New House Same Rules

Eight months shy of my fifth year in London, four years into my tenancy or as I call it my Clapham Common residency my landlady gives me notice.

To quit, to leave, to vacate her premises pursuant to the clause in our tenancy agreement to which I never even paid attention when I signed. I have rented ( perhaps for too long some friends might say) for many years and I have never had THAT clause invoked ( and I am not taking this personally but who wouldn’t want MODEL TENANT ME?). And this post could easily run to two thousand words on the bloodlessness of UK landlord and tenant relations, the ridiculously overheated nature of the London property market or the absolutely rapacious temerity of that breed of professional known as the estate agent ( realtor for real folk).

Seriously look closely at the picture below of the first “flat” I was shown by a charming lass.

Yes. Indeed that is the door to the "loo" leading from yes THE KITCHEN!

Yes. Indeed that is the door to the “loo” leading from yes THE KITCHEN!

I lost track of how many properties I viewed and as I knew it would be I knew where my next home was the minute I walked in. I am such a sucker and a poor negotiator too because no poker face can hide the twinkle in my eyes as my mind leaves his droning spiel and settles on what I will be serving at my first dinner party. Or how can I get the amazing Chef Gidda to cook for me there. Hmmmm, strokes curled mustache.

For you see that is what all my homes have always been about. The people I have in it. I will have a lyme, a dinner, a party at the drop of a hat. And it doesn’t matter the size of my accommodation, all that matters is that that I want you to be there. I had a six person, jerk chicken Bob Marley dinner in the space my cousin said could only be called a stu for surely it couldn’t properly be called a studio? We had a blast or should I say bomb?

More than a stu for our Brussels reunion

More than a stu for our Brussels reunion


I loved living on the ground floor in the corner unit for my last apartment before leaving Kingston for London. Because I got access to a lime tree and a patch of grass that meant I had all parties rapidly became al fresco spilling from the verandah onto the grass for more good times.

It has never been about the space, always about the energy. This London home from which I have been summarily ejected has seen

One mother

Ageless Porters @ 23 St. Paul's

Ageless Porters @ 23 St. Paul’s

Fours sisters

We couldn't stay home the whole time now could we?

We couldn’t stay home the whole time now could we?

Four Riley-Dunns

Five & we made it work

Five & we made it work

So many friends, too many good times and the walls have trembled with laughter.



The only thing unwelcome in my home is pork, though if you are truly special I will allow my mother to cook it and I will avert my gaze until the pots are disinfected. Not sure where this pig-antipathy came from but it’s worth exploring some other time. Hmm wonder if some pig did me wrong in my youth? Strokes chin.

Pork, a.k.a. arnold, trenton, babylon. Things I will do for my friends.

Pork, a.k.a. arnold, trenton, babylon. Things I will do for my friends, sheesh.

If there is any joy in being displaced it is in the thought of breaking the new place in. Its kitchen has more counter space and a window that looks out onto real grass. My new landlord bequeathed me his flat screen t.v. ( my brother approves he was appalled at the sight of my big back telly perched in my living room like a lost woolly mammoth), that and a bottle of red wine to welcome me home tells me he and I are going to get along just fine.

This could be the start of something big.

This could be the start of something big.

I will save that bottle for my first evening in with friends, or family or both because my friends are my family and toast his health as I always toast yours because I’m always glad you came. Moving day always reminds me what amazing friends I have, from those who help with the heavy lifting or send an inquiry to those whose hearts are willing but heads ravaged by colds  please recognize I can’t do this without you.

We get by with a lot of help from our friends.

We get by with a lot of help from our friends.

Namaste mere dost.

4 Responses to “New House Same Rules”
  1. leeb says:

    You are very good at turning “a space” into a HOME. Enjoy your new home!

  2. Georgiana Fraser says:

    Hi puttu, A so life go, the good thing is that you can get moved and settled before the big freeze sets in. Thank Jah for small mercies. Sowhere are the new digs located? Luv Jax.

    Date: Sun, 8 Sep 2013 23:04:12 +0000 To:

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