On the way to the library to use the internet, I spied a funny piece of graffiti on a boarded up window that made me laugh.
'Picture this as a window', it instructed.
The house is tinier than I imagined and I blunder around it as a clumsy oaf, breaking things left right and centre. This morning, it was a captain's lantern that used to hang in our kitchen in Wylam. I was trying to put the clock up on the wall, and I knocked it over by accident.
While I was sweeping up the glass, I knocked the clock off the fridge and smashed that too.
I am supposed to be at the Art of Record Production Conference in Cardiff, but Offsprog Two is really poorly and I have stayed at home to administer Lemsips and healthy food. She would rather I had gone so she could visit her friends and spread her germs, but this would be antisocial in the extreme, so she's parked on the only comfortable chair, reading a book.
While I was cooking lunch, the food caught fire under the grill and set off a duet of smoke alarms, one indigenous to the new house and another still semi-packed. In a panic of deafening noise, we had to locate them and remove the batteries, stumbling and bumbling and spilling food all over the place in the process.
The chest of drawers I keep my clothes in was too big to get upstairs, so that will have to go into storage, as soon as I can find a man-with-a-van. This is not the posh end of town so we don't get a free newsaper any more, which slows the process down. At the moment, it's standing in the kitchen, preventing the kitchen table from being there; the kitchen table is in front of the front door, so we've been walking sideways like crabs ever since we moved in.
Mentally, I practice new guitar parts. The guitar I normally use is wedged under the bed, blocked in by boxes of things that seemed vitally important in the big old house but seem totally superfluous now. I am throwing things away like mad, but I can't get to the bin because the removal men put a huge lemon tree in front of it, which soaks me with rainwater every time I try to get past it.
It's too heavy for me to move and I'd like it to fly off into the sunset, flapping its leaves like a demented many-feathered bird. Perhaps next summer will be the year it manages to produce full size lemons instead of dolls-house ones!
And I wake up every morning not worrying. I feel safe for the first time for ages, and will get used to living small. There will be a different way of looking at life and already I feel I am walking taller than before. This has been an intense and emotional year that has reminded me that it is better to struggle against what is wrong than to ride along with it to a destination that is destructive and negative.
A different sort of people live at this end of town: not so well off, louder, and more direct. This is an adventure and a new beginning.
Bring it on!
Remember to keep singing 'things can only get better' - because obviously they are (except for breaking things and burning food!
I am so pleased that you are in-even if it is small and you are breaking things! We could not move for boxes when we moved here but you get really good at putting stuff behind other stuff and inside other things and at finding very useful things that fold flat-so they can go behind other things! Can't wait to see it. Hope F. feels better soon! x
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