Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Life in Richmond

I am finally back blogging after a significant break – it may even been the longest period I’ve had where I haven’t blogged.  Swine flu is just a distant memory now – although Jocelyn also caught it (bizarrely, not from Jase) and was quarantined too.

We went offline shortly after my last post because of the house move.  There was a frantic push towards the finish line as the move date edged closer, but we finally managed to get all our stuff ready for long term storage and the house ready to be packed by the removal men.

On the morning of the house move in mid July, the girls got up for the last time in their bedroom.

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Here they are in their beds in their room.  Most of their stuff had already been packed away and this meant that it had already been depersonalised to some degree.  However, I did feel sad for them as it’s been the only home either of them have ever known.

Despite this, they seemed genuinely excited when they said their goodbyes to the house and I promised them that they would go to the new house when they came home from nursery.

The removal men came and with great efficiency packed all our remaining stuff and loaded the vans ready for the trip to long term storage and our new flat in Richmond.  Since the flat is smaller than old house, we had already decided that much of what we had would need to go into long term storage and only brought back out when we move to a bigger permanent home.

The move actually went very smoothly although it took most of the afternoon for them to unload our stuff at the other end and lug it up to our second floor flat.  They worked very hard and were really good – I’d definitely use them again.  Of course, that was only the beginning.  It took me a good week and a half to get the flat organised, tidy and in good working order – a lot of hard work.  However, by the end of the first afternoon, the girls’ bedroom was ready for their return and we had a functioning kitchen and living room, which I think was a huge achievement.

The girls returned home and were absolutely thrilled.  They loved going up and down in the lift and they were really excited to find their bedroom almost exactly like their old room (smaller, but with their furniture in a very similar layout to the old room).  The familiarity helped them see that the flat was our home now and they settled in quickly.  We even brought some of our pot plants with us to put on our balcony, which Lauren then immediately recognised as “Mummy’s Garden”.

For about two weeks, they were a bit unsettled at night and were anxious when they awoke and didn’t recognise their surroundings (which was a good excuse for climbing into bed with Mummy and turning Daddy out into the spare bedroom).  However, that settled down as well and they are now really at home in our new flat.

Mid July was also George’s first birthday.  Charlotte and Jason had planned a big party with their friends and family at a venue in Hammersmith.  My parents came down to stay with us in Richmond but the Friday before his birthday weekend, Jocey contracted swine flu and was placed in quarantine by our GP.  This meant that sadly she and I missed out on the big party.  Jase, Lauren and my parents went and took some pictures for me to see.

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Here’s the birthday boy with Charlotte and Jason.  He’s clearly looking forward to his birthday cake!

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Lauren having hugs with her Gung Gung at the party, and probably looking forward to the cake too.

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Here’s the birthday boy playing with Lauren and my mum.  They are clearly having a lot of fun.

When Jocey was declared safe to join the world again, we made the most of our free weekends and explored Richmond from our new home.  Our flat is in a fabulous position, right in the heart of town but off the main street where the pubs and train station are.  This means it’s convenient but we don’t have drunks or much noise at night.  This was a major factor in choosing this property for renting – great location and functional layout inside.  As Richmond is so compact, everything is within easy reach and we rarely take the car except to go further afield or to go to work.

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Here we are at our new local playground, a lovely small park in Worple Way.  The girls are trying out the swings and having a great time.

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The girls giggling on the swings!

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Here’s Jocelyn playing with the football on another occasion.  She’s very good on her feet and is showing some sporting promise!

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This one was taken at Old Deer Park, a little further away, but also with a great children’s play area.  It is a huge expanse of green next to the river – good to end up there after going down to the river to feed the ducks!

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Jocey enjoying the climbing frame.

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Lauren also having fun on the climbing frame.

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Head first down the slide!  Wee!!

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After any trip to the park, a big ice cream is mandatory.  Lucky that there is just such a place across the road from the new flat.  Bliss.

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What more could a girl want?

 

Our other Richmond photos can be found on my Flickr account here and here.

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