Chapter 9 {Home Sweet Home}

It seems I’m following a pattern here, in terms of when I write and when I publish a blog post. I do prefer to wait until I’m inspired and have a flow of ideas instead of boring you with silly passages telling you absolutely nothing.

What I usually do is not only wait for the right day, but the right time when I’m by myself, because I read what I write out loud, and take many breaks, and when I think I’m done, I sleep on it, because words and ideas resonate in my mind, and sometimes after a while, I think about the same idea in a different way, usually a better way, so I come back to it and change it… Is this too much?

Alright, let’s talk about moving into our new home and meeting the neighbours…

Since we arrived in the UK back in January – I can’t believe it’s been 9 months – we’ve been searching for a house to purchase. We’ve probably seen over 50 properties, I don’t know if this classifies us as picky buyers – because some friends of ours bought the 3rd house they viewed – but you’d be surprised by the wicked tastes we’ve seen in some of the houses, or how overpriced others were, wow, really! We had become professional viewers! Until we finally found our house back in June, so yes it didn’t take a long time when you think “oh 5 months, that’s not a long time” but it did feel like a long time counting all the weekends we were out viewing properties and doing nothing else.

I must admit though, we were quite lucky with the timing, because we were going away for a few weeks to Alderney in August, so when we came back, we got the keys and we cracked on with redecorating! I have never thought of myself as a handywoman, but Oh My God the paintwork I’ve done should be mentioned in the Guinness Book of Records! I can’t take all the credit though, D did everything else. He’s still doing everything else actually. He goes to work then comes back to work. Poor thing! He did say he wants to be involved in everything because it’s our home now, so I’m involving him with sinks and lights and blinds and you name it!

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I love the fact that this is it, we are home now. We don’t need anyone’s permission to do anything! And I love that it will always be a work in progress… And there is no rush anymore, we do as we go until we feel it’s right!

After weeks of labor, day in and day out, we finally moved in and finished unpacking (to a certain degree), I think I will be unpacking for a very long time.

Now that we were kind of settled in, we needed to meet the neighbours.

You know that saying “you can chose your friends but not your neighbours”, it puts so much pressure on me, because every time we looked at a house, the first thing I looked at was the neighbours, their houses, their cars, their garages, their front yards… is it pretty, is it messy, is it scary? It tells you a lot about the people in that house and about the neighborhood my 2 year old is going to grow up in!

How am I going to make that first contact?

I thought I’d knock on their door and stand there? Nah, it did feel like Jehovah’s witness, which by the way, is a bit popular here.

My only solution was to go back to the olden days and write out party invites!

The last time I did that I was 10, and the last time I organized a get together in Dubai, I created a Facebook Page! Done! But none of these people were my Facebook friends, yet.

So before I tell you whether they confirmed their attendance or not, let me tell you about these 2 incidents that happened with me, and it involves the neighborhood, where I thought “this is not good”.

During the painting phase, I was alone here, painting M’s room, I was on a ladder, it was a beautiful sunny yet breezy day, I thought I’m going to open the window in the other room to help the paint dry faster. The door to M’s room where I was started closing… slowly… I tried to reach it, I couldn’t, so it shut. I thought it’s okay I’ll open it in a sec. The door doesn’t open from the inside. My phone was charging downstairs. What can I do. I try to break the lock with the handle of the paintbrush, it did not work. My only solution was to pop my head outside the window and “yelp for help”! Seriously, Paw Patrol, where are you when we need you!

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The infamous door! Obviously, this was taken “after” we removed the lock all together!  Excuse my attire!

I started with an elegant “help” hoping the neighbor next door would hear me, but no. Then I raised my voice little by little until I was hanging halfway outside the window, screaming to my lungs “HELP!” and there he was, my savior, my hero! And by the way, he’s not a prince and he doesn’t ride a white horse. He’s a 6 year old wearing Nike shoes. His dad shoved him through the downstairs lounge window (luckily it was open) and he came upstairs and opened the door for me J

The first thing I thought about after this was “I did not make a good first impression”.

