I cooked my first proper meal in my new flat on Sunday – that’s if you discount M&S treats, omelettes and toast, which I think we should. Although I moved in on the 6th Feb, I went to New York two days later for a week, and then it was headfirst into London Fashion Week. After last week’s fashion flu, I have only just re-surfaced.
Hidden in the depths of one of the cartons I unpacked yesterday were my Global knives and most of my batterie de cuisine, without which it was quite tricky to cook. (Believe me, trying to slice a loaf of bread with a mezzaluna rather kills the desire to deal with anything more than toast.) It is just so indescribably cheering to have a proper kitchen, even if it is a very little one, with all my own equipment to hand.
And, if I should need any other piece of equipment, I have Camden market, the flagship branch of Sainsbury’s supermarket and an entire High Street within a few minutes’ walk. Hell, I even have a Whole Foods a couple of streets away. Not to mention a food writer lurking upstairs.
All I need are a few kamikaze yellow cabs speeding past my door and to raise the ambient noise by a 100 decibels, and I could be in Manhattan.
Then again, they don’t have streets like this in New York:
This isn’t actually my street (I do draw the line at publicising the exact location of the hobbit hole) but it’s almost, if not quite identical. My flat (the original servant’s entrance) is accessed through a little, almost invisible gap in the iron railings and down some scary black metal stairs by the coal hole. I go down sideways when I wear heels and if you hear me tell of a twisted ankle, you’ll know why. God knows how I am going to get my bike down there when the weather warms up.
Oddly, I have never lived on my own in a flat of my own. The place that I sold last summer had three bedrooms, so there were always people staying or lodging, and in New York I sub-let furnished, so even when I was on my own, I never had any of my possessions around me.
And that’s why I am so gleeful right now: to be in a space of my own, and one that is filled with my own things is just very, very exciting.