Arriving in London on April 9, we were to spend the next fifteen days homeless. Cecile and David, our tenants had found another house in the neighborhood, but not until April 25. Having originally planned to sleep at the workshop, we later found the prospect of setting up a home there too daunting. We didn’t even have a sofa-bed. Also, our friend Laura, who’s been renting it since we’ve been away, had all her installation art there, ready for exhibition.
So, we became vagrants, sleeping at EIGHT different places: 1. The Holiday Inn, Heathrow (pictured) – we got an amazing $36 deal on hotwire.com from the US
2. Emma & Beni’s – and what a warm welcome we had there. Sophia and Rocco didn’t fight at all!
3. Barbara’s in Cornwall – two rooms of our own, delicious food, perfect weather and amazing views of the Royal Albert and Tamar Bridges connecting Devon and Cornwall
4. Mark & Karen’s in Plymouth – Daniel’s school friend, his wife and their supersweet kids, who entertained Sophia all evening and then again all morning
5. Tim & Fiona’s at Lostwithiel – visits to the beach, a monkey sanctuary and, possibly most excitingly, the opportunity to sleep in a genuine Daniel Spring bed (yippee, once you try one, you’ll never go back)
6. Holiday Inn Express, Docklands – a stop-gap the night before school started
7. Liz & Marie’s – They got stuck in Canada due to the Eyjafjallajökull volcano in Iceland, so we got to borrow their house, right around the corner from ours. ALMOST HOME! Sophia could not for the life of her understand why we kept walking past our own house but not sleeping in it.
8. Gary & Carole’s in Stoke Newington – they took us in at the last minute, fed us and provided us with boutique hotel-y accommodations
THANK YOU to everyone for giving shelter to a weary family of four.
Claire – On maternity leave from career as editor of monthly finance trade magazines, and occasionally a freelance translator. Half-American/half-English, raised in the suburbs of New York, has lived in London for almost nine years.
Daniel – Furniture designer/maker based on London’s Columbia Road flower market, for ten years, also an aspiring painter and DIY supremo. On one-year career break to reconsider options. English by birth, but mother is half-American and spent part of her childhood in Bronxville, New York.
Sophia – 3.5-year old spitfire who loves school, singing, swimming and being a big sister
Lulu – Born May 8 of this year, a model baby who eats, sleeps and gurgles.
Special guests – American, British and international friends and family who drop in along our trip to see whatever part of the country they fancy. They’re welcome to travel in the car with us and sleep in an adjoining tent.