Well, here we are, in our new flat in West Hampstead! The move went very smoothly. All the boxes arrived and there was no breakage. Our mover, Danny, and his assistant, Kieran, were models of efficiency, as was our friend Gordon, who was in charge of transporting Olga and our plants.
The most difficult moment, as with our move-in, was getting the dining room table out of the flat in Notting Hill through the narrow living room doorway. (More carpentry was required.) Here in West Hampstead it sailed through the door with no problem. We didn't even have to turn it sideways.
After we unloaded the truck at our new home, we paid Danny and Kieran and then took Gordon to lunch at a local pub with a huge outdoor back garden. Olga tagged along and got her own bowl of kibble, and astonished me by leading the way back home again -- even returning to the correct doorway. The dog is a wizard of navigation.
When an afternoon rain began to fall, we left the avocado outside to soak up some moisture while Dave and I launched into a frenzy of unpacking.
I put my pottery vases -- including my two Roseville vases from the 1920s that were wedding presents to my grandmother -- on a windowsill by the front entrance, where they will greet visitors.
Blackie, my father's childhood toy, took up residence on a shady windowsill in our new bedroom.
Olga, meanwhile, explored the back garden and played with her long-neglected egg toy. The garden blows my mind, I must say. It's relatively gigantic and comes with all kinds of flowering plants -- roses, hydrangeas, and a few I cannot yet identify. We have a patio that looks out onto this space, and a living room with big glass windows onto the patio and garden.
It's completely enclosed, so Olga can romp around to her heart's content with minimal supervision. She was having so much fun yesterday she was even hesitant to come in out of the rain -- and she has never been hugely rain-tolerant.
Wabi, Sabi and Bobby guard the garden door, to keep away the foxes.
(Olga and I did see a fox in the garden this morning. The fox high-tailed it -- and what a funny expression that is, when you think about it literally, but completely truthful -- when Olga appeared in the window. I suspect it will keep a healthy distance!)
Today we're going back to our old flat to finish cleaning and to pick up our horseradish and heather plants, which we forgot (!). Then we're turning in the keys and we're done.
Oh, and yes, surprisingly, we already have WiFi access in the new flat. One of our neighbors appears to have an unlocked router. We're still getting our own installed, though, in order to play fair!