After many months of planning starting last November, I finally moved into my new flat on Thursday. Having been in Israel for 8 years, I decided that it was about time I got my feet firmly on the property ladder, particularly with a buyers' market and the pound so strong against both the shekel and the dollar. I had my original offer accepted the week I started going out with my (now) fiance and proposed to her, in what will be our bedroom, the week I took posession.
The process of renovation has been at times fraught, has tested the relationship and has been an object lesson in dealing with Israeli workmen. We are still putting the finishing touches to the flat - I was forced to move whilst it was still unfinished as my previous contract was running out. In general however - the effort has been worth it - it is really beautiful and despite the fact that my sofas won't fit where I had thought they might, the results are impressive.
The apartment is in a quiet street in Baka, 30 seconds from Derekh Beit Lechem which is one of Jerusalem's treasures - full of funky cafes and stores but (as yet) uncluttered by the Yeshiva kids who raise the decibel level on Emek Refaim by several notches. I love the idea of being able to wander out in the morning and be sitting at a cafe with a coffee, watching the world go by, only a few minutes later.
Next step is to put the garden in order - I am looking forward to harvesting my olive tree although the lemon tree has been pruned back and doesn't look like producing any fruit this year. I'm going to plant more fruit trees and some herbs too so that I have the luxury of wandering out to the garden to pick fresh Nana for my tea and rosemary for potatoes - how exciting!