Then came moving day:

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The truck was outside, it was chaos, heavy boxes coming in empty boxes going out and in between all this mayhem, our dog L saw an opportunity to run for his life, and he took it. Now when we realized he wasn’t in the house, we didn’t know at what time he made his escape, so what else can I do but run outside, with my socks on, and shout his name up and down the street! He does have a human name by the way, not fluffy or ginger.

I’m sure the neighbours at this point are thinking “who is this deranged woman who just moved here! One day she shouts for help, the next she’s lost her son”.

But you know what? They all confirmed their attendance. Maybe to make sure whether I was crazy or not.

Now that I had an event to make happen, I had to put a menu down and start thinking of how to impress, because you only get one chance at a first impression, I wasn’t sure at this point if I still had that chance.

I didn’t’ want to do too much and I didn’t want to do, nothing. But hang on, what is too much here in the UK! What is nothing? What do people like? What drinks shall I get? I had so many questions to myself, that I couldn’t ask anyone, not even my husband, who, true, is a Brit, but he’s never hosted anything by himself. The pressure was on, and was building up.

I thought I’ll put out a few prosecco bottles nicely in an ice bucket with glasses and all, aperitif never hurt anyone. And by the way, all those prosecco bottles in our fridge were gifts from neighbors from our old house, which made me think, people here must like prosecco right? No, wrong. Nobody even looked at them. Everyone went straight to wine and beer.

I guess everybody enjoyed the food, there wasn’t much left at the end!

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Homemade Hummus with carrots marinated overnight with lemon juice, ginger and salt.
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Homemade Super Quinoa Salad
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Cheese Platter, including a homemade almond cheese with herbs!
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My famous Tomato Salsa Dip with nachos 
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Homemade Aich El Saraya (Famous Lebanese Dessert)
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Homemade Fruit Salad & Homemade Rice Crispies Cakes with Chocolate Chips

We were 18 people in total, adults and kids, the house was buzzing, everybody was smiling, I enjoyed myself, thank God we have good neighbors.

I like our new house, we have our happy corner:

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M loves her room, she has mountain tops, clouds and hot air balloons!

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I painted all this for her 🙂
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Thank you Noha Fahmy for writing that for us!

Even L has his room! It’s under the stairs, sorry mate!

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I also painted L’s room!

This whole get together made me reminisce and think of all the gatherings we’ve hosted in Dubai, and all the “kitchen nights” I host every time I go back to my Beirut.

Beirut, how I’ve missed you.

I guess you know you’ve been away for too long when a friend of yours gets pregnant and delivers and you miss it all… And when you remember the last time you saw another friend and think it wasn’t this summer but last summer, wow.

But not for long now! Beirut I am coming for you, you better not disappoint me and I promise I’ll write the nicest things about you!

xxx

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9 Comments Add yours

  1. RLH says:

    Wow love it!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Jonathan says:

    Don’t worry Woo Eee, I’d be thinking the same!

    Like

    1. What’s that Jonathan? 😆

      Like

  3. Sylvia Malikian says:

    Congrats with your new home!
    New home, new life and new beginnings…..
    Good neighbors? Count your blessings!
    Wish you all the best…. Love you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Love you too! 😘😘

      Like

  4. Noha Fahmy says:

    I love you so very much! and I cannot believe how sweet this shout out is for M’s frame in her room! You’re truly one of the best humans I’ve met and one of the best of friends a girl could ever wish for. Xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Awwww habibi!!!!

      Like

  5. Gui says:

    Chouette ce blog! Et y a des passages qui me font larmoyer…j’ai tout lu et felicitations pour la maison! Je t’envoie des bisous qui puent la tabbouleh

    Liked by 1 person

    1. hahhahaha merci ma cherie!!! plein de bisous!!

      Like

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