Our new, temporary, home
I'm sitting in our new shabby rental, and I'm not talking "shabby chic," trying not to cry.
The radiators work, it's dry, sort of, there are plenty of windows, big ones, that let far more light in than any of the houses we've been in so far. It has potential.
But it's a temporary home, again. How much work do we want to put into finding that elusive potential hidden somewhere underneath layer upon layer of neglect and abandonment?
It kind of reminds me of when a friend is dating, or heaven forbid, married to, the wrong person and they spend so much energy trying to convince themselves, and everyone else, to see the "good sides" of this person and overlook the giant W (for wrong), or even D (for danger) flashing like a neon sign on their loved-ones forehead.
The problem is, and this is a big one for a girl with the nose of a hound dog, this house has a certain smell. Let's just call it, "eau de desolation."
It's the kind of smell that assaults your senses when you first walk in, then slowly your nose gets accustomed to it and you can almost imagine it's not there anymore. Almost.
Do I get out the incense? Burn some sage to dispel the evil spirits? Get an essential oil thingamabobby and plug it in in hopes of disguising the problem? Start an apple pie business and keep the place smelling of apples and cinnamon 24/7?
We've been back for two days, we've been lollygagging in the warm arms, and kitchens, of Ian's family in England, and I've only just begun to slowly unpack our bags. Inertia and ambivalence has paralyzed me. I can't find anything, not even one pair of clean underwear for Esther. Or Isla's allergy medicine.
So why am I blogging instead of organizing and cleaning? Because I can. And I'm not in a car, or on someone's front steps, I'm inside my shabby house, enjoying the Wifi that floats into my window from the neighbor's house.
But that's not the only reason I'm not cleaning. It's pure stubbornness.
I'm still not convinced we can go through with this move. I'm still thinking someday our prince will come, maybe we should keep our bags packed and ready by the door....
On a lighter note: We had a lovely time in England, trying to bread the world record of cups of tea and mince pies consumed in one sitting.
We tried to stay the night, on the way home, in Bergue, made famous by this must-see French film, but there was no room at the inn, so we travelled on to Lille. Yet another amazing French city I'll never really see unless I run away and visit it without my family.
But I get to see this much, on a frigid, early morning walk:
Lille opera house
This sidewalk smells good
The last feeding at Hurley on Thames
Let the river take us where it will....
On the way to get a haircut.
"I wish I were the Queen and all these swans were mine."
Walk to Marlow
"There has to be another chocolate here somewhere."
Strappin' on the fancy shoes.
An angel appears.