I Am Home! (Part II)

As you can well imagine from the previous post, I collapsed into bed last night without further ado. This morning I was shocked to look at the clock at it was 07:39. My body had gotten so used to waking at 04:30 automatically that I hardly waited for the alarm anymore. But the first thing that hit me was the absence of noise. No trains passing that shook the building structures, no buses or cars hurtling down the road, and no obnoxioius warning bell from the train crossing. Oh my goodness, what a revelation to sleep in such conditions. Of course, it also helped that for the first time in what seems forever, (OK, maybe four years), I slept in a room that was pitch dark, and that makes a huge difference. In Berlin I had the lights across the river of the factory shining through my window, and here in Lisbon there was always a street lamp or something else to keep me half awake.

Along with the realisation of the time, my head was throbbing, as if an orchestra composed entirely of drummers was on speed. Looking out the window I realised that it was partly a low pressure migraine, one that I am always prone to, and I say partly because I also blame the half bottle of Super Bock beer that I had. I can keep up with the best of wine drinkers but I am utterly useless when it comes to beer. Whatever it was, I stumbled into the kitchen and groped my way to the fridge to rustle up some breakfast. Water, paracetamol, coffee, toast. In that order please.

After breakfast I decided it was time to bake my first loaf of bread in the new home, the first in six months since leaving Berlin and something I have truly missed doing. Not only did was I looking forward to that delicious aroma of freshly baked bread wafting through the house, but I also wanted to test the Portuguese flours that I found yesterday and see if I could come up with an acceptable whole-wheat multigrain artisan loaf. While I gathered my ingredients at set to work at the counter facing the window, a curious little face popped in to greet me. The black cat, I was told, is named Xico, although I would have preferred to call him something more dragon-like. He was so cute and friendly that i succumed and offered him some milk. I turned my back for two minutes and when I looked at the window again there was another face, and this fellow’s name is T’challa. Again, I would have named him Simba, but I cannot interfere with something the neighbours have already established!

Once the nausea and migraine subsided, and my dough was left to rise, I went about continuing setting up my office. What I started yesterday felt half baked and I wasn’t sure this was the direction I wanted to take. I didn’t want to shell out for a new desk and but wanted a large working space to separate the different equipment and their respective designations. I had spotted a large workbench yesterday in the storage area, I knew it was exactly the size I wanted but it had no legs, at the original ones were already being used but the first desk. (NB: the house was fully furnished when I moved in, which is a godsend, considering that all my stuff is still in Berlin) Looking around, I realised I had two identical wooden chests that would serve the purspose brilliantly if I stood them up sideways. Long story short, I love the results, which is why I postposed blogging so late in the day.

Space! The final frontier! Remember that openning line from Star Trek? That’s what I thought when I finished setting up the desk. I have plenty of space to spread out now, and no longer have to feel cramped once the rest of the equipment arrives.

Speaking of equipment, dealing with a new oven is always a bit of an adventure the first time you use it. Once I got it to fire up and pre-heat, I took a peak at the dough and it looked exactly the way I wanted it to! Here are the results, and yes, I did pour in the remainder of the beer I failed to finish last night.

There is still a lot of work ahead of me, but it is something I look forward to. No rush, no panic, and no need to cram everything in the same day anymore. This house is a haven in many ways, and I want to honour it buy creating peaceful zen space everwhere. I want it radiate serenity and joy but also to inspire creativity. Hoppity hobbity frog house it will be!

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