London, Stay

The smell of the English

I have been asked how living at the new place was and how I liked the house. Well, the first thing that comes to mind is the smell of the new house. It smells English.

The unique perfume of mould mixed with a whiff of fresh paint is something that forever will be engraved into my olfactory memory as the smell of English houses*. It seems that rather than properly tackling a damp issue before putting a property on the market (rental and sales alike), landlords prefer to have a half-hearted attempt at gilding the matter with a layer of dulux.

Not long after we moved in, another scent started wafting through the air. Let me call it L’air d’Indesit or: burnt soap. For the unknowing (foreign) reader, Indesit is a brand that does 2 in 1 washing machines/tumble dryers. Now, whereas a regular dryer has a slightly bigger drum than a washing machine, this not-so-genius apparatus makes up (not really) for the lacking room with increased heat. As a result, clothes do not only come out so hot that you can barely touch them, smelling of burnt Lenor, but everything shrinks by about a dress size. In other words, the whole family involuntary went on the Indesit diet.

Odd smells and heat apart, the next thing that comes to mind is being CRAMPED. Our house (I am using the term house loosely) is about a third of the size of our old house. The kitchen is so small, I am tempted to yell ‘cabin crew seats for landing’ once I am done with the washing up. Also, the kitchen doesn’t have any drawers. Not a single one.

We are hoping to exchange on the new place (not this one, but the one we are next moving to) this week. I am itching to move, quite literally. This little house is gorgeous and all, but it’s bursting at the seams. Can’t wait to put the hard hat on and get the building works started.

*Please correct me if this is a phenomenon that purely applies to London.


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