Sunday, May 13, 2007

Spring News

At last we have managed to post a picture onto our blog, need to scratch around for a couple more pictures to post. We must dig out some from our long forgotten SA holiday.

Well, since SA we have been rather dull - house hunting you see. It can be depressing especially as new comers to one of the most expensive cities in the world at the end of (we hope) a property boom. Lately all our spare time has been spent on property web sites, reading property papers and looking at properties. Hopefully we will be done with this house hunting phase soon, we intend to put an offer in on a little house on the outskirts of London tomorrow.

Orpington is a commuter suburb on the edge of the greenbelt. To most people that live in London suburbia is a fate as desirable as smallpox. Looks like suburbia here we come. The London property buying business is a minefield; leasehold; freehold; prejudices – East, West, old, new, suburbia and financial constraints. In many ways it is simpler for us we just have to find ourselves a patch to call our own.

Oh wait; it hasn’t all been that dull since SA we have also been to Switzerland. The Swiss are nutters! This skiing business! Hurtling down steep slippery slopes in plastic boots fixed to some glorified glass fibre boards. Fast, backwards, forwards over jumps…

Davos that we visited does have a disproportionate number of people on crutches.

We had to give it a go. Now learning to ski as adults as opposed to being born on those skis is a frustrating business. Did we mention that we wanted to learn in two days, on slushy end of season snow? So far skiing seems to either be out of control or the boring old snow plough. Most of our first morning was spent with an instructor making us walk sideways up a slope on our skis or slowly winding our way down the slope with her yelling “and shnowplough, good shnowplough.”

Summer is resisting arrival. Spring arrived suddenly with an abundance of buds, birds and insects. Locals stripped and flocked to the parks. Cider and ice consumption began! No sooner was everyone getting a tan when the weather turned and well we have been subjected to winds, grey and wet!!! The weather has not dampened the procreation needs of the squirrels, birds and foxes. Not a minute is wasted. If the animals are not feeding they are humping.

This morning we experienced one of London’s little treasures, “Columbia Rd market”. It was raining but off we went in true British style. The market is primarily a flower market with East Ender sellers marketing their wares. We indulged in coffee, cake and left with bunches of flowers (Cape fynbos and proteas) and potted herbs. Ross and I eyed little treasures for our future house.

We look forward to our visits from friends and family. The next couple of months will certainly be fun.


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