We are housesitting. I am sitting with my partner in front of a nice log fire. There is a little dog curled up in its basket close by wondering where her normal people have got to. We have had Muscatel this evening, and even the repeat wildlife documentary on the television seems soothing. How romantic! How utterly disconnected.
I realise that I have become a creature of neatness, and to be frank, my aversion to dust is exceeded only by the energy expended getting rid of it on this our first full day of occupying this dwelling. The day started at 04:00, caused in part by my exhaustion from moving and unpacking and “sorting” efforts the day before, which resulted in a very early evening.
I remember when I first started working, I had a friend who was waiting for September to come around to take up a scholarship at an English university. His parents lived out of town, so he housesat as a means to stay in town and save money. I was always surprised at his inability to change a plug, but perhaps he was more versatile than I in that he seemed fond of other people’s pets (I do like our current dog, by the way), and was able to remain remarkably settled. Living out of a small suitcase and zooming around in a little VW, the engine of which was mostly a mystery to him. Thus, he seemed to have everything he needed for comfortable living.
The house we are in, I love. In fact, I have gardened here many a time, often for the sheer pleasure of it (or occupational therapeutic value thereof). The people are good friends in their senior years, and I have always enjoyed time spent here, whether working, or merely sitting on the step having a cigarette in the sun. The house does seem so strange without its people, though.
I seem to have developed a few habits over the years. One of them is to use my desk as a repository of everything that is important to me – specs, computer, books, pens, coffee cup, cigarettes. The desk is my headquarters, my planning space. To my chagrin, I discover that I do not exist in my true form without a desk. I already knew this, and suffered pangs of withdrawal in the first months of emigrating – even though I became adept at transforming the breakfast table in our first accommodation. I shall have to search in one of the store rooms and install one inside, preferably close to the fire. The glee at getting the little dog to lie in front of the fire in her basket all night without a squeak should not be overestimated.
I should also mention that the house is located in a little valley where the broadband waves of my service provider do not reach. This is more stressful to me than dust busting. Talk in the coffee shops is that I should try the broadband of the company with whom I have my cellphone contract. Thirty-six hours of housesitting, with only one short hour online at my apartment, and another very long 30 minutes trying in vain with my broadband in odd locations in the nice old house in the valley has me thinking that I will be rushing to do that as soon as humanly possible.
I love the outdoors, I love keeping a tidy house, I love the fireplace. I only love all these things when all online possibilities have been exhausted. I am, by the way, not on holiday – but I do not think I would feel any different if I were. Quite possibly, I would simply being enjoying myself more – online.
This blog was prepared in a word processing programme, and then copied and pasted into my blog. I also have unprocessed photographs on my camera. Such anxiety! Oh well, I shall simply have to throw another log on the fire. And read a book printed on paper.
The word in bold appeared in the previous post.