25 January, 2006

oy veh, moving

Somehow I forgot that moving to London meant I was MOVING to London. You know the cliche about how moving is the most stressful thing next to the death of a spouse, divorce, or finding out it's more than three blocks to the nearest Starbucks. Well, I keep reminding myself that thank goodness I'm not moving BECAUSE I'm getting divorced, because I'm not happy right now! Here's what happened. We kidded ourselves that we didn't have all that much stuff, because remember how minimalist our apartment on Jay Street looked? Really neat and tidy and emptyish. Well, it turns out that we require massive amounts of empty space that can be closed off and ignored, in order to look tidy. There is no storage space to speak of at our lovely new glamorous flat. No phone yet, and don't even get me started on how tired I am of British Telecom and their lame representatives. I know phone service is always a pain, and I also know that I am the worst customer in the world because as soon as they ask me a question, they can see from my pathetic expression that I don't have the answer. Broadband? Cat5? Bulldog? I don't know. Anyway, no phone yet.

So stuff. So much STUFF. I have found bits of china and glass that predate our marriage, I have found Avery's baby spoons and cups, I have found coffee mugs from graduate school, along with such treasuresas a mug emblazoned with the legend, "On March 16, 2003, I was in Tribeca at Elliot Sadoff's 1st Birthday Party!" Actually I have two of those. And I miss Elliot's mother Alyssa so much that I don't even mind having two coffee mugs that I have no idea what to do with. I don't even drink coffee! But that's beside the point. I am actually treasuring my Elliot mugs, reliving happy days in Tribeca when I had a friend who had a child to have a first birthday party for.

Anyway, I am madly throwing stuff away, putting things aside to give to Oxfam, the English version of Salvation Army, kicking myself that I didn't do this stateside, but also investigating the super-cool shelving company Vitsoe, in Wigmore Street (on my healthy-heart three- times-daily walk to or from Avery's school). Perhaps with some shelves in the kitchen, some shelves in the living room for the 800 boxes of books in the study, and some shelves in Avery's room, I can withstand my tremendous urge to set fire to everything we own...

But other than that, life is grand. The neighborhood is ultra quiet, amazingly since it's situated perilously close to the American Embassy, and just a block from the Marble Arch, which they are planning to MOVE! I mean, seriously! How they can imagine moving the Marble Arch, if for no other reason than that there's a tube station with its name on it... Next thing you know they'll blacktop Regent's Park. Honestly. But yes, it's a lovely neighborhood, just two blocks from a great Marks and Sparks (the local name for Marks and Spencer) Food Hall, my favourite haunt, and a Selfridge's where I can't afford anything but I go just to look at the foie gras. The kitties are safely here, scattering litter everywhere, and scared silly of the telephone men. And guess what? Keeping the tradition of ridiculous hostess behavior that was started when we had dinner guests the first night we brought Avery home from the hospital, we had a dinner guest the evening we moved in! I cleared enough space to roast an amazing English Angus beef joint, and succumbed to moving pressure to serve with it a glorious pre-made dish of scalloped potatoes from Marks and Sparks! Added to that was sauteed baby
broccolini, here called "tenderstems," with olive oil and butter. And a Bramley apple crumble. Our guest was the divine David from Waterloo, Iowa, here working on travel agency business. So book early now, and be here for the next seating.

I'm off to buy a vacuum cleaner, hundreds of rubber stoppers to keep all our doors open (the British love to close a door!), a big kitchen garbage can, and what else? A chicken to roast for our third night in our new home. Avery will be full of stories of Latin class, netball, and whatever horror she's given for lunch, and John will be in his usual state of excitement at spending the day at his posh office in Canary Wharf. Think of me, please, as I unpack... poor me!

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