Thanks to friends-of-friends Eleanor and Aaron, I now have a roof over my head and a room of my own for the next few weeks, to tide me over until I can find a more enduring accommodation option. Their apartment is in Barnes, which is located in West London on a languid loop of the Thames. I've not explored much of the area yet, but the closest tube station is Hammersmith on the Piccadilly and District lines. It takes about 10 minutes to walk from the station over Hammersmith Bridge, and the apartment building is only 50 metres from the south end of the bridge. Here's a map to show you where it is. Eleanor and Aaron are both well-established NZ expat professionals who've lived in London for quite a while now.
I moved my gear here from Steve & Fiona's place with Felix & Gavin's help on Saturday - the help being necessary and most welcome because the apartment is on the 4th floor with no lift. Certainly a nice place once you get up top here, and there's commanding views over the nearby streets. The view from the living room - substantial school playing fields, the Thames and the Hammersmith Bridge - is certainly a rare treat. My bedroom looks out onto a sea of old chimney-pots and long lines of well maintained three and four storey red-bricked terraced houses marching down Riverview Gardens, which runs parallel to the Thames. All the houses are adorned with smartly-painted white stripes to mark each floor. In the distance I can see the tall elderly building marked clearly as "Harrod's Furniture Depository", which is as genteel as a heritage warehouse can be.
For those who appreciate details, the address is:
9 Castelnau Mansions
London SW13 9QX
Landline: +44 208 741-5990
At this stage the arrangement is likely to last until early April when E & A will be doing some house alterations, at which time I'll hopefully have found a room in a flat somewhere else. Long before that I hope to have sorted some sort of contract work to get some money rolling in. Am already on the books of two agencies, and will sign up with a third this week. Fingers crossed and all that, and I'll keep you posted!
p.s. You can pronounce it "Castle know", if you like. And yes, the weather is still very mild - 10 or 11 degrees.