Sep 1, 2014

EH11 2EL

We have an address!

18/15 Downfield Place
Edinburgh, EH11 2EL
United Kingdom

If you drive ( in an unfamiliar rental car, on the left side of the road, very haphazardly,  in a city you've landed in 2 hours prior, with a sleep-deprived wife gasping at every turn) to this old building on Downfield Place, and climb 4 flights of stairs, stop at the first door on the right--the one with a fresh coat of red paint--you'll find the smallest flat that ever was.

Home Sweet Home

We have a tiny bedroom with a tiny armoire, a lounge room with a tiny loveseat, and the tiniest kitchen I have ever seen in my life. Our ceilings, though. Being on the top floor has its advantage. The ceilings are so high, if we turned our flat on its side, it might improve our space situation dramatically.

We hired a letting agent named Gregor--a referral from our knowledgeable expat friend Marisa--to find us a flat after unsuccessfully trying to secure a place on our own from Wichita.  It had been so difficult, what with the time difference, the fact that flats are being rented the day they are posted online as students are flooding the city this time of year, and that most landlords require tenants to do a walk-through before placing a deposit. The thought of having to stay in a hotel while we looked for a place, for who knows how long, after traveling so far, was disheartening to say the least. Once we hired Gregor--at a very reasonable price--we could relax and focus on the things we had to take care of in Kansas as he scheduled viewings, took over paperwork, and negotiated with property owners on our behalf. He asked if we would be okay with a less-than-desirable property if it would be just a six month lease, then we could find something better when the market is less crazy. We were desperate for anything at this point, so we gave him the go-ahead. He found us a place within a week. So worth it.

We drove straight to the flat from the airport to meet Gregor and our landlord.  As I stepped onto our new street, Gregor walked right up to me and kissed my cheek, which caught me so off-guard, I responded in a very delayed manner and am pretty sure I just kissed the air as he moved onto Neal. We went upstairs, sighed at the sight of our flat in both shock of the size and relief that we had a place to live. We signed all the paperwork, Neal hauled the aforementioned nine bags up all 57 stairs (nope, no elevator) and piled in the car to Ikea. It's a furnished flat, so most things we need are provided, but we still needed a crib for Eleanor, a clothing rack, etc.

Speaking of, the child is currently sleeping in our lounge + kitchen area, which makes nap time very inconvenient for Neal and I. We had to eat pot roast in our bed last night! So we're thinking of switching our bed to the living room, and moving her crib to our bedroom, so it's more of a studio apartment feel. Only if we can muster the motivation to move furniture through our so-called "hallway".

Oh, and we don't have a garbage disposal. Or a dryer (yes, we have to use a drying rack. apparently no one has a dryer in the UK). But! We are in a GREAT location. Within walking distance of two supermarkets, lots of restaurants, a bus station, and just minutes away from downtown Edinburgh. The flat is really starting to grow on me. Neal hasn't started school yet, so I haven't yet had to experience walking down the stairs with a chubby infant, diaper bag, and stroller (In the end, I'm either going to be really buff or I'll have never gone anywhere ever, one of the two) all by myself. I did, however, slooowly make my way down in high heels on Sunday. Ouch.

The most important thing to remember about our flat is that if you shut the door, it automatically locks. We forgot our keys the other night and had to call our poor landlady away from her pint at the pub. But at least we have a very cool-looking key.

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