Monday, March 31, 2008

The answer is...

Read "Furniture Update" post of March 24th first...then come back to this post. Especially the last paragraph.

Answer: Nope, it did not fit. The movers recognized that in less than 2 minutes. The piece of furniture has been returned, refund completed, and the saga of "how do we get a storage unit of any size up these blasted stairs?" continues.

Not sure what else we are going to do...

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Yes, I braved Terminal 5

Heathrow's new Terminal 5 opened this immense chaos. And I was one of the lucky ones who braved the new T5 today. Thankfully, my flight was not one of the 50% of the ones cancelled, I did not get trapped in a elevator, my bags arrived in Amsterdam on time and without I suppose I should count my blessings.

Now, there was there 2 hour wait on the tarmac as the Heathrow baggage carriers loaded, unloaded, and then reloaded the bags on my plane. Apparently, they had put too many pieces of luggage on the plane for the number of passengers on the flight. Somewhere tonight, somebody is wondering where their suitcase is...

Tuesday, March 25, 2008


It is not yet 90 days in London and we have already had two sets of visitors. First, Budman's brother, Mike, came for a weekend visit at the end of February. A few weeks later, friends from college were in London for business and we were able to catch up with them as well one evening at dinner.

I can see that this "living in London" gig is going to be a boon for catching up with friends and family.


Have you heard of this? I must confess that I had not until moving to London. The concept of "floating" had definitely not hit Dusseldorf, or the Hachie (that I am aware of).

Floating is a "new" way to reduce stress that is all the rage here in London. Supposedly by "floating", one relaxes totally and leaves the float experience feeling incredibly rejuvenated with all muscles feeling very relaxed.

So what is "floating"? Well, there are any number of float spas popping up in London, but a girlfriend and I frequented one in Notting Hill this last weekend. In addition to their normal services of massage and facials, a one hour "float" session can also be arranged. Essentially, one gets into his/her own private egg shaped pod with a closeable lid and floats in this contraption, in the dark with the pod lid closed I might add, for about 50 minutes or so. The water inside the pod is a warm salt water mixture which further enables the floating.

The closed lid took a little getting used to. I definitely found it easier to leave the light inside the pod off than on, as the close confines were a little claustrophobic in the beginning. Initally, I floated to "nature sounds" music for the first 10 minutes but then we were informed that "maximum float benefit" came from floating in silence. So what does one do for the hour? The simple answer is lie on one's back and float! Yep, that's it.

The other thing that challenged me was that I found myself getting a bit bored. Maybe it was the fact that I was a "first time floater" and with the experience being a new one, I was "learning" how to float. Sure, we had been told that we would probably fall asleep during floating, but in reality, I really just floated there for about an hour with my thoughts. Maybe I dozed a bit, I can't quite remember.

The other thing that caused me a bit of angst was the instruction that I must not get my face wet inside the pod because the salt water would dry and then start my face to itching. It seems seems I experienced a bit of tension just trying to ensure that this did not happen when in fact, floating is supposed to reduce the tension rather than add to it.

Whatever the reason, I failed to see the maximum restorative qualities that were listed as its benefits during my first foray into floating. I am not ready to write off floating as a way to relax just yet; maybe I simply need to give it another shot. Either way it was a unique experience.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Furniture update

We are making progress slowly on the house front. As a reminder to all those who may not be up to date, we are living in a "house" in west London. To read the rental advert description, it has two "spacious" reception rooms, and 4 bedrooms (mind you, one bedroom is about the size of my walk-in closet in the Hachie). It does have 2 bathrooms, little storage by US standards (but a ton of storage by UK standards), and a converted attic-loft guest bedroom.

To coin a British term, it sounds "massive" doesn't it?, not really. Think 1200 square feet. With that said, we are conquering a few home projects each weekend. I will spare you you the details, but they range from hanging a few pictures to organizing a closet here or there. The boxes are all empty, thankfully.

Now, to the continuing saga of the furniture. We have decided to sell some of the German antiques that are too big for the house in a local auction. At least that is the plan...if they will take them. We are trying to set an appointment for Friday to get those items moved, including a dining table, 6 chairs, and a German desk.

We'd better sell them because we have already ordered the new "old" dining table and 6 leather chairs for arrival in mid April (yes, Mike, it was the ones we saw with you during your last visit). It has this cool collapsable dining table extension/expansion that allows the table to fit into "smaller" rooms...or in our case one of the two "spacious reception rooms".

The success of that shopping experience was a bit marred by the fact that we we located a FAB-U-LOUS antique oak chest (circa 1900s) in our new favorite antique shop just moments away from the house. We'd thought we'd hit pay dirt as the chest/wardobe breaks down into three 3 parts to assist in getting it up those pesky narrow staircases in London houses. "How narrow", you ask? About 29 inches from side to side up the staircase. The real issue, though, is the staircase turn on the first floor landing. When we spied the oak wardrobe, we just knew we'd found a solution for the bedroom (a.k.a can't fit the Chinese armoire up the stairs).

We've already considered whether we could hoist it up one floor and bring in through the window. Sadly, no can are too small.

We have measured it every which way and still do not see a way to get it around the first staircase turn. The guys at the antique store say, "Sure, let's give it a try. We have moved things in tighter corners". So, we have taken a chance on the wardrobe and pinned our hopes on the antique moving crew ... that they indeed have a little more know-how in these matters than the Budman and I.

Come Saturday morning, we can give you the final results. YES - the chest has made it safely into the first floor master bedroom or NO - we can expect a refund in full from the antique shop as the wardrobe will be returned post haste.


I'm dreamin' of a white....Easter? has snowed at least 4 times this Easter weekend. I know one is supposed to be able to wear white after Easter but that is indeed taking it a bit far...literally.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Update on all things

The short answer is that work has been the entire focus of my last 4 weeks. So much so, that we are still not settled into the new house. Apologies in advance for the emails gone unanswered, the letters received but not responded to, and the birthdays forgotten. For those of you who know me, that is not normal so you can rightly assume that the pace of work is at an all time frenetic pace.

On the house front, we are having to make some tough choices...selling some furniture that just won't fit. We are having that tough conversation now....the good news is that we are mostly agreed with one exception and we have a local auction house that can help us sell it.

Trying to be a "glass half full" kind of gal, the good news is that purging material possessions can be liberating.

(the question I really a "half glass kind of gal" in this instance?)

Besides that the Budman and I are merrily working away at the office, settling into the "up at 5:30 am" routines to catch public transportation (story for another day), and still opening boxes on the weekends. We getting settled but these things just take time.

Back to this electrical outlet thing

I am not sure I am buying this electrical outlet plugs in UK bathrooms for fear of electrocution. If that were the case, why not eliminate electrical plugs in UK kitchens?