Monday, May 31, 2010

What a difference a week makes!

We've been in the new place for just over a week and it's like night and day compared to the last one. I LIKE it here. It's much sunnier, spacious and just feels more like home. I'll take photos once the sun decides to come back out again.

We're still unpacking and a storage space is inevitable as we just have too much. But otherwise we're starting to enjoy life again.

Yesterday was a particularly good day. Our lovely new neighbours invited us over for tea. They are a nice young couple with two children: a boy - 5 and a daughter - 2 1/2.  The daughter is also named Cate - but the Italian version of it. The three kids were inside and out playing together - which was wonderful. Cate doesn't have a lot of friends just yet, which is why we're not having a birthday party for her this Saturday. But she was ecstatic to run and play with the two kids. Little X looked on in envy. Poor little fella - his time is coming - but not fast enough for him.

The neighbours are really charming, he's originally from Canada but his family moved to the UK when he was about 11 - we guessed his ancestors are from Iran because he speaks Farsi to the children. She is from Austria - a very elegant, graceful woman, very pretty without effort and waif thin. I felt like a truck driver next to her but she is so warm and engaging you can't help but just love her. She speaks German to the children - so they are trilingual. They speak all three languages with ease and often combine them - starting with English and ending in German or Farsi. And they speak the correct language to each parent. It's really fascinating. Cate and X will have flawless English seeing how that's all we speak fluently. It's a pity - I wish I could teach them another language - afterall Fen and I met in a Spanish language class. We can barely get by in a Spanish speaking country but we found each other so it was money well spent!

Then last night we went to my friend T's flat in Chelsea for dinner. She is the friend who told me the English are more reserved and don't take friendships lightly. She grew up in England but her parents had a place in the Bahamas and she did her masters at Columbia University in NY so we've spent a lot of time together over the years.

She always has an eclectic and interesting mix of friends at her dinners and last night was no exception. There was a lovely woman from Michigan who has been in London for 8 years and just bought her first flat so she was interested in interior design tips from everyone (of which I provided none seeing how I can barely unpack), there was T's boyfriend Mark, and hervery good friend James and his new partner Lane - who is also just bought a new flat and is redecorating. There were two elderly gentlemen - David who is a jewellery designer and Richard who is retired. They were all great.

I had to laugh when they started to gossip about the royals - I had no idea Fergie wasn't that popular! We had a good rowdy debate on who was gay and hiding it as well. Hilarious.

The food was great, the wine flowed freely, the panattone was divine, and the conversation was lively and interesting. It was a great night. We took a car service home and I turned to Fen and said, "We need to get out of the 'hood more often."

He agreed!


  1. I think one of the best gifts you can give your kids is the ability to speak more than one language, really easy to do if you get 'em while they're young. Unfortunately, like you my kids will only be learning to speak super fluent english as I am a total languages dunce!

  2. Sounds like you have finally found a place you can call "home". And there's nothing quite like a good dinner party with good company.

  3. When I was at school way back when, we had the option of learning French or German at the age of 12 or 13 I think, but in schools today in the UK they are teaching the kids languages in Primary School at a much earlier age, which can only be a good thing. Glad to hear you are settling in ok at your new 'hood' haha.


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