Tuesday 18th December 2012
SNUG – in every sense of Chambers’ definitions: close and warm; comfortable; sheltered; not exposed to view or notice; in good order; compact; fitting close.
It’s six days since I moved here: the start of what could well become a long-term relationship.
I’ve taken to walking round the block with a cup of tea. At the end of the Mews, I can go left, right, or across the narrow street to a passage-way of fashionable shops that leads past the refurbished Post Office.
Within a hundred yards you’ll find three pubs and about a dozen cafés. My immediate neighbour is a Waffle House, where you can buy milk-shakes in glass bottles. Local school kids are frequent customers. Sweet and savoury aromas sneak under my door. The coffee’s excellent.
Mindful of Corinium’s history, I’ve renamed this part of town the Latin Quarter.
It’s funny how old furniture looks younger in new surroundings. I’m especially pleased with the dark-wood, open-fronted wardrobe, which is parked in the corner by the door and now serves as cloakroom, hat museum, library annex, recycling centre and cellar.
I’m re-learning how to cook on an electric hob; making myself take two stairs at a time, even though they’re steeper; probably going to use the launderette rather than buy a washing-machine; still can’t decide about the bike.
I pop back to the old place most days, moving leftovers here and there, photographing furniture and books to try selling on the internet. The house is already archaeology, most of its rooms empty but for the footprints of cupboards, skeletal radiators, the dust of ages.
What’s been hardest is the self-imposed indoor smoking ban. I’m down to about seven a day, a considerable reduction. Writing stuff like this without a busy ash-tray isn’t easy, but my struggle against nicotine is a work in progress that’s finally showing some progress.
The move will be complete when the milkman starts deliveries to my new door-step tomorrow morning. I am immersed, absorbed, drunk with possibilities.