Sunday, September 8, 2013

First Nights

I've been at a complete loss for how to proceed with blogging. I'm going through a bit of an identity crisis.  Is this still me blogging about setting up house (just in a different place)? Is this about being an expat? Or is this a family chronicle?  I'm still not sure, but for my own journalling purposes I'm going to back and up write about what we've done and learned so far since moving to London.

I'll start with our arrivals.

Matt came over a couple weeks earlier to start work.  He would arrive in the dark at our empty house with two suitcases (after working in Luxemburg for a week) . In order to lighten his load, I ordered a "bed in a bag" that was scheduled to arrive the same day as he did. I shipped it to his office so someone would be able to accept the package. Brilliant right?

His first night I got a call from an exhausted Matt. It was 10:00 pm and he couldn't get the front door unlocked. Not only that, but the doorman at his office refused the package so he wouldn't have a bed.  After 30 minutes and several calls expressing frustration he got in to the house.  (There are 3 different locks on the front door).

Poor poor Matt. It was cold here at that time so he spent a sleepless night on the floor with a shirt as his blanket.  The next morning he jumped in the shower only to realize he hadn't packed any soap. Upon exiting the shower he realized he hadn't packed a towel. Ahhh, home sweet home.

The next night, one of the keys wasn't working. He had to call a lock smith and waited for an hour to be let in. Once in the house he went to inflate the air mattress so he could sleep in comfort. Well, wouldn't you know, the pump that came with the bed was the kind that plugs into a car lighter. He called me to share his frustration. He slept on the floor with his newly purchased bath towel as a blanket. (It was cold)

The next night I suggested he check into a hotel. So he went to a little hotel nearby. Upon opening the door to his room he noticed that the bed was tiny-- smaller than a US twin. Matt is a big guy. This was not going to work. I got another frustrated phone call. We discussed his options and he decided to leave.

For his first 10 days he had no sleep,  no internet access, no TV, no furniture, no family and no idea how to turn on the oven. So Drew and I decided if misery likes company we should make our move earlier than planned.

When we landed Matt told us to take a cab to the Claridges Hotel. His company was having a conference and they had an extra room booked that we could stay in that night.
(beautiful flower arrangements)

It was beautiful! We ordered room service had a nice hot shower and got a great night sleep.
(cool decor)

The next day we walked our new house where I have never had an issue with the locks.
(old elevator with a built in seat)

What's the lesson to be learned from this is:
1. Whatever can go wrong, will go wrong.
2. Always be prepared.
3. The Claridge Hotel is a really nice place to stay.

It feels like we've been here forever now and we're all settled in. 
Our first nights are such a distant memory--but I think it's fun to laugh about how different our experiences were.


Coulda shoulda woulda said...

Well that was zero to hero! Enjoying your blog regardless of the label...

My Notting Hill said...

Loved reading about all of this. Maybe you don't need a "theme" - just blog about what interests you.

Too funny about the locks - I have that experience, the lock didn't like me but it had no problem with anyone else.

Kerry Steele- Design du Monde said...

I agree with MNH. No theme necessary.
My husband would have "slept" on the floor too. I would have been all about a hotel by about midnight the first night.

webb said...

Nice to see you "back". If you totally feel the need for definition, how about Mondays are for one theme, Wednesdays a second, and Fridays the third.

That would still leave four days if you wanted to say something totally random.

Enjoy your expat time.

Bonnie said...

It is good to hear from you. Oh the things which can happen. So happy to hear things have settled down. I'm not for sure we all need themes. I enjoy reading about you settling in London. Hugs! Bonnie

pve design said...

What delights me most is the way you can create such comical visuals with your words. I seriously think you should write a book. Sleeping with a shirt as a blanket. No towel, no soap - I'm sorry, I had to laugh at the fact you opened the locks just fine.
I get it. Men and women are created different. I wonder what you would have done, had it been you?
Love hearing bits about your life as an expat.
Thought you would want to know our friend is moving to Indianapolis~ soon.

About Last Weekend said...

Yea absolutely agree - this account of your travels and husband's travails is just so great! Whatever the title. When we arrived in our rental (now the place we own) there was a couple of days without a stick of furniture and it was surreal to say the least to be camped out on the (cheap scratchy) carpet.

Kimberly Lemmon said...

Julie, I love reading your blog and whatever you want to talk about is okay with me. I do feel bad for Matt on those first few miserable nights. Can't wait to hear more about your escapades in London!!

The Magical Christmas Wreath Company said...

What a terrible start Julie. How on earth did you cope having to stay at Claridges ;)