So, I’ve just successfully completed moving flats to the opposite side of London: Finchley = far north, Croydon = far south! This would be my 5th move over the last year since coming to London. And hopefully the last for at least the next year! Speaking of years, yesterday was my 1 year anniversary with dreary London. Yep it has been exactly 1 year since I arrived here. How time flies.
I was gonna do something to celebrate yesterday, but I completely forgot about it as I was too preoccupied with unpacking, settling in, buying groceries so I could eat, and discovering my way around the plethora of shops in croydon (there are 2 huge shopping centres, a main high street shopping mall.. and generally heaps of shops everywhere). There’s even a Mango and Zara here in the brand new shopping centre Centrale. Yay! Plus there’s a huge “new” Ikea only about 10 mins away by tram – a direct tram from just outside my street! And next to that is a humungous megastore Sainsburys (supermarket.. like woolies or coles back home). Phew. I guess I won’t have to commute into central london to do my shopping anymore!
I’m pretty happy with my new location. Its a really convenient location to live. Only 5 mins walk to the tram stop just outside my street – trams come every 1 to 3 mins (until about 1am – though less frequently at late hours – the tram network down here rocks!) to East Croydon station, which is only a 5 min journey. Trains at East Croydon (which is a the most major station in the area – sorta like Waterloo in central london) every few minutes at peak time into central london, and there are FAST direct trains too!
Anyway, the move itself was quite a lot of work. I was packing boxes on Friday nite from 7pm until 4:30am. Got all of 3 hours sleep before getting up to finish up last minute packing before the moving van came to load up and drive down. The movers were pretty cool – amazing how fast they loaded everything into their van. The drive down to Croydon took about 2 hours. Ugh. Then spent the rest of saturday moving in, cleaning the place before I could unpack and put things away. Its an unfurnished place too – but I have my own bed and chest of drawers so it was ideal. I need to buy a bookshelf though, coz my last place had come with one. This is where the nearby Ikea comes in handy! At least this new place comes with a wardrobe. So unpacking is only about half done. Half my things are still in boxes.
This place is really spacious compared with Finchley. It’s a 1 bed flat and actually has a living room!! And a proper kitchen! And even a garage! Yay! However, its not as nice as Finchley – eg. it doesn’t have halogen lights (the other place did – which provided much better lighting and gave the place a warmer, more modern feel), the interior is a bit old (the other place was newly refurbished), the bathroom isn’t as nice (bathtub/shower is a lot smaller, shower head is cheap, toilet has difficulty flushing sometimes), and generally interior design is a little.. dated.. kinda makes me feel like I’ve stepped into the early 90s/late 80s. Heheh. Also has a slightly cheap feel to it (eg cheap plastic vinyl floor in the kitchen uneven in places, old washing machine, cooker has a half sized oven – other half is a griller). But for the price, space, and convenience for transport, this place is a gem! And the landlord is pretty cool – I can make a few changes to the place to suit my tastes (at his expense!) things like lights and curtains can be changed, and the builder is coming in this week to “update” the bathroom, put in some shelving or a cabinet for storage (currently has nothing, not even a towel rail). Might even be able to get the landlord to pay for the bookshelf, if we leave it in the flat. Water pressure is good coz there’s a special extra pressuriser thingy you can turn on when you take a shower, but a new shower head is needed. And a new shower curtain. Also need new curtains for the kitchen window, and a net curtain too for privacy (it’s a ground floor flat facing the road and footpath – yes, I’m gonna buy home & contents insurance asap!) So I guess there’s freedom to personalise this place, which is good. Can make it my own. Might invest in some nice halogen lights later (hello Ikea :P) to brighten the place up. And maybe an inexpensive sofa!
Phew. Moving and setting up a new home is lots of work. But its a nice feeling, settling into a new place, making it your own. I don’t have internet or phone line set up yet. Its gonna take prob 2 weeks to setup BT line and move my homechoice connection over. Ugh.
So, other than moving, my weekend was.. well.. all about the move. Myself and Kwai did watch Mission Impossible III on sunday. That was pretty cool!! A very action-packed, exciting, tense movie! May is an awesome month for movies! Last week was Mi:III, next week The Davinci Code, and following week is… X-Men III!!! Yay! Ok tis time for lunch.
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