Monthly Archives: February 2013

Flat letting, learning to sail online and impossible subjunctives…

Well it’s fair to say I’m a little stressed! Moving out of my home for 8 years, renting it out, finishing work, committing to do a sailing course with a prerequisite knowledge (100 hours as it turns out) requirement I don’t have and then moving countries within a month probably is a lot to be getting on with.


There’s been some progress:
– I’ve found some people for the flat (yay!) but they are 3 independent people (boo!) and they’re actors (yay!) but not regularly employed ones (boo!) who are all very nice and I think they’ll look after the place (yay!) but wanted to move in straight away as at least one of them didn’t have a place to stay (boo!). So as of Monday, I have a new housemate on the understanding the others will move in at the end of March. Myself and Lucy are moving out on Thursday 28th March (the day after my work leaving do! Boo…). Anyway, so far so good. Hoping to tidy up all the contractual bits and pieces this week and next.


– I had an offshoot leaving do with some of the girls from work! March is a bit flakey- people need to use their holiday up (I never had that issue) so they’d worked out this week was best –  very sweet. And they kept it a surprise too, cunningly done. Went to All Stars bowling in Bayswater which was great, then for a meal later.  I’ll miss them. I work with a good bunch.


– My sailing course has become more hassle. It emerges I was going to be the only one on the intensive theory course so they’re cancelling. Its an online one now but I can pop into lessons  occasionally (handily they’re 5 mins walk from work). At the moment my evenings and weekends are less about what I’d like to do and more what the most urgent thing that I can’t delay possibly delay. Still it does mean I can have Easter weekend at my folks rather than in a classroom, albeit probably doing my own intensive theory class!

– Seeing Italian girl on Friday for a chat after work. Currently on the Subjunctive verb form – it’s impossible. Just impossible.
Anyway, I’m procrastinating. Guarantor forms here I come…
Sogni d’oro
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The most productive weekend ever, ice-cream sundaes and dream boards…


I. Am. Shattered. This weekend, I have:

– Had a builder come in to sort out the bathroom ceiling which was falling to bits (admittedly, this wasn’t so strenuous on my part)

– Painted the bathroom (I don’t know why but everything I paint requires at least 100000004 coats of paint).

– Painted the toilet (the room the toilet is in as opposed to the actual toilet. That would be unconventional).

– Sanded and varnished the dining room floor.

– Sanded and painted the bedroom window sill.

– Packed yet more stuff in The Room of Chaos (spare bedroom).

– Got rid of some extraneous furniture.

– Cleaned the flat for photo taking.

– Took photos

– Advertised the flat on gumtree. Please someone rent my flat!

– Had a headache the entire time.

AND I saw a friend for a rather luxurious breakfast that included an ice cream sundae. I highly recommend the ice cream sundae at The Exhibit in Balham. It’s delicious. Even for breakfast. I don’t know why I bother with savoury food <looks down at stomach>. Perhaps I do.

AND AND my Italian friend has emailed without further prompting – she had a good excuse for a slow response. She’s given me her phone number. So perhaps I wont have to pay Italians to be my friend after all 🙂

In an attempt to give myself a head start on the people that I’ll be doing the sailing course with (given that they will all have had the slight advantage of having actually sailed whereas I alas, have not), I’ve started reading my “Day Skipper for Sail and Power” book by Alison Noice. It’s a recommended book. However, I’m only on page 5 and I’m finding the whole thing pretentious (honestly, who says “blow” rather than “wind”…) and annoying (“left”, “right”, “behind”, “in front” are perfectly adequate terms – why on earth rename them “port”, “starboard”, “aft” and whatever the other is I can’t remember). I feel I will have to exercise great control not to spend the entire course scoffing every 2 minutes.

In other news this week, I met someone a little like me (I don’t think that’s ever happened before). They showed me their Dream Board. It’s fantastic! It’s simple but lovely – you put a bunch of photo’s representing what you want out of life together on a board. It helps give some focus – it’s very inspiring. Oprah has a free little app for it. I love mine – I’ve got a colour print-out on my wall.

Right, my productivity has run out. I’m off. 46 days to go until I finish work – 34 working days!!!!!

Sogni d’oro 🙂


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Painting and decorating, trying to keep Italian friends and creative breaks!


