We have been living in London for almost exactly one year. Before that, we lived in Brussels. Our home in Brussels was my favourite place in the whole world. It was a duplex apartment in a huge townhouse on a lovely quite little garden square near the beautiful Parc du Cinquantenaire. It had wonderful parquet floors, ceilings so high that a normal stepladder was useless, original wobbly-glass full-height windows and a Juliet balcony which overlooked cobbled pavements and the turret of the house next door. I’m not making this up, I promise.
To say that leaving it was traumatic may sound a bit over the top, but I really loved it. Moving from that, the loveliest sanctuary in all of the world, to our grotty, tiny, charmless, EXPENSIVE flat in Clapham was basically the worst things that has ever happened to me. What can I say, I’m dramatic and I loved my apartment.
Needless to say, the last year has been painful in the homesickness, house making stakes.
BUT. We are moving house this weekend. To the friendly, charming, relatively peaceful Brockley. Out new flat has gorgeous wooden floors, huge windows, high ceilings, a new kitchen and (the holy grail of house hunting) an original Victorian fireplace. On Saturdays, the amazing Brockley Market is held at the end of our road with amazing street food vendors, fruit and veg and meat stalls. At the other end of the road is the brilliant Hilly Fields, a park so high you can see City of London and the Isle of Dogs from the top of the hill. Dotted around are lots of independent cafes, shops, bars and pubs which I can’t wait to get to know.
This Saturday, I will have a house in London that I want to take care of, and a community that I want to belong to.
Goodbye, Clapham. Hello, Brockley.