I took class in the morning with a substitute teacher. I wrote about her before, she’s the one who looks and talks like a ballet teacher from a cliché ballet novel. But she’s a good teacher, she gave lovely combinations and good corrections. A classmate drove me home, so I could get ready to receive my keys. On the way to my new house, I was very excited. But the landlady was friendly, showed me all the keys and the washing machine and the newly-painted flat. I just couldn’t believe that this place was supposed to be MINE, my new home. Then my parents and Sissy came, carrying a small mattress and a few things I had prepared for my first night. They all looked at the flat and my parents, who hadn’t seen it before, liked it very much. The floors are real wood, after all, and they even have some give (I tested it, making Sissy jump up and down) so I can practice jumps one day! Then we went to a huge store half an hour away. I had been looking forward to shopping for my own pantry, but the store totally overwhelmed me. There was SO MUCH FOOD! How could anybody eat all that food? How can you choose what to buy if there are 50 kinds of ham? I couldn’t concentrate on what I needed and was riddled with cravings for all kinds of food, but equally disgusted by this excess. When we got back, I fell onto my mattress and slept like a log.
My brain and the blackbirds woke me up early. It was quiet and rainy. Immediately, all the thoughts of the night before, of furnishing and decorating my room etc. came swarming back. Should I get white bookcases? They are cheaper. And the wooden ones LOOK cheap. Will it be too much white? Will it look sterile or cold, or boring? Neverending chatter in my head. Around nine, I was getting hungry and was just strolling into the kitchen when the church bells began ringing. There is a huge church near my house, and at night I noticed the bells tolling the hour every fifteen minutes. I’m used to church bells, there are many churches around the city and you hear them all the time, so that I don’t usually notice them consciously. But this bell is really near. At nine, it tolled the hour and then started ringing, in a deep solemn rhythm. I could almost feel the sound in my chest. It made me feel very still and awed, in a way. I opened the kitchen window and listened. I’m no Christian, but church bells ringing all over the city on Sunday mornings are one of my favourite sounds. One day soon, I’ll visit the church. It’s imposing, huge and grey with a golden many-pointed star on top of its spire, standing on the hill overlooking the city.
I went home for breakfast and more packing, but spent the night at my flat.
In the morning I had to go to the hospital to get a 24 hour blood pressure monitor attached to my arm. Every 20 minutes, it would squeeze my arm until my fingers turned blue. It hurt me a lot, and it was so annoying trying to pack and carry things like my chest of drawers down from the attic and trying to sleep with this thing that I’m sure my blood pressure was high just from getting annoyed every time. I slept at home in my big bed for the last time.
My first official moving day. In the morning the stupid blood pressure monitor finally could come off. Relieved, I went home where I started carrying the boxes to the car. My mother helped me. We drove to and fro a few times and were done by lunch time. Next time I move (not soon, hopefully) I won’t put books into big boxes anymore! They were a pain to carry, even if I only live half a floor up. Mother ate lunch with me in my improvised kitchen, and it was lovely having a sort of guest. I could enjoy my food for once.
At last, I slept a little longer. I am starting to feel like myself again. This was the first sunny morning in my new flat. My windows look north-east and north-west, so there isn’t much direct sunlight, but the light I do get is beautiful, clear and pure, in a way. I unpacked my toaster and warmed some rolls. There were boxes and bags everywhere, but no time to unpack. I went to class with Belinda, and managed a few en dedans pirouettes and a series of good piqués and chaînés. To even things out, the en dehors turns were horrible. I was wearing my new slippers, and they have a lump in the sole that hurt the ball of my foot and made relevé an agony. I’ll try to flatten the bump with a hammer and if that doesn’t work, I won’t be able to wear them. That would be a pity, because they are insanely comfortable, like socks, and quite flattering. We’ll see.
Class was a success, I was feeling strong, there was great music as always, and I had a few of those moments when you really feel the connection between your movement, your body, your soul and the music. A classmate gave me a lift home afterwards, and approaching my house from another direction, in sunshine, with new green in every garden, really emphasized the beautiful neighbourhood I live in. I’m so lucky!
In the flat, I started unpacking all my bathroom things and organising my cabinets. Then I made some food, but again couldn’t enjoy it. I was just putting things into my body to keep it going and make it strong. Then I did all the dishes (this takes soo much time!) and pushed the boxes against the walls to make room for moving the bed in the morning. Afterwards, I felt so full and tired, I could have gone to bed right away. But I just drained my legs for half an hour and then went to the other class with Franca. My feet were sore from the bumpy slippers, so I had to wear old ones. But in spite of all this, I was really good. I felt that I was working very hard, and was finally able to feel my body again. When I got back, I went online (on my phone) to try and get a coat stand I had seen. It was my first time buying something at an online auction, and I was all nervous, but I made it! There were other people looking at it, but I was the only one who made a bid. Now I have a beautiful coat stand!
Early in the morning, I went home to have breakfast and then my parents and I wrapped and carried my bed to the rented car with great effort. We also took my mirrors and harp and anything I had forgotten the day before and drove to the flat. There were only three seats in the car, side by side in the front, so it was a tight squeeze. While unloading and carrying my bed up the steps, I bitterly regretted not having done more upper body weight lifting. My arms gave out so fast, and my hands seemed weak. But with good planning and a lot of effort, we got all the things where they belonged (although the harp had to be parked temporarily in the kitchen.) But there was no rest for us, we drove on to another shop where we bought a little freezer (more heavy lifting) and then on to IKEA. There, we first had lunch and then tried to buy everything on our list. I wanted bookshelves, a table, chaise longue, curtains, more mirrors and lots of smaller kitchen and bathroom stuff. My parents wanted a couch that could be turned into a guest bed. For me when I wanted to come home, so there would always be a bed. They’re so sweet! We took ages getting everything together. More lifting. Driving. Still more lifting. By now, I was utterly exhausted, but we still had to return the car and get my coat stand. Just as I was carrying it back, a huge thunderstorm came and it got a little wet. Dad brought it inside and drove away. I had just energy enough for a bath and setting up my bed, before I collapsed onto it and fell asleep.
I had written a lot more and added many more photos (which took hours with my slow temporary internet connection) but it has all been lost just now. I don’t know how, it’s just gone… *cry*
Maybe I’ll try to rewrite and reupload soon, but there is no time (or patience) for that now.
Just two more pictures of the room as it looks now: