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At the outset I have to say that I don’t have a broadband connection at home yet (silly me I didn’t decide which one I wanted 563 years in advance!) and am restricted to typing out any posts and emails on my phone. Moving was easier than I had anticipated. I got home late on friday night thinking (mistakenly) that I would be able to wrap up packing in a couple of hours. It took me until 2 am. Everything went smoothly the next day. The man with his van arrived on time and we finished loading in 15 mins. On the way he told me entertaining stories of the people he meets in the course of his job. I returned to my old apartment to have it cleaned and finish with the inventory check. I felt heartbroken handing in the keys and took some silly phone photos of the front door. Afterwards I sobbed like an ass facing the river.

I went back to the new apartment and as a reward to myself and to take advantage of the convenience of the new place I got some thai takeout which I combined with a healthy dose of tele (finally!). The next day I had to open 4 boxes to make myself a cup of coffee as cups, coffee, sugar and spoons were all packed separately. I spent the entire day unpacking and in the end, the apartment looked lovely with all my familiar stuff.

I didn’t get a chance to hang out much in the new place in the first week though as a business trip took me to Helsinki where I can remember eating only boiled carrots. No pringles in the mini bar either, I compulsively eat those when on these business trips. Maybe I should carry energy bars from now on. The city looked lovely though, wearing autumn becomingly. The trees were golden-brown and as I entered Helsinki, a soft late evening light made them look heavenly. A hot air balloon hovered overhead.

Anyway, I deviate. So last weekend was my first full weekend in Stokey. I walked about, checking out the stores, cafes, people (lots of hipsters here but they seem toned down from the ones further south, along say Shoreditch). I paid a visit to the Whole Foods market – a lovely place but a bit pricey I felt. I am also very happy to note several smaller shops selling veggies, which include bhindi. I lunched with all my groceries at Rasa, a veggie southie restaurant where I had tomato rice and a mixed veggie curry. And oh yes, salted lassi. Many might wonder why this is such a big deal. Well firstly, restaurant – close to home! Secondly, veggie! Thirdly, not just veggie, Indian veggie. Lastly, South Indian veggie. That’s a hugggge step up from the “curry” I’ve been enduring here. (Worst of all is Balti cuisine sometimes trying to pass off as Indian). And yeah, lassi, not that commonly available my friends. I used to have to travel far for something like this earlier so I feel really grateful.

I was also happy to note the numerous gardening shops. I bought a few coloured pots. I walked to Clissold Park in the evening, the evening golden light passing through the trees. Looked a bit like Lothlorien to me (refer the Fellowship of the Ring).

I also had a bike ride, riding to Leah River and then further south along the river. There were little boats lining the banks in places, people actually staying in these. I rode to Victoria Park and through it, followed Regent’s canal in the wrong direction and ended up coming back to the Leah up north instead of going south as I wanted to. Thank you rubbish sense of direction. I haven’t yet started taking the Duchess to work as the route still seems a bit bewildering to me.

I’m also not posting any pictures because I find it a nightmare to post any media on wordpress from my phone. It usually fails anyway.