Friday, July 15, 2011

Goodbye to Mayfair

Our flat in Mayfair
'Tis true.  We are "moving house" a little further north, to the London neighborhood of Primrose Hill, tomorrow.  The location of our Mayfair flat has been more than perfect - 5 minutes from my husband's work, 10 minutes to London shows, two minutes to Green and Hyde Parks, 5 minutes from the corresponding tube stations, and on the same tube line as Heathrow airport.  We are truly in the middle of London and all it has to offer.

Yet it isn't home.  When we moved here, Lance's barber said he used to live on Hertford Street (our street), but he moved because it was too noisy.  After not sleeping well for the first year, we learned he was right: being in the middle of urban London means we are also in the middle of the constant noise of diesel engines and beeps from taxis avoiding Hyde Park Corner, the Hilton's garbage bin-emptying in the early morning, and a bit of proper hedonism with clubs, casinos, and brothels to boot all within one-two blocks.

Psychologists say that humans will adjust to just about anything - horrific car accidents, life-altering injuries, even major losses in one's family.  Their happiness levels will return to normal.  Yet noise is the one thing that a body never quite adjusts to.  Yes, I have been able to sleep for the past six months.  But the constant rub on my soul has had its impact.  I need some peace and quiet.

p.s. anyone looking to rent out this flat for the next three weeks while our contract finishes out?


  1. That's so exciting! Looking forward to seeing your new place.

  2. I hope the move goes smoothly ... if moving ever does. When we moved from our center of town, right next to the train station home ten years ago to our present quiet suburban neighborhood I didn't sleep properly for at least a month because it was just too quiet. But sooner or later I guess you can get used to anything.

  3. I hope your move has gone smoothly. I'll bet you will miss being near Heywood Hill bookshop. I love that place, and I don't know if there is anything similar in Primrose Hill. Btw, did you know that Nancy Mitford worked at Heywood Hill during the war?

  4. Argh. I just went through this myself! After two years of living in an apartment where I could literally hear my neighbors talking, opening drawers and closets, and walking around at 2, 3, and 4 in the morning, and then sleeping with earplugs (dangerous if there was a break-in or fire!), I couldn't take it anymore. I moved to a house, where no one shares walls with me. A bit more of a responsibility and cost, but WELL worth it! I now sleep though the night and feel rested in the morning! Good luck to you!


  5. @ Melanie - Yes, will look forward to another visit!

    @ Cathy - I am really enjoying the quietude of the new place. When we got up this morning at 5:00 a.m. (don't judge!), we could hear only the birds and felt on top of the world as we ate breakfast upstairs on our roof terrace.

    @ Terry - thanks. So far, so good, but for the Barclay's Bikes malfunctioning, making my husband's commute a bit of a hassle. There is a good old bookstore in Primrose Hill, but nothing compares to G. Heywood Hill. Yes, I did know Nancy Mitford worked there! Ben who works in the front room says she feels him looking down on her. :-)

    @ K - thanks so much. Slept like a baby last night.