If you had told me 5 years ago that we would spend a year living in London, UK, I would have thought you were crazy! One year! We’ve been here one year as of today! Despite the stress of moving (x10 when moving to another country!), this has been an amazing experience which has given us the opportunity to meet new friends, travel, explore London from a different perspective, and of course, produce Got Craft? UK! I’ve been a rollercoaster of emotions lately as our time here is coming to an end. The movers arrived today to pack everything up (due to insurance purposes, they have to pack), and it feels so odd to be sitting in a house with no furniture (I’m using a cardboard box as a table while I sit on the floor). I’m super excited to return to Vancouver (sushi!), and I know that we will be back to London in just a few months for work, but it still marks the end of a chapter.
5 things I’m going to miss the most:
The markets – Whomever told me that British Food wasn’t good, obviously had not tried the independent food stalls at the local markets and at Brixton Village. It’s affordable, fresh, and absolutely delicious! Oh, and there is nothing in Vancouver that even comes close to the vintage / antique / boot sales they have here. We are coming home with 7x more furniture / items then we arrived with – eek!
There is so much to do – We took the bus (passing Parliament, London Eye, Big Ben, Westminster Abbey) to Trafalgar Square for Malaysian Nights. After a quick snack, we popped into the National Gallery for some Van Gogh, and then walked to Chinatown for supper. That’s something that I can get used to! We have spent an entire year here, and haven’t even scratched the surface.
Small fridges + Grocery Shopping – I was a bit surprised when our kitchen fridge was no bigger than a bar fridge, but we quickly adapted to going grocery shopping on an almost daily basis. We only buy for 2 or 3 meals at a time which helps us save money by throwing less food out, and eating fresh. Eggs are not kept in the refrigerator section here, and groceries are cheaper than in Vancouver. I can’t buy a box of name brand cereal or 5 chocolate bars at home for $1.57 with tax! And, don’t even get me started on the cheese here! $2 for a slice of brie and some of the best croissants you have ever had just from the local grocery store for $1!
Our home – Two days after landing in London, our estate agent took us to see 23 flats before we chose our current place. There were many headaches during the process and some more during our stay, but overall, we love our maisonette. Yes, we do have a washer / dryer combo, but the dryer part is a lie.
Weather – Why do people complain about British weather? It rains a lot less here than in Vancouver, and when it does rain, it blows over quickly. This can be tricky to dress for though as we don’t have a vehicle and rely on public transportation, so it could be freezing cold outside and a sauna when you arrive at the tube station or hot and sunny in the morning and raining later in the afternoon.