Tuesday, 27 April 2010

"It's as stressful as a bereavement, you know..."

Yikes... Well, we're moving, slightly earlier than anticipated. Until this week, we lived in a poky couple of rooms carved out of a rambling, crumbling townhouse in Notting Hill's last scuzzy street; a sort of West London Yacoubian Building stuffed with hippies-turned-pensioners and, bizarrely, a professional kickboxer. But no more... a Russian oligarch has bought the place up, and no doubt we'll see our impeccably gentrified homelet in Elle Decoration in months to come.

I know this because, while ploughing through The Flight of Ikaros in a Ladbroke Grove launderette, a gravelly-voiced Russian rang me on my mobile.

"Aris? It's Dmitri: Aleksandr's father."

As a semi-Greek, this could have been half my gene pool calling, so I pressed him for more details.

"Aleksandr. Sofia's husband. We own your house."

Ah, right. The landlord had changed over the summer, from an East End artist to a Cayman Islands post box, and this'll be why...

Anyway, it transpired he'd lost his (our?) keys and wanted to potter about the house for a bit, marking out spaces for a plunge pool, home cinema and vomitarium. Possibly. He seemed nice enough, actually, but it was time to box up our lives and pack them off to Corfu.

It's odd working out what matters and what's dispensible:

Shipped: a dozen boxes of books, a wardrobe, a desk, a Victorian Gothic bookcase literally picked up off the street, two muskets and a bundle of Turkmen rugs.

Dumped: all our crockery, cutlery, most of our clothes. And a career in TV.

More to come once in Corfu, hopefully...

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