I am very excited that we found a flat! Matthew and I will be moving to Brixton at the end of June. It was easy to find a flat as I mentioned in my last post. I wanted to live near people we knew. We've got a very good friend, Becky, who lives right in the heart of Shoreditch and at first that's where I thought we were going to live. Until we looked at how much rents were. I would have loved to live there. Here's the thing. It's hard for me to sometimes make comparisons between flats and areas in London.
At the moment I live in a beautiful spacious flat with a garden. The owner of the flat had done it up and was trying to sell it, found that he couldn't and then rented. Needless to say it was in perfect condition. I didn't realise how amazing it was until we started looking around. It's a two bedroom with large outdoor garden for 1500 pounds per month split between four people. It's pretty nice for what we've been paying. I don't mind the area. Although I will admit that I liked the area much better when Mary was living just up the road.
However. Matthew and I would like to live on our own as a married couple and I am desperate to have my own place the way I want it. Mary and her friend Sara, who I've met and is lovely, had taken a flat in Brixton so I thought we should check it out.
What can I say about Brixton....for me as an American my perspective is a bit different. A lot of Londoners who have lived North of the river would say that they would never move South of the river. There's a bit of a territorial debate. Here's an excerpt from this article on moove2london.
Which is the best part of London – is it the area north or south of the River Thames? As soon as you move to London, you’ll notice how territorial people are about where they live. The debate on North vs South London is ongoing and never really results in a definitive answer. This doesn’t stop Londoners arguing it out anyway.
Since I've only lived in London for a few years I don't happen to feel strongly about the debate. I want to live in area of London that's fun and has stuff going. For some reason get a community vibe from Brixton and I would like to be live somewhere like that. I feel drawn to it, so we'll see how it pans out.
Yes, there was a massive riot there in 1981. I know that's not been forgotten and also people tend to view the area as unsafe. The times I've been to Brixton I've never felt unsafe and people also said that Shepherds Bush was unsafe...generally people who don't live in London.
So, what's the flat like? Well it's a two bedroom flat! It's on the second floor (or 1st floor if you're not American) and you come in the door and to the left is a spacious living room and kitchen together. It's big, bright and open. There is also one small bedroom on that floor that has high ceilings and a window. You then go upstairs and the main bedroom and bathroom are there. I've never been a flat that had stairs before! We are going to use the small room as an office/sewing room. I bought a sewing machine from John Lewis a year ago and have never used it. I can't wait to get it out and start sewing.
We live two minutes away from Mary and Sarah, across the road from an amazing pub called the Effra Town Hall, a few minutes away from the Ritzy cinema and it's just a five minutes walk to the tube.
The only downside to the situation is that we have to be out of our flat on the 19th of June and we can't move in until the 24th. To be honest I am not looking forward to that at all. The landlord has an empty flat where we can move our stuff into, which is nice that we don't have to pay for storage. We'll have to find somewhere to stay for those few days as well. It will all work out, but there's all those niggly last minute things to take care of.
I am looking forward to living in my own flat with Matthew! I think it will be an exciting new chapter of our London life together.