As promised, I’m sharing a bit of my personal life and current niggles (something I perhaps don’t do enough as a blogger) with this month’s* magazine feature. Scroll past my rant to see our bathroom in the September issue of Style at Home magazine! *Our bathroom has a six page spread in the September issue of Style at Home magazine – only on sale for a couple more days so get yours quick before the end of August!
First of all, we’ve finally made the leap and moved to Amsterdam! Well, I say leap, but the truth is we’re merely dipping our toes in – we’ve kept most of our belongings in London, we’ve rented out our flat through Airbnb, and committed to short-term accommodation in Amsterdam until we find our feet. That way, if things don’t work out, we can drive back to London at any time knowing that we’ve at least given it a try. Also, as I’m still working from home it relieves the pressure of having to find work straight away, giving me a bit of time to settle and look around for the right opportunity. Any leads in the interiors industry would be greatly appreciated! 😉
Renting out our home was a very last minute thing, so we only had last weekend to empty the whole place (including all cupboards and wardrobes) and clean it from top to bottom! It was quite the task. I even managed to transform the storage room to acceptable second bedroom – it was a 24 hour job and I worked through the night to get it done:
Before and after: Can you spot the difference? A 24 hour turnaround, turning storage room into guest bedroom to be rented out from tomorrow! pic.twitter.com/aeP6nza1gm
— Lotte Brouwer (@yespleaseblog) August 26, 2017
Now here we are. In Amsterdam, unpacked, and ready for a new adventure! But as with most things in life, it hasn’t come easy, and already the first few problems have unfolded. The family who moved in to our place immediately complained that there were stairs (something which was clearly shown on our listing with several photographs), and that there were vases of flowers (again, only as shown in the listing – and anyway, who doesn’t like flowers???), complaining that neither were suitable for their young children and therefore they wanted to cancel their booking. Fine. Whatever. No big deal. But then it emerged that they refused to leave as they wanted to continue staying in our flat, and also get a full refund – thus staying completely for free, despite the costs it was incurring us. Not an ideal situation. I’m hoping that it’s just bad luck and that the next few go fine! Although it does make me very tempted to sign up to one of those Airbnb management companies… Anyone go through something similar?
The next problem was parking. Amsterdam is a very expensive place to park (parking garages average €50 per day), and we’re hoping to be here for a minimum of five months. We’re still at a bit of a loss on this one and looking into parking in nearby towns and cities, to then catch a train back. But again, not an ideal situation.
Then the icing on the cake has been a phone disaster, leaving me phoneless for the past month (explaining my lack of social media). I’ve been on an expensive contract with EE for two years (flat rate of £58 per month, but usually closer to £90 or even £100 per month as I tend to go over data allowance, and frequently go abroad) but my phone stopped working a month ago – it just gave up and died an irreparable death. I’m due an upgrade, but they said it would cost me hundreds, and if I want to cancel than that will cost me too. I’ve looked into switching providers but it seems that there is not much point anyway as I’ll be charged daily fines if I spend more time abroad than in the UK – which is my plan. But I’m not sure I want to get tied into a two-year contract with a Dutch number either, in case I don’t stay that long! So I’m still umming and ahhing, and permanently apologising for not responding to messages and voicemails. Help!
On a brighter note, all of the above should be worked out by the end of this week, then we’re off on a two week holiyay; one week in Tuscany with my dad, then one week with Jonathan’s brother and his girlfriend on their boat, sailing around the Greek islands!
‘Real life’ and job applications will start as soon as I get back in September. Anyone else seriously in the mood for autumn? I’m actually looking forward to crisper air, coats and scarves, autumn leaves, and a routine.