Not quite got it yet…

February 26, 2008

Ok, so I’ve been waxing lyrical about our fabulous new flat but we still have to pass the “security check” – which we have to pay for (something like £80 I think). Estate agents in England are such rorters. You will not believe the charges (Thank Queensland for the Residential Tenancies Authority, is all I can say). Some places here charge a lot for “drawing up the lease”. Which makes me think “don’t you just fill in a form? Here, I’ll go to the RTA website and get one for you.”

So, Paul and I have just spent about an hour each, filling in the online forms for our respective security checks. They want soooo much information. Our addresses for the last three years and the names, addresses and telephone and fax numbers of each real estate agent/landlord. Our jobs for the last three years, our salaries and contact details, personal references and relatives details (with their phone numbers and addresses) and our bank account details! A total hassle but at least we’ll have a nice place in Ealing, unlike this!


Our lovely new flat

February 25, 2008

We found pictures on the web of the lovely flat we’ll be moving to in a month. Did I mention I’m very excited about the terrace? I’m imagining drinks on the terrace in the evening, tea/coffee on the terrace in the morning, dinner on the terrace in the evening, reading on the terrace – and all this is dependent on us having a nice hot summer (unlike last year).

The terrace
[photopress:terrace.jpg,full,pp_image]
Read the rest of this entry »


We got a house, we got a house, we got a house

February 23, 2008

After spending the last four months waiting for our estate agent to fix up damp problems in one of our bedrooms, and having part of the ceiling collapse 18 days ago, Paul and I decided we should move. We did some serious house-hunting today (visited LOTS of real estate agents and a number of flats) and we made an offer this afternoon on a very cool flat (a one bedroom penthouse) and we got it. It’s not available for another month but it is VERY close to all the shops and amenities up the road and it has a rooftop terrace!! I’m very excited about having a nice outside bit that we can sit on in Summer. It runs the length of the flat and the bedroom opens onto it too. We can get nice chairs and plants for it and could have people round for drinks on it. We are very excited but also dreading having to pack up all our stuff and move. At least we have a month to do it! Also, the flat is quite modern and has nice BIG windows (unlike lots of the very old buildings here that have quite small windows).

And on the collapsed ceiling, they sent around a plumber to stop the leak and a cleaner to clean up the mess, but it hasn’t been fixed. Our estate agent is one of the worst I’ve ever come across (and I’ve been renting for years). She is very good at saying I’ll find out and call you back but then not calling you back. We are really over it.


Richard Dawkins reading from the God Delusion

February 23, 2008

Richard Dawkins reading from his book the God Delusion. I love listening to this man talk. He is so interesting and intelligent and rational (and quite amusing sometimes too).

View the video on youtube here.
Read the rest of this entry »


lol cats make me laugh (and laugh and laugh)

February 23, 2008

Humorous Pictures
Paul and I love the lol cats from I can has cheez burger.
Read the rest of this entry »


It's a staircase and a bookcase!

February 20, 2008

[photopress:staircase.jpg,full,pp_image]
Found at Apartment Therapy via Boingboing.

Paul and I have plans to one-day build an amazing house. This house will have a studio, or maybe a studio each and a library for all our books. I think the above picture of utilising the space in a staircase for holding books is brilliant! It’s from a Victorian row house in London.


It’s a staircase and a bookcase!

February 20, 2008

[photopress:staircase.jpg,full,pp_image]
Found at Apartment Therapy via Boingboing.

Paul and I have plans to one-day build an amazing house. This house will have a studio, or maybe a studio each and a library for all our books. I think the above picture of utilising the space in a staircase for holding books is brilliant! It’s from a Victorian row house in London.


Yay for podcasts

February 20, 2008

Since getting an ipod for Christmas (thanks Paul!) I have been downloading and listening to podcasts – lots about poetry, some about science and news and politics and art. Lately I’ve been listening to the Skeptics Guide to the Universe and some podcasts about avant garde poetry from UbuWeb. They’re really interesting and informative. I’ve listened to interviews with authors (Jeanette Winterson, Philip Pullman) and a debate between Richard Dawkins and some Christian guy – I definitely sided with Richard Dawkins. So instead of reading books, to and from work on the tube, lately I’ve also been listening to/watching podcasts. It’s pretty cool.

I also wanted to include a picture of Patrick Wolf and his sexy unicorn tattoo. Patrick makes lovely music (like the Magic Position) and looks quite lovely and I like his tattoo (not sure if it’s real – I think it looks real).
[photopress:wolfunicorn.jpg,full,pp_image]


Art and books on a Sunday in London

February 17, 2008

Today Paul and I went to the Tate Modern and went to the Juan Munoz exhibition. It was ok. I liked some of the art but it wasn’t amazing.

Paul has been happily reading the books I bought him for his birthday (which was last Wednesday): Yes! 50 Secrets from the science of persuasion by Noah J Goldstein, Steve J Martin and Robert B Cialdini (which he has finished), The Undercover Economist by Tim Harford (which he’s two-thirds through), and The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich by Timothy Ferriss. I am also renewing his New Scientist subscription (which I started for his birthday last year). We get the New Scientist magazine every week and I just don’t read it that often but I wish I did.

Last night I finally finished The Amber Spyglass, the third book in Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy. I was getting a bit bored with the whole story early on in the third book so it took me a while to finish it. Now, which book to read next? Should I finish some of the nonfiction books I have started? Female Chauvinist Pigs by Ariel Levy, How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie, Skin: Talking about sex, class and literature by Dorothy Allison, An Adult Child’s Guide to What’s “Normal” by John Friel and Linda Friel. Or should I finish some of the fiction books I have started? She Came to Stay by Simone de Beauvoir, the Golden Notebook by Doris Lessing. I have so many other books to read too but I’d like to finish all the books I’ve started before moving on.


Great art by Yayoi Kusama and Darren Almond

February 16, 2008

Today, Paul and I went to the Victoria Miro gallery to see a Yayoi Kusama exhibition and we weren’t disappointed. We saw 44 large silkscreens on canvas which I quite liked (see two photographs below).
Paul, in front of silkscreens by Yayoi Kusama, at her exhibition at the Victoria Miro Gallery, London, February 2008.
Read the rest of this entry »