News from the new house

Author: Jodie

Hi, we are back on the air after a ‘moving into the new house’ hiatus. I lost count of the times I said ‘you guys are awesome’ to the furniture delivery men after they lugged beds and sofas as high as the fourth floor, assembled everything, refused coffee, put sticky felt under every chair leg, helped as I dithered over furniture placement decisions and then made the beds. As in, did not just assemble them, but made them up to hotel standards with the crisp, white linen supplied by the rental furniture company. They were awesome.

Some photos above, with Pedro modelling the new place. As my friend Simon commented – ‘I love the way you’ve made it your own’ – we are yet to buy all that extraneous junk like cushions, vases, wine racks, artwork to indeed make it our own.

To that end, we went to the Frieze Art Fair to check out some potential additions to our sculpture garden.


And bought nothing. But got some really good ideas for our next papier mache project.

In other news, I stood in Kensington Gardens while a police officer trained a large gun on us, so that Princess Anne could make a safe exit in her helicopter. It does make one feel rather like a pleb, come to think of it, and I was ready to turn my back on the whole scene when I decided to Google search who actually lives in KP these days. Wikipedia told me that Wills, Kate and Harry all use it as their London residence, so I stuck around a bit longer, to be slightly disappointed by the sight of Anne and annoyed with myself for wasting so much time ‘celeb’ spotting.


Kensington was in the news for all the wrong reasons again on the weekend, with a car driving into pedestrians near the Natural History Museum, an incident uncomfortably close to our house. I was grateful it turned out to be an accident and not a terrorist attack, or we’d be clocking them at a rate of one a fortnight. I feel quite safe here though, there’s very much a ‘keep calm and carry on’ vibe, so I guess that’s just what we’ll do.

So far Kensington has given us a lot to love. We live on a quiet street off a busy road, there’s good coffee a minute’s walk, right next door to the skate shop where Eamon and Curtis have been hanging around, borrowing their portable rail. Kensington Gardens and Hyde Park are so close we can practically open the front door and let Pedro go out alone (but we don’t, yet). Ruby can walk to school down the most charming mews and we have a family membership at the local gym, so Michael can do his Broga class while I re-live the 90s doing Step. I’ve had a couple of personal training sessions too, with Camille who has done ultra marathons and is not that impressed with my running history. Curtis and I are running our first cross country race this weekend, while Ruby will compete in a pairs event rowing. What’s that they say about a new life in London? Sounds a lot like my old life, but with no car. That story is to be continued, but for now I hand the baton over to someone else (Ruby?) to write the next post. Ciao for now.




What was once the ‘Ruby Weekly’…

Author: Ruby

So, hello everyone. I suppose this is my first post on this blog… wooo!

Anyway, as mum mentioned earlier, this blog developed from the idea of the ‘Ruby Weekly’, which, as the title indicates, was supposed to be a weekly email update from myself. I sent out the first edition upon landing in the country, but decided that it would be best to ‘share the load’, and make the update more of a collaborative process involving the rest of the family. But, in case you missed my first update, I have included it below:

(Ruby Weekly #1)

Hi guys!

So, I just wanted to give you an update on how everything is going so far, and to briefly summarise:

  • we landed! Everyone was pretty tired, especially after having to wheel 16 bags around on trolleys through the airport- almost knocking heaps of people over and (Eamon) getting caught in a set of sliding doors… anyway, we managed to fit them all into the vans, and eventually to drove off to the Air B & B
  • We wheeled and dragged all of our bags up many flights of stairs, as the Air B & B consists of 4 different levels and, as a result, heaps of stairs- really a typical London house. Curtis and Eamon also managed to walk mud up the stairs, don’t ask me where the mud came from…?
  • We walked around squinting in the sunlight alone the streets of Sloane Square (all really wanting to sleep), but managed to have dinner without collapsing on the table at a local Gastro Pub.
  • Mum and Curtis spent a really long time walking jet lagged around the supermarket, looking for Vegemite. It was never found.

Today, we walked around Kensington to look at where our potential new house could be, and then went to buy Curtis a uniform, Eamon rugby boots, and a laptop for myself. We picked up Eamon’s uniform too, which was mostly red looking and came with many English accessories, like vests and interesting school scarfs.

After this, I went to my new rowing club to meet the Junior Coach and have a row. When the coach introduced me to the other girls at training, they were so excited that a bunch of them squealed and ran to hug me with great enthusiasm. I was sent down the river in a double straight away, with another girl who was my age and really really nice (and obviously very serious about the sport). The river was warm, but very fast moving, and really different from the Yarra. The coach told me very seriously that “this is the tidal Thames, and is to be respected. You’ll be fine as long as you keep your mouth shut.” We rowed for 10km, and then came back and had a look around the sheds. I think it will be a really good club for me, and the girls were really a great group to join.

We had dinner at home, and everyone was very very very tired. Curtis went to bed at like 7:45, so I think he will be up pretty early tomorrow morning. I am trying my best to stay awake, but I can slowly feel my eyes closing as I write this.

Tomorrow, Eamon will start school, and the rest of us will have a tour of our potential houses and then embark on a trip to the bassoon store (and therefore I am very excited).

Sending you lots and lots of love (and Happy Father’s Day pop)!!!

Ruby and the O’Keeffes

The lowdown from London

Author: Jodie

When we left Melbourne, Ruby decided to publish her very own ‘Ruby Weekly’ to keep friends and family in the loop. We’ve been here a fortnight, yet there’s been no ‘Weekly’. I can’t blame her, she started rowing within 24 hours of touchdown and hasn’t stopped.

So I suggested we share the load with a family blog: welcome to ‘The London Lowdown’. I’m going to give the whole family access, so can’t be held accountable for all views expressed, only my own. Likewise, spelling and grammar.

Though it’s a big move, we’ve slotted into London life pretty well so far. Apart from rowing six days a week, Ruby finds time for school and regular trips to the stationery store to buy yet more lever arch folders – a big backward step technology-wise here. Eamon is enjoying after school sport and his other favourite activity, the compulsory homework ‘club’ once a week. Curtis has mastered the Tube and can find his way to any skate spot within a 10 mile radius. Michael and I even managed to take in a gallery this afternoon, becoming paid-up members of the Tate Britain, while Pedro now chases squirrels not wallabies.

Some pics of the first two weeks, sorry about the lame formatting, will get the hang of it next time…

Skateboards on the skywalk
Maxed out the weight limit, now to get them into the car
Jetlagged, but made to check out new Aesop store location
Happy the fur baby arrived safely
Ruby’s second home, the boatshed
Meeting her new crew mates
Pedro has designs on all the Queen’s horses
I know they’re here somewhere
Curtis helps Ruby choose a bassoon
Ag making sure I’m not homesick x
First day of school
Spotted in Chelsea