Monday, 27 January 2014

January 2014 Instagramy Post

As January's go in the northern hemisphere, it hasn't been too bad.
The BBC usually features a program about Brits wanting to move 
to either Australia or New Zealand only making us question 
why we live here!

A dear friend of mine left London so we had a drink to say bid each other well until the next time we see each other. But before drinks we hit Selfridges and see all the people in front of Chanel?
That was the queue to get in and Chanel wasn't even on sale.
  Some recession eh?

Speaking of shopping, I nabbed a bargain at the auctions again.
I love a screen and got this one
 for the same amount you would buy one at Ikea.

The fabric on both sides is lovely but needs a good clean. 
I am not sure the fabric will survive as it looks about 80 years old so I shall see if I can rescue as is or get new fabric.

We still have the plans to do the basement excavation in the future. 
Yes we will be the scourge of London but 
honestly the options are not much better.
We may or may not proceed as the councils keep changing the parameters all the time. The government is losing out on stamp duty when people renovate their homes instead of buying or selling.
So they are trying to recoup the missed windfall by charging 
for the privilege of extending one's home.
A London council charged £825,000 for someone to add a double basement to his home in Notting Hill.
We have a new term for those houses in London - icebergs.

Mr CSW went to see a potential basement builder's work in progress but the house was £36 million pounds.
He came back with pictures saying that the builder is great 
and doing an amazing job.
I replied "That's nice."
But I really wanted to say to him,
"Duh, of course he was. The budget was 5 million quid!"

Went to Starbucks which I rarely do but thought of Tabitha when 
I saw all the condiments lined up and there!

I have been hibernating quite a bit in the evenings. Most people are partied out and I have been at home watching TV, ipad on my lap, and my brother's dog at my feet.
I am in love.

She was the runt of the litter so likes to bury herself.

I should be finalizing and ordering blinds for the house.
This is supposed to be the fun part...

Even though John Lewis tries and makes it as easy as possible 
I just don't have any more decorating stamina.

Which leads to me the fact that I am still staying at my brothers.
But he himself is moving the first week of February so 
I will be kicked out of here as well.

His guestroom at present brutally unedited and messed up by moi.
 He is going to be leaving high ceilings and original Art Nouveau fireplaces for his new flat in Shoreditch in the beginning of February.  So I have been taking Millie for walks making the most of the area.

There are beautiful private parks and gardens by the Thames.

Most people say they want to ideally live in Mayfair but 
I feel they just haven't been to some lovely riverside 
Georgian and Regency homes in Chiswick.

They rarely come up for sale anyway...

Some have private gardens on the other side of the road that belong to corresponding homes opposite.

You can live like you are in a country river town yet 
15 minutes away from the center of town.

These are houseboats that act as the bottom of the garden shed for some homes on the river.

For me this would be my ideal London home.
Period home with a boho houseboat serving as the best type of garden shed that you can set sail if you wish.

Those are the houses opposite the road and houseboat...

I couldn't take the best picture but the room seen is 
the houseboat remodeled!

His home and area has been a stable and constant factor the past 13 years when I have moved 4 countries and so many things have happened while he has been in the neighborhood.
I will miss it.

Chinese or Lunar new year is the 31st of January so 
I wish all of you a very happy year of the Horse! 


  1. Chiswick is a nice area, I hear.
    Every time I read these posts I wish I was there!
    Luff the doggie.

    1. I luff the doggie too! Chiswick is quite the forgotten area actually.

  2. Naomi - I want to live there! what an area! I love these posts!

    1. You would love it plus a lot of the BBC people live there so you get to eavesdrop on interesting conversations hehe

  3. Cripes, the price of living in London, Chiswick is lovely, I'd love to move south of the border but we're stuck here for a while longer.
    Hasn't the winter been mild so far? I've barely hauled out my scarf/glove/giant coat combos yet

    And God help anyone who takes one of those bottles to their own table!

    1. It is getting ridiculous that I am thinking of moving myself! It recently got voted most expensive city to live in as well. But yes loving the sunny winter and i haven't got my earmuffs out yet but I am scared it might turn so I shouldn't say too much! But yes I laughed when I saw the spices lined up and thought of you!

  4. This part of Chis is cute. Very much like the Georgian character of 'Riche Monde'.

    You must be gutted that your bro is moving!
    Do you get to keep the lovely doggy?

    1. Yes and I like how you can walk along the path and it is so quiet. I like Riche monde but the district line is just so smug that I dont know if I could bear getting on it regularly! I am gutted because it has been like a family base in London for me. I think - fingers crossed - I will have her 3 nights a week. Yippee!!

  5. All those people for Chanel? Wow. Your pictures are lovely and make the need to visit quite strong. Dig deep, you are almost there with the remodeling.

