Saturday, June 30, 2012

The Times They are a' Changin'

I've known this day was coming for months, but it still isn't easy saying good bye to our London "home away from home" here in Chelsea. Our landlord has sold our house, and we're spending our last night here. We've lived the last 4 and a half years on Flood Street as we've made our way back and forth between our home in Houston and here.

Our home on the corner was previously a wine shop with flats above it that some developers had bought and redone into our townhouse. When they couldn't sell it as quickly as they liked, they decided just as we were house looking, that they would lease it, and so a perfect match was made.

It's been a peaceful neighborhood away from the bustle of the busy streets on each end,

and we were happy when my son Jason and his wife, Cristen, joined us 2 years ago to share our home while he also worked here in London. That meant we had family in both places, Houston and London.

We loved having a front door opening up to the plaza of Christ Church and their school--they made great neighbors!

Nothing was sweeter than hearing the children's voices who gathered outside our door each day for the start of their school day.

We enjoyed sitting up on our terrace when weather permitted (maybe a few days each year-ha!)

and the view below and around was always interesting. People always coming and going.

I'll miss so many things about our Flood Street house and the neighborhood--but maybe not the 4 flights of stairs, although I must say it was helpful in staying toned!

I'll miss our local flower vendor,

the Anthropologie store on the corner where Cristen walks to work,

the Saturday market at the Duke of York square,

the Royal Chelsea Hospital just around the corner,

the home of those infamous Chelsea Pensioners,

who are always so charming when you meet them on the streets.

Our local pub,

and Zianni's Italian restaurant just minutes from our front door will be sorely missed,

as well as passing through the beautiful gardens of the St. Luke's church on my way to the South Kensington tube stop. It's always beautiful no matter what season of the year.

I've learned to expect the unexpected on our street,

and we'll have a difficult time not being close to the Thames River and Battersea Park

which offered us a quick waterside view just a couple of minutes from our doorstep.

And so as we prepare to spend our final night here, I leave you with the photo of the twinkling Albert Bridge that we've enjoyed over the last 4 years. We'll cherish our Flood Street memories and carry them with us always.

So what's the next chapter of our lives going to be like?

Stick around to the next blog post and I'll be sure and share!


  1. It is sad when you have settled into a home and area that you love so much, but I am sure you will do the same in your new home, wherever that maybe, I cannot wait to find out. Good luck, and take care.

  2. Oh, Debi, I can see how much you will miss! It's very difficult, I can imagine – such a perfect location. We have also so enjoyed sharing your life there. I hope your last night is special and that your next chapter is even better. We'll be looking forward to it.

    – g

  3. we can only imagine your reluctance to leave
    such a beautiful place. we will surely miss
    the lovely posts! BUT, now that we know you,
    we can expect something fun around the

  4. Oh Debi... Sigh... as an expat you always know that end is coming sometime although knowing that doesn't always make it any easier. What I have learned as an expat is to 'live like you are moving back next month' and you have embraced that. Your blog has been so inspirational to me. I have many of the same experiences you have blogged about and now I think of these experiences as little stories in my life here. And you have encouraged me to blog about them. You will be sorely missed - your smile warms the room and melts a stranger into a friend. My cheer for you is Prince Charles' cheer for his mom "hip hip hooray'!

  5. I know this part of London very well and I feel sorry for you leaving it but I'm sure you've found another great place to live in. Stunning photos of Chelsea !x

  6. Oooo, I am sad for you! Now were you there for work purposes? Is London completely out of the picture for you? I remember when we moved from Los Angeles to Boston then from Boston to Minneapolis. We are here now 16 years, but leaving BOSTON was so difficult. Your old house here is just stunning and all the charm that I imagine London to be is right here.

    Thank you for visiting me today and I wish you happiness no matter where you go or what the next chapter is!!!!! Anita

  7. Great neighborhood, indeed it will be hard for someone to move out.

    Ed Butowsky

  8. Oh, Debi, please say you're not leaving London altpgether!!!!! A new flat, perhaps? A cottage in the Cotswolds? A barge on the Thames???? I shall await your next post with bated breath... I LOVE reading about your adventures there!!

  9. That looks like such a fabulous home and neighborhood, Debi! It would be pretty hard to leave, but I know you are always up for an adventure and I am looking forward to hearing about your next one! xxoo

  10. How very bittersweet. It looks like it was a lovely place to live :)
    Cheers to making wonderful memories in your new London home!

  11. And there's a little something for you over on my blog - I'm spreading sunshine! :)