It’s been a busy few days. I’ve had lots of people helping with the Italy Plan so this entry reads a bit like a lengthy thank you letter!

– Packing: I’ve been packing, throwing stuff out and taking bits and pieces to the charity shop for weeks now. Work are certainly benefiting from it! My team should have this year’s Christmas Decoration competition in the bag – they have all my decorations complete with Christmas tree (that was an arduous/odd bus journey).  My friends have just moved back around the corner and offered me some of their boxes (thank you Anke & Graham and Leebrizio for helping me lug the boxes back and fixing the kitchen tap!). Mum and dad came up yesterday to take most of the boxes back to their loft (thanks M&D, oh and Lucy for the offer of your loft if I need it!). I think there’s only one more car journey to go which we’ll do when I actually move out. A friend at work’s moving into his own place so I’m managing to get rid of a few other bits & pieces to him and most of my paintings have a home to go to now. I’ve drafted an inventory for leasing the flat and the contract is pretty much ready to roll now too. I’ll advertise on gumtree / moveflat in a couple of weeks. Scary stuff!

– Decorating: My flat feels like the Forth bridge – as soon as you paint a wall, it seems like it needs re-doing! However, I made quite a bit of headway last weekend with a friend’s help (thank you Sean!). I think I’ve done almost all of the emulsion painting I’m willing to do but still a heap of other things to get on with. And, I finally have someone in to sort out my bathroom ceiling – a builder who lives around the corner so on Friday, the most un-rentable feature of the flat should be resolved – hoorah!

 Italian learning: I met Italian Tube Girl in Canada Water last week – she was lovely! Very kind and patient – we spoke Italian most of the time. Speaking Italian makes my brain ache – after an hour I was speaking mainly gibberish but still, good practice! Haven’t heard back from her since so I suspect I might possibly have made her brain ache too!!! I think I might still be at the point where I need to pay someone to talk Italian to me 🙂  I’ve discovered a new (for me) phone app – Italian Verb Trainer – it’s a simple premise – it gives you a verb, the subject (i.e. me, you,we, he, she, they etc.) and the tense (i.e. future, past, subjunctive is the one I’m currently stuck on) and then you need to work out what the congugated verb is and you can tap the screen to confirm the right answer and grade yourself. It’s no Angry Birds, but it’s quite fun, honestly!

– We are sailing….. Well admittedly not sailing at the minute but there’s hope! I told you last time I’d signed up to the Day Skipper course in March/April. I’m supposed to get crewing experience before I go on the course. There’s a guy at work who’s got all the sailing qualifications and lots of experience. We’ve devised / I’ve pressured him into, a cunning plan to charter a boat – just need some crew in order to cut costs. March 16th/17th in the Solent – anyone up for it?!

– What to do: Well, I might have mentioned before how I quite fancy doing a “painting a day” blog similar to Edward B Gordon in Berlin. I had my first foray into oil painting last weekend (Morley College do loads of great reasonably priced courses) and thought it was great YET STILL MY PAINTING IS WET (and covered now in finger prints where I’ve tentatively checked dryness levels). I have a tip for any would be oil painters – don’t put your oil painting on the radiator to “dry”. It sort of seems to melt your painting, perhaps obviously. I’m getting some sketching practice in with the people at work – it seems to be a hit and got a reasonable line up of people wanting sketches 🙂 I was looking at Italian single’s holidays and there were a few “creative break” ones that cropped up – there’s a 7 day painting course in the town I’m hoping to do the language course in interestingly. Almost £1k for daily tuition and accommodation in a shared room – 4 people maximum. I think I’ll work on getting good, start an offshoot “art” type blog and get people coming on holidays if I can get a nice place. Should be a good earner and nice way to meet people. After I’ve got the sailing thing out of my system anyway.

I think that about sums up the last couple of weeks. Not long to go now – I’ve got a couple of countdowns on my phone, one for “days to go until the end of my contract” (that’s 53) and “working days to go” (39). Sometimes I think it seems a long way off (Monday mornings!) and other times it feels ominously close!!!

Anyway, hope you’re all well. Next time I write, hopefully the flat should be advertised and the decorating almost complete, fingers crossed!


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