May 23rd 2009 was the expected day for the launch of the London Vision Clinic’s new and fabulous website – and, coincidentally, the official birthday of this blog. It was also the day that I moved into my London base (after living outside the UK for more than thirty years); and – much more significantly – that warm and sunny Bank Holiday was to have been D Day for the London Vision Clinic’s move from their Devonshire Place home into new premises at 138 Harley Street.
Yes, it “was to have been”, as opposed to simply “was”.
In fact, there was nothing simple about the planned move of the London Vision Clinic and ultimately – as the building work at the new Harley Street premises was not completely finished on time- Plan B was put into place: to delay the move until June 13th.
The launch of the new website and our birthday blog were also put back until June 15/16th. Incidentally, my move took place as planned.
Before the LVC move, I chatted with those members of the team responsible for making sure that everything and everyone would be in their right place for business as usual a few short days later. And I thought my little move was complicated!
My search to find a London address took me to some weird and not so wonderful corners of the A to Z. I must have looked at scores of unsuitable flats – chasing pavements (like Adele), and trudging despondently up and down forgettable flights of stairs and poking my head warily around too many dubious doors to remember.
I even viewed a “quirky” flat conversion in the attic of one of the magnificent Georgian mansions in Harley Street -very handy for visiting my friends at the London Vision Clinic, I thought.
It had two enormous rooms with a kitchen tagged on to one and a pokey old-fashioned bathroom – complete with throne-like loo – off the other. Despite the great location and the umpteen stairs – which would have saved on a gym membership – it wasn’t for me.
Over the months I realised that, despite a so-called “depressed” property market, London is still an expensive city to live in. After a while, I was forced to rethink my expectations and location preferences before eventually stumbling on my new home which comes complete with a large terrace and garden on the Finchley Road.
My lengthy and foot-hurting flat hunt aside, the LVC move trumps my little adventure into a cocked hat.
With three weeks to go before the original due date, I had a chat with a couple of the people who had been working behind the scenes to make sure that it all would go smoothly…. phew, what a multi-tasking, multi-faceted job – certainly not for the faint-hearted.
Next time we’ll find out why did the London Vision Clinic need to move.