Monday, October 18, 2004

…we live by the River!…

who would have thought we’d be living out part of the lyrics of The Clash classic, London Calling. we have got ourselves into our own place here in London, after a 13-day stay at our friend Karen’s place, while she returned to sunny and a very hot Brisbane.

In the past two weeks we’ve gone out a few times for dinner (including some great Tapas in Putney!) and caught up with coxen and the workman-wilke’s a few times..

I also experienced my first Fulham Slug & Lettuce bar and Acton Redback Tavern night-out with Coxen and mates, and then after running out of money by the end of the night I proceeded to walk most of the way home across SW London (from Acton to Fulham) because the tube had stopped, the night buses were running late, and it seemed like fun at the time (sore and sorry the next day!) – too many antipodeans, and too many snakebites!..

We also went to a few great pubs near Piccadilly with Renee and Shane so we could get a feel for the after work ‘few Pints on the way home’ culture – that is where the photos of the "drinks lift" below were taken - I think the place was called Waxy’s little sister? This thing is great, instead of walking down the stairs to the bar you just put your money and written order in the box, ring the bell on the string, and send it down to the bar below - your drinks are poured, money exchanged and change provided, and the drinks sent back upstairs - awesome!

Shane Wilke working the lift at Waxy's Little Sister

We’ve also had a few great nights in with Karen’s flatmate Renee ‘Willow’ Wilson, enjoying far too much wine from the alcoh section in Sainsbury’s.. she’s been great to hang out and a great help while we’ve been setting up, and considering our shared taste for red vino we’ll be seeing plenty more of her..

During this time we also managed to place our election votes at Australia House – cs was very happy her friend Johnny Howard is back in… and a few Saturday’s ago we went and saw a jazz band fronted by members of Atomic Kitten at the Hammersmith Palais (the venue where they hold School Disco Lyndall!!) – as you’d expect, the jazz was good, the Kittens were not so good – lesson learned, but a good night out with Renee Wilo anyway..!

Willow and Carly at the Hammersmith Palais

And on the advice of my mate brett, we visited Greenwich to see the Royal Observatory and the 0 degree longtitude line and the home of Greenwich Mean Time, and also the Thames Foot Tunnel - i still have to get out there again next summer and buy myself a paper and coffee and sit in the sun, i have a some few pounds set aside for this...

Carly on the line; and Shane in the foot tunnel

Although we did get out a bit we spent most of our time at Karen’s place busily searching the web, sending e-mails, calling our respective job agencies, and starting to get things rolling on the job hunt (more about that later)..

At the same time looking at all of the letting agency websites for 1 or 2 bedroom places in the Putney/Fulham areas of southwest London.. after finding a few possible’s, we decided to do some advertising of our own and posted an ‘accommodation wanted’ post on the ever-faithful Gumtree website. (an on-line classified site populated by the aussies, saffas and kiwis of the UK..) Our posting received a phone call response within minutes when seen by someone who thought they had the perfect place for us while we found our feet (and some jobs!!), so we organised a viewing for the following day and said yes not long after..

So we are now renting a spacious two bedroom, top floor (8th) apartment in a very secure complex in Fulham, right next to the Putney Bridge tube station (I swear only a 100m walk to the platforms!), and even more unbelievably, it is right on the bank of the Thames..!!

The current tenant is a professional Kiwi woman who is heading back to the land of too many sheep for 4 months (via a holiday in Asia), and so that she doesn’t have to give up this amazing apartment while away, she needed someone to cover the rent, and hence offered us an all-inclusive monthly rent amount that we couldn’t refuse – so nothing to buy to get set-up, no bills to pay while we’re here and we simply walked in with our backpacks (and all of my shoes) straight into the place last Friday.. the place has 2 bedrooms with great heating, new bathroom, new full size kitchen with everything including dishwasher, fridge & freezer, washer & dryer (you’d be impressed Buse!), and nice big windows in every room looking onto the river with the view from Wandsworth downstream, to the rowing clubhouses upstream in Putney – here are some photos of the apartment –

The view of the Thames from the verandah..

and from inside the Lounge Room

The kitchen; and Lounge Room

Dinner with friends Karen and Willow..

Were holding our house-warming party on the night of the 5th of November, which is the famous (or infamous) bonfire/guy fawkes night here in London.. at a minimum the likes of Karen & Andy and brother John Willett will be there, the Workman-Wilke’s, Renee Wilo and some of her friends, and coxen are sure to make it so I’m sure it will be one to remember with fireworks on the river straight across from our apartment building in front of Wandsworth Park.. Here is a link to a map of the place –

The 4 month house-sit gives us plenty of time to take a good look around the city as we settle into jobs and pick a place where we will want to be renting more permanently – options so far include the Putney high street area which has both tube and overland rail nearby, or the Clapham Junction/Common area which we really like as it has a great high street and shopping, fantastic parks, good bus connections, and also has both the tube into town and is home to Britain’s busiest overland rail station, so we can get anywhere in the country fast.. We have to make a decision and start looking by early December, because apartments/flats will start being advertised when people give up to 2 months notice of departure, and the earlier the better so that we can organise to start buying kitchen equipment, and other appliances depending on the place we’ll rent.. Before we took the place we are in we managed to inspect 6 different places to get a feel of what we will get for our money, and were pleasantly surprised.. so we begin the apartment search around xmas and will have something else by the end of February –

On the job front – carly has an interview tomorrow, and I submitted an application on Friday for a redevelopment officer position in one of the inner-city boroughs undertaking site regeneration and master planning – so cross all your fingers for us!

So with 4 months to lap up the good life in the penthouse, I hope we’ll be posting plenty of great stories from here..

ps. Hey Suskie - Tickets for Kylie’s London concerts go on sale tomorrow – I will be going!!!



At Tue Jan 18, 06:52:00 am GMT+10 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

you sound like a homosexual spargo, but i bet your missus is an awesome poledancer!!!1

At Tue Jan 18, 09:49:00 am GMT+10 , Blogger Shane & Carly said...

thanks for your valuable contribution Dan, and yes, the recent poledancing lesson has paid dividends like you'll never know...



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