This Side Up

I’m entangled in other people’s tragedies these days.

I know I’ve changed when I see how differently I look at my loved ones’ problems now. I’m not as easily shaken as I used to be, which isn’t to say that I don’t care. I do. And as much as I care, I don’t try to fix everything. I guess somewhere along the way, I’ve accepted the fact that not all things can be fixed, and even if they can, I’m not always the right person to do it.

It does frightens me, the thought that there will always be someone dear who will have their heart broken, their life threatened, their foundations shaken. That at times, that someone will be me. And then I remember I used to know a girl who believed pouring a ring of salt around something that frightened you would keep you safe from it. I do wonder how that’s been working out for her, yet I’m never tempted to stock on salt packets when I leave home in the morning. My salty rings wouldn’t last long in London weather anyway, I sigh.


As I listen and comfort, at times offering my thoughts but mostly just cookies and hot cocoa, we’re also slowly settling into life in our new home.

V has pretty much taken to our fresh surroundings like a duck to water, and has even started to carelessly leave his stuff around the place, most often on surfaces I’m determined to keep absolutely sterile, never mind clutter free.

As for me, I’m going through continuous transformation. These days, for instance, it’s potted plant insanity phase. I’m hoarding orchids, peace lilies and begonias like there’s no tomorrow, so much so that I had to order a new set of nested side tables just to accommodate a few stray, leafy terracotta pots. And I haven’t even started on the living room balcony, which I predict will turn into a bit of a rainforest soon enough.

In other nesting news, we’ve gotten ourselves the safest door and locks combo we could afford, ever traumatized by our break-in adventure at our old place. I lock up at night and can’t help feeling like we’re going to bed in a super cozy, air tight safety box, a thought I’m enjoying more than you could possibly imagine. I’ve also finally managed to buy a couple of wine glasses, after our movers mysteriously smashed most of our glassware a few weeks back. Then, obviously going through a new-home-new-drinking-habits phase, I splurged on a little army of whiskey and shot glasses too. Oh, and the most expensive set of kitchen knives I’ve ever owned. So expensive that I haven’t dared use them yet but hey, I predict a future built on mountains and mountains of perfectly sliced tequila lemon wedges!

I’m still quite tired but I’m slowly getting myself used to not yawning my way through the day and not having to sink my head in a bucket of coffee in the morning just to be able to form multisyllabic words. I call that progress.

Incredible what a proper bed can do for your ability to function like a human again. It’s worked so well thus far that yesterday a cashier in our local grocery shop asked for my ID. I was buying chicken drumsticks and a couple of bottles of wine (what else?), and I looked at her in such surprise, eyes blank and mouth half open, that she must have thought she’d caught me red handed, and snapped at me.

Proof! Of! Age!

I handed her my driving license and laughed what must have looked like the most psychotic of laughs, because I’m thirty and soon enough no one will care to ask, but for now, I feel like a freaking supermodel. And one who can legally drink, what more can I wish for!

It’s the weekend again and, they say, our final days of Indian Summer around here. Tonight’s our movie night, Nightcrawler and a toddler sized bucket of buttered popcorn at the neighborhood cinema. They’ll be delivering my nested tables in the morning, so my collection of begonias will finally migrate to higher grounds. Then we’re off to either Eton for a day out visiting the colleges and local shops, or to walk about London and settle for one of the many bonfires of the evening. Sunday is stay-at-home-and-figure-out-where-you’ll-be-cramming-the-half-dozen-white-orchids-you-simply-must-have day. Then, November again, and thoughts of winter. Freshly baked cookies and people’s hands to hold. Oh, and shopping for a job soon, a super duper exciting and frightening prospect after I’ve been stuck in the same place for so long.

But for now, a last pumpkin muffin bite, then off to the train station and the daily slice of Bleak House. Happy Halloween, everyone!

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