Archive for the ‘London’ Category


So long Dragons

May 29, 2007

So, 14 months after it went on the market our London apartment has finally sold.

The deal was done at midday today and this afternoon our solicitors transferred enough money to the bank account for us to pay off the mortgage. Since this wasn’t something that we’ve done too often we called the bank, First Direct, to find out the process. They were as efficient as always and assured us that they had things in hand and there was nothing to be done. Sure enough half an hour later the mortgage balances had been reduced to zero – a truly strange moment.

Even though we’ve been out of there for almost a year we’ll miss the place, particularly the dragons.


The apartment was converted from an 1860s orphanage for the children of merchant seaman. As such there were a whole series of sea-themed architectural features including, in our apartment, a matched pair of stone dragons. Each of the dragons is eating the end of a twisted rope motif which circled around what was the dining hall. We think that they were there to scare the children into behaving – such was the compassion of Victorian Britain!

Tonight we’re celebrating, and toasting the dragons, with a nice bottle of champagne – none of our usual £1.25 French supermarket tonight! About a month before we finished work Mandy’s GS team came over for dinner. Food was devoured, wine was drunk and fantastic evening was had by all and a few sore heads were felt the next day. The team were kind enough to bring a bottle of Pol Roger that was put to one side.

We decided it would get opened the day the apartment sold, expecting it to be before we left London. When Buyers #1 pulled out that obviously wasn’t going to happen so the bottle was stashed in the car for the drive to Cyprus. When we arrived and rented a house the bottle was put to one side, for when we sold. Buyer #2 came, and then went, and then came back again before asking for a £35k reduction in the price, before going for good. Whilst we had a wobble or two with Buyers #3 we have finally reached an agreement and so this is being typed with the help of a small glass of champagne.

Dragons, we’ll miss you. Providers of the champagne, many thanks and we hope things are good with you :-)


We Party Too Hard

February 7, 2007

The shame of it. The managing agent of our flat has written to us and formally complained about the level of noise from our stereo. He has attached the section of the lease prohibiting excessive noise between the hours of 1am and 6am and has made us aware that one of the neighbours has complained about us, on several occasions.

Did I mention that this is the London flat ….. around 3000 miles away ….. the one that we are selling ….. the one that has been empty since June and doesn’t have a stick of furniture, and certainly not a stereo, in it?

I’m afraid I took great delight in phoning the agent to point out that it couldn’t possibly be us, and letting him know who the likely culprit was.

Apologies for the lack of updates on the blog of late. We have been working on a project that has been taking up far too much of our time and, as a result, the blog has taken a back seat. Normal service, and the tale of how we got trapped on Ferry #1, should resume soon.

What exactly happened to that slower, sunnier pace of life – eh?