the last few weeks. It's quite amazing where they come through, mostly they're not planted but just poke through grass lawns and verges. They're everywhere! Blossoms are also appearing on some of the earlier flowering trees. Wahoo!

The change in temperature has been quite dramatic. A couple of weeks ago it was absolutely freezing. Riding my bike to work in the mornings, my ears would really ache from the cold wind whizzing past. Now it's getting so warm that I get to work all sweaty and I've started sometimes swapping my skiing gloves for my half-finger cycling gloves on the warmer days.

Bring on the Spring, I say! I have lots of plans for this Summer and can't wait.

Moved in, just one problem

We moved house over the weekend. The new place is fantastic: large, bright, airy and clean. We chose the place for those reasons. There's one rather major problem though: the central heating doesn't work. Ack!

Those of you back in Sydney might not realise quite what a problem this is, so I'll just point to the weather forecast. Note it's going to be -4 degrees on Friday. Big problem.

Fortunately there is a heater in the lounge room, so we've spent our first two nights on the sofa bed. Not ideal but at least we don't freeze! The landlord is sending a plumber around today. Good thing too.

So we're moved in. Enjoying the new place and having our own pad.

Flat is go, heating and all

Well it took a bit of hassling get everything right but we now have our flat all kitted out. Yay! Considering it's going to be -4 degrees tonight, I'm pretty glad we've got the heating going.

We've had some problems with our landlord. The heating, hot water and shower were all broken when we moved in. The agent for the landlord who handles maintenance has been incredibly rude and uninformative. Fortunately she is efficient at least and it's all now fixed. The problem with renting in this country is that all your rights are basically tort law. If it's in the contract, you have the right. If you want to enforce it, you have to take the landlord to court. Unhelpful.

Regardless, the moral of the story is to put everything in writing, which is what we'll be doing for all future communications with the lovely Linda.

So the flat is all set up. We have a nice big lounge room. The phone was connected yesterday, though ADSL will is still a bit away. Last night we put up a bunch of our posters, turning the horrible watercolour prints in the landlord's frames around and putting ours over the top. Very nice! The Critical Mass tenth birthday posters Gabe gave me look very nice.

We found a new place to live

Holly and I have been hunting around for a new place to live for the last couple of weeks. We've decided it's time to live on our own, adult-like, the already-noisy road outside our bedroom window is about to become a boundary road to Ken Livingstone's new Congestion Charge, giving drivers a five pound incentive to drive past our place instead of into Central London, and my one hour each way commute was wearing me down.

So we've been hunting around for a one bedroom flat at a reasonable price. No easy feat in London, believe me. We've seen a lot of squalid, dark flats in dodgy areas and even been mislead by dodgy estate agents and shown bedsits (sorry, "studio flats" in the lingo).

We made an offer on an excellent property last week but our offer was rejected -- it was well below the asking price but as much as we could afford. Finally on Saturday we found a nice place.

The flat is really large, bright and clean. See the photo above to see the lounge room. The only down side is that it's in Zone 3 and an Australian ghetto. That means we'll have ready access to Tim Tams, Vegemite and Twisties but will also mean we have even less chance of meeting locals.

Still, the reason so many Aussies live in this area is the reasonable prices and relatively good transport links. For me it's incredibly convenient to work: a short three kilometre ride. For Holly it's about five clicks, so closer for her too.

Good news for those of your outside London is the large lounge room with fold-out bed. Yes, we'll have room for dossers.


Feel like shit. Holly brought home the gift that keeps on giving: a cold. Yucko. Off work today and about to go back to bed.