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Tuesday, August 16, 2011


They say the basics for survival include food, shelter and water.  We've been making some headway in those departments.

For various reasons, we don't eat a lot of processed foods, and that generally means a lot of hands on cooking, which we both enjoy.  Procuring edibles is half the fun.  I don't mean shuffling through the local supermarket trying not to run over any toes with an over-laden trolly full of packaged industrial food-like substances.  Farmers markets, small producers, that's where the real food is. During the summer there are several farmer's markets in the Seattle area. The biggest we've found is the wonderful, year round, Ballard Farmers' Market.

Heirloom tomatoes, homemade pies, handmade cheeses, berries, peaches, greens and root vegetables, flowers, fish just off the boat (or out of the smoker, sold by the skipper himself), Walla Walla onions, fresh bread, the list is endless, seasonal and mouthwatering. There's a constant supply of street musicians, including a one man band (accordion, cornet, and percussion), a jazz band and some student violinists raising money for their school orchestra. It's easy cycling distance for us, so I expect we'll be regulars.

After several days of house hunting with the ever-resourceful Suzy, we have found a place that meets our requirements.  Cycling distance to D.'s office, not up a lung-busting hill, reasonable size, but not too big, a place to store a tandem (besides under the bed)
A tandem that fits under the bed, or in the two suitcases it's towing.

a functional kitchen, on a quiet road, with a nice view, and bedroom ceiling high enough to accommodate our four poster bed.  The only place it fails is the bedroom.  We will have to do without the canopy in order to squeeze the bed in up under the eaves. On the other hand it has a Murphy bed, something I've always wanted since seeing one on a rerun of  I Love Lucy (can't find that online, but this is pretty silly). It also comes with two car parking spaces, not that we have a car.

We should be closing on 16 September, it could have been earlier, but the owner requested the later date and our shipment won't arrive for a further week. To contrast with the home buying process in the UK, we accepted an offer on our place in London in late June.  Both buyer and seller want to expedite the process, cash buyer, no chain.  Closing date?  Only the solicitors have any idea, and they're not saying.  The general consensus from friends who have bought recently in the UK is that it usually takes several months, and that's without any complications.

No shortage of that around here:
Lake Union
This is the view from the balcony of our prospective new home.  The mountains in the far distance are the Cascades, the strange protuberances in the nearer distance on the left is a former gasworks, now Gasworks Park. In amongst the houseboats on the lower left is the one made famous in Sleepless in Seattle.  True, the view doesn't have to be this nice, but it will be such a pleasure to look at something other than the building site that's been below our balcony for the past nine years.


  1. Congratulations on finding a place to house your bikes. The view is impressive and definitely better than the one over Old Street. Although the Cascades are a dangerous attraction, some day they may tempt you and you'll end up on top of a mountain (because it's there).

  2. Yes, the view is as good as the storage, a win /win combination. As for the Cascades, you do know ,my other half is half mountain goat? We've already arranged for a few days in the mountains over the first weekend in September. Somewhere near Mt. Baker. He asked about bringing the Bromptons and I reminded him of the topography. They are not mountain bikes, and I'm only just coping with some of the smaller hills around here!