Yes, am. Busy but alive.
What’s changed (apart from everything)? I started my new job, I moved into my new house and I discovered a new tolerance for dogs.
I was spending a lot of time with neighbour-dog during our move and fell in love with her. I also work on a farm now, where dogs roam free and frequently click upstairs to sniff us. One is a complete dope in a wig but his sister is a glorious, gleaming mass of soft curls. She puts her head in my lap and it melts my heart towards the stupid beasts.
I stop for coffee at a pub now, that’s new. I was trying to find a coffee shop along my tiny-village route that opened early enough for me. It didn’t exist – they’re mainly village-shop-slash-cafes, and none open before nine. Then it hit me: pubs that are also hotels! Two in lovely Chiddingfold open at seven, and ONE is wonderful. Today, my takeaway flat white came with a bloody homemade biscotto, so happy days.
The house is a dream. We seem to have an excess of rooms but that’s a nice problem. I just need to not anxiously fill them with furniture I don’t need. Our existing furniture was all vastly oversized for the Victorian rooms, so that was a laugh. Our massive corner sofa, which I LOVE, is now in two parts: one lives in the living room and one in my reading room. The latter was intended to be a dining room but we had to put half a sofa in it, so…reading room. I don’t mind. I can’t imagine sitting at a dining table but I can imagine snugging up with a book in Sunday sunlight. It’s a good place for my stack of unread Economists to live.
It would be disingenuous of me not to mention how fucking awful moving was. It really was. Awful. On the last day, we went to our new local for dinner; I was wearing shorts and Phil’s shirt, with attractively paint-striped legs and panic-gleamed eyes. I ate my pie with my head in my hand, shovelling it into my mouth sideways. I could feel that if I didn’t concentrate, I would actually lose my mind – it would disintegrate and I’d fall down, down, down into nowhere. It’s a loooooong time since I felt like that, so clearly my meds are perfect for normal stress but no match for moving.
But now we have a treehouse. I hung circus lights under it and wrapped copper wire LEDs around our apple tree. The grass needs cutting but I don’t want to do it because it’s like glossy faux fur. We’ve cooked outside plenty since moving in but that does make us drink, sadly. It’s that holiday vibe. The whole house feels like holiday. There are huge strawberry plants growing outside my front door – how did I get THAT lucky?
The cats are happy with more space. I mean, I think they are. I still worry all the time that they know they’re joy slaves, kept for my pleasure against their will. I wish I knew what they were saying to me. I’d probably hate it if I did. But they flop on the kitchen floor because it’s so warm from the Aga, they snug in their dog bed in front of the fire and they skitter about the place, chasing each other. We have so much cupboard space now that they can be allowed in the kitchen unattended without eating entire loaves of bread, and I think they’re much better adjusted not being banned from certain areas of their own home.
I lost 10 pounds, which is nice. Been more active, eaten less, moved house. It’s good to fit back into some of my favourite clothes. It may have started to slightly slip a bit in the last week because we’ve been drinking and eating a lot with the holiday vibe. Got to get back on morning pilates once there’s floor space because I was getting well good with it. I think the year before I turn 30 is a good time to be looking after myself. Botox next year.
Well, that’ll do.