The New Boss

What a weekend it was and a start to the new week! Having my girls here with me has brought life into the home and changed everything around for now. It took Cherry two days to overcome her jet lag and come to terms with her new home, the geography of everything, and the sheer size of the house. She got thoroughly lost the first day, shouting at the top of her lungs to be rescued when she was disoriented. By the end of the first day she was exhausted, but at the same time restless and unwilling / unable to settle down. So she was up and about most of the night, which required two rescue missions on my part.

Saturday was spent baking and pottering around in the kitchen, much to the delight of both cat and daughter. In full mother-must-spoil-daughter mode, I set out to bake bread, made pancakes for breakfast, and then a pizza for dinner. By the time my head hit the pillow, it wasn’t the cat who was exhausted but me!

Cherry acquainted herself with the house, toned down the yelling, and selected her comfort zones, which turned out to be my office and bedroom. In some uncanny way, she figured out that these were the two places I spend a lot more time in, compared to the rest of the house. And so began the power struggle. When I entered my office, my seat was taken at the desk, with a determined looking cat who was all business. She made it known that the house was under new management and that under no uncertain circumstances am I to ignore or forget the hierarchy. She made sure to let the Milk Bar customers as well.

Sunday began with a leisurely brunch, an exploration of the garden and then some tough muscle work. Some of the changes that I wanted to make around the house but was physically unable to do alone were finally able to take place. Once again I took great pleasure in seeing my vision for the house slowly turn into reality. Part of me wishes I could just wave a magic wand and make it happen instantly, but the thing about instant gratification is that the triumphant moment is a fleeting one.

To have someone in the house with me again, to look forward to talking to someone at the table or even to dance around in the living room is such a priceless moment. I am painfully aware that it is only for a few days, and it will take months before I set eyes on my daughter again, so I commit as much as I can to memory and heart. These heart-to-heart conversations that I have with Maike are so comforting, and we marvel at how much our lives have changed in the past months. Both of us have spent all our lives in huge metropolitan cities and suddenly we are committed to simple country and coastal living, with me in my Frobbit Shire and she about to relocated to a small fishing village in Fuerteventura.

In a way, the social distancing of the past to years prepared me well for this solitary life, as I indulged in homesteading back then, and can apply it on a full scale now. We grinned like fools when we re-emerged from my garden with figs that we picked, walnuts collected, and plant cuttings to root as well. Other than the facility of meeting up with friends before or after work, there is nothing I miss from the city. The air is pure, the