Since half my post about moving was lost, I have tried to reconstruct it today.
Friday (that was 2nd May): I’d slept well in my new bed and the morning sun made the chaotic rooms seem a little friendlier when I got up.
I rummaged a little and finally moved the harp out of the kitchen (it’s an original concept, but not very practicable). I went home for breakfast and then my father and I drove to France. Dad loves to shop in France, because they have very fresh products and good fish and shrimp. I was tired, however, and couldn’t enjoy it. I got some meat (Charolais beef, yum!) and vegetables and more things for my pantry, but it was more of a chore than the delight I had always imagined it would be. On the way home, I even fell asleep in the car. Back in the flat, there was more rummaging to be done.
Saturday: My parents went shopping – again. I went to class, then made myself some of my French food for lunch and washed all my new IKEA curtains plus the normal laundry, running up and down the stairs a dozen times until everything was dry or hung up. Then I wanted to put up the bookcases, but after having put in a few screws the shelves suddenly struck me as very wide, when I discovered to my utter dismay that they were the wrong size! I’d blindly bought the ones the shop assistant had written down, never checking the measurements, and she had given me the extra deep ones. This wouldn’t do, so I unscrewed and repacked and wrote to my parents, who helped me exchange them. I never imagined I’d ever be utterly sick of IKEA, but I was! When I got back, it was too late to make more noise, so I left them for Monday and only unpacked the treasures that had come by post, a laundry basket, a rod for the kitchen, two ballet barre wall brackets and a pretty soap bottle.
Sunday: I don’t exactly remember what I did in the flat. Because it was Sunday, I couldn’t do any hammering or drilling, so I ironed all the laundry and curtains and went to class. We had a special stretching workshop where Mandy showed us some new stretches she had learned from a ‘stretching guru’. She told us that she expected us to stretch at least four times per week, and to have at least one split by the end of June. Such pressure! But maybe this is the thing I need to motivate me. I have been almost in my front splits for years now, but flat down only twice, when I overstretched and then was in pain for a week, only to be tighter than ever afterwards. Maybe the new techniques and Mandy’s expectation, not to mention the weight loss, will finally allow me to ‘get’ my splits. I know, I know, it’s just a stretch, but it’t such a milestone, a definition of flexibility, and has been a goal I want to reach. I stretch after every class, but after the workshop I noticed that I was pushing myself more, and seeing improvements.
Monday: This was a big day, because I did so much. I overcame my fear of heights and drilled holes in the ceiling all by myself to hang up curtain tracks above the bed. Then I drilled more holes for the barre and mirrors between the windows. The walls are horrible, all sand and small stones (old house), so I had a huge hole after my first attempt, and the drill kept changing direction whenever it hit a larger stone. I got the hang of it a little, however, and managed to put up the mirrors more or less straight and the barre is now so well secured I could probably sit on it. The bookcases were put up, and the little desk/table. I still wanted to attach different legs to it, but didn’t have a large enough drill. At last came the most coveted piece of furniture, my chaise longue. It’s so comfortable! I knew I wanted a comfy place to sit by the window, either an armchair with an ottoman or a chaise longue, because I dance so much and usually have tired feet I want to put up. This chaise longue is wonderful, narrow but wide enough, solid but light, so it can be moved when I practice.
Tuesday and Wednesday, I had to work and took class at night, so no more moving activities.
Thursday: This was a holiday. I went to the bakery to get fresh rolls to bring to brunch at home with the family. It was weird, feeling half like a stranger in my old home, while the new one didn’t feel like home at all. I spent an hour in the cellar, sawing corners off two table legs, then went back to the flat to clean, wash and cook for the week.
Friday: Another holiday. I went out and bought a few things for the flat in the morning, then it was back to work. I spent HOURS drilling two holes into those confounded hardwood table legs, almost despairing in between, but it was so worth it: The table looks much better with the new legs. I also wrestled with the walls some more and drilled two more holes to hang up my big mirror. Unfortunately, the drill slipped on a stone and the distance between the holes turned out too short, so I had to spackle the hole and wait for the next day for a second attempt.
Saturday and Sunday: Curtains. All I remember is hanging and pinning and trimming and ironing a never-ending pile of curtains. Oh, and chicken breasts. Dad had brought me 20 chicken breasts and I cooked, cut, weighed and portioned them for a whole month of lunches. By the end of those two weeks, my flat looked a little home-like, and my hands looked like those of an 80 year old woman. I did get up the big mirror, however, and celebrated it by a little practice session in the twilight in my new ‘studio’.
The flat pretty much remained in this state for two weeks, while I worked and took class and spent the weekend in between in Valais. I only had time to do the most basic work like cleaning, washing, cooking and washing dishes. I was feeling very weird, too. It was my flat, but not my home. I slept and ate and bathed there, but it just seemed strange. Unreal, lonely, temporary. This weekend, however, I finally attacked the boxes and filled the bookcases and this helped tremendously in making it seem more home-like. I’m getting used to it, and am finding more and more moments of joy in my own place, like unpacking my teapots and cups, my beloved books, pictures and baskets and arranging them just the way I like. More on that later, with more pictures of course.