With aching legs and rumbling tummies we made our way to the Borough Market for some lunch and a wander around the fresh produce section
. Unfortunately one thing we are finding in this country is that fresh produce doesn't last very long and we are forced to buy fruit and vegetables every couple of days.
Having taken a six week lease in the hope we would then know where to settle for our three month working stint we were disappointed when it was up as we were still unsure of Rick's job status. What to do? We decided to take a three month lease on a split level studio apartment up the road opposite the park on Clapham Common Southside. We were cutting it fine as we couldn't move in until the day our previous lease was up, but we figured that would be ok and we would just move everything on one day. When we looked at the studio it was in the process of being renovated but the agent assured us it would be finished by the time we needed it.
However as is normal in our lives at present nothing ever seems to go to plan.
Rick picked up the keys at the agreed time and was told to wait one hour as they were just finishing off something in the flat. After an hour we proceeded to lug half our stuff the 2km down the road (Megan whining the whole way). When we got to the flat and unlocked the door we were surprised to see that it looked like a construction zone
. There were two builders fitting out the bathroom and a toilet stilling on the landing waiting to be installed! It didn't look like it would be finished any time soon. We thought it was quite funny that there was also a cleaner tidying up around the building material. What the? We called Delicata Properties again who seemed very surprised to hear the flat was no where near finished and promised to call us straight back. After an hour with no return call we rang again to be told they wouldn't be finished until the afternoon. Luckily for us the strange landlord of the place in Clapham North allowed us to leave our stuff in the flat and pick it up later. Finally by late afternoon we arrived back at the studio for the third time and it was empty, finished and clean but devoid of curtains or furniture and with the fresh smell of paint. We soon discovered the hard way that some of the paint was still wet! They had also provided us with a King size single mattress for the double bed base which could not accommodate both of us lying side by side. When we rang they claimed it was the size of a double here in the UK. After a bit of arguing that the double sheets provided were too big for the mattress they agreed to replace it with a proper double. A week later we arrived home from work to find they had let themselves in replaced the mattress and given us a couch. A few days after that we discovered curtains had been fitted.
We weren't particularly keen on them just waltzing into our flat whenever they wanted without letting us know. The last straw was when Megs was sleeping one day after night duty and woke to find two guys letting themselves in with a brand new fridge. Not the most pleasant way to wake up so we finally complained.
Finally we decided to check out some of the attractions in this dreary grey city so we headed over to Vauxhall for a walk along the River Thames. Along the way we took in the Parliament Building with its famous clock, Big Ben. Walking past the Queen Mary, docked on the river, we arrived at the new London Eye where we battled through the crowds of tourists. It seems that if you actually want to ride the Eye before lunch time you need to arrive before dawn and join the queue. That's what we imagined judging by the queue snaking back and forth on itself for about two kilometers (or should we say 1.2 miles since this country still uses Imperial measurements). We decided to give it a miss as there were only five hours of sunlight left and we didn't want to waste them in a queue. Instead we continued our trek along the river and soon had brilliant views of Tower Bridge and the Tower of London.