    1. The line was about 15 people long!!! I mean honestly...You do need to visit BB and then you can have tea at my house with no curtains anywhere :)

  6. I cannot believe how much they tax you to renovate your house????!! Coupled with the death tax, it's just reminding me of a Goodies episode where they sent the whole thing up. We just get slugged with stupid levies and council payments for our renovations. I estimated it cost us around $8,000 just to get permits through (not including any actual drafting work/ professionals fees and reports etc).
    The area your brother lives in is beautiful. I visited an Inchbald friend who was living in a beautiful house on the river in Chiswick. It felt very much like the country to me. Why is he moving - is he crazy??!
    Dog is very photographic xx

    1. Yes, due to the stamp duty and other costs involved people are selling less which is only making house prices more stagnant. It is getting to be a tightly and low circulation market at present. But having said that our council tax is really low! For that I am grateful. But with the double basements the end result ends up adding so much value that the council justifies the taxes somehow. We may not end up doing the basement but considering how much value it adds it is very tempting but they seem to add on a new tax every 6 months. And yes Millie doesn't have a bad angle! xx

  7. My mother wants to get a houseboat in london, a modern one of course with all the fittings. I thin it would be quite fun

    1. That is a great idea - we funny enough looked at some houseboats as well and they are half the price of an equivalent flat. You might miss your club amenities though!

  8. Living on a houseboat does sound romantic and the area looks beautiful.
    I think it is a cash grab for the coucil to tax renovations....our taxes go up too after we improve our heritage homes. I think that we are just the caretakers for future generations and they are being shirt sighted.
    Hope that the builder turns out to be reliable....good ones are hard to find.

    1. Some houseboats are really done up and you would never know you were inside one. I think you are right though - we are all just custodians but I wish they would realize that this is quite untenable and agree they are being short sighted because they aren't freeing up much land to build on so it gets all a bit complicated...

  9. This area is so beautiful! London is awfully intimidating with the housing prices and cost of living, ouch! I had to laugh about the Starbucks cinnamon shakers and Tabs getting in so much trouble over it. Hehe! I grew up on a very pretty part of the Detroit River, there were large old homes with boats in the backyards, we were always on boats goofing off and getting into mischief. It is the best of both worlds, there's nothing like living near water!

    1. yes I am rather intimidated by it as well - it is all getting a bit much and I am ready to move on to be honest but it is just a matter of deciding where to. I did think when I saw all of it lined up - Tabs hasn't been here hehe. Yes if it weren't so cold sometimes I would move into a houseboat but perhaps only as a weekender and not as a permanent home!

  10. Your posts are always so generous .. and by the time I finish I can't remember everything I wanted to say:) First.. I am appalled at the coast for upgrade or renovation. My husband and I are about to take down an older home and give it a total re-do. The purpose of doing this is to get out from under a large house payment that we currently pay to live in the home our kids grew up in. It's large and we don't need the space. It's super cost effective to renovate a smaller space and create more. It will be a pain in the a** but worth it. Anyway, I know what you mean about all the choices.. it's overwhelming and I can't focus. Sometimes it helps to get in put from professionals but there is always a cost. I admire your ability to just go with all this.. moving is tough. The pup is so cute and her snuggling is very sweet.


    1. Yes it is crazy but they justify it because a one bedroom flat in that are costs about £600k so they think the value of the place would go up so they are charging for that pleasure...I always think the more space the more clutter actually. I can't wait for your reno posts Leslie! xx

  11. I always love your tours around these lovely neighborhoods. I'm sure you will miss that beautiful area. What a sweet pup. I always get my London fix from you. Good luck with the window coverings!

  12. Are they giving free bees away at Chanel?? Quite the line!! Your brothers dog is a sweetie. I love the look of those neighborhoods, but the prices sound horrific.

    1. You would think they are giving stuff away - they have had to start having a velvet rope as if it were a nightclub! Millie is a sweetheart and I love spoiling her!

  13. Just seen a cute Weimaraner Poodle cross!
    Is that a wooly Woodle?

    1. Millie is a cockapoo - half cocker spaniel and half poodle - hypoallergenic breed! But I prefer to say spoodle but then no one knows what i am referring to...

  14. I noticed that phenomena in Chanel as well - unfortunately I was just an onlooker and wasn't part of the queue. We don't have Chanel in the Birmingham Selfridges, fortunately!

    That's interesting what you say about the government trying to recoup lost income from people renovating - I guess that makes a lot of sense. I must admit I see as many houses up for sale as being renovated these days, but not a lot of sold signs. I can never settle in someone else's house, even if I'm staying over one night so hats off to you babes - you hang on in there. Hopefully not too long to go. You made me chuckle about what Mr CSW said about how good the builders were; it's like when people comment on how great celebrities look - the likelihood is, we'd look great too if we had their money and entourage to hand! xx

    1. It's really odd though isn't it the extents of shopping even at Chanel? Yes I agree about people saying doesn't she look good on the cover of vogue for example. I just politely say yes - but instead I am thinking just like you! xx

  15. And I complain about cost of renovations here in Luxembourg... I just wonder how people cope. We had to stop everything because it was just not realistic and sane anymore... I love discovering many areas of London through your posts...

    1. I think councils are slowly trying to gain equally from any improvements! And yes your next trip to London must include the Thames path!

  16. A very Happy Year of the Horse to you too! Gong xi fa cai!

  17. I'm so jealous of all architecture. I'm sure I'd end up living in a slum as I'd be too busy gawking at all the prettiness to notice what area I was in. Those of us in the colonies envy the patina.

  18. I think if I had to do another move, I would bury myself like Millie. Happy Year of the Horse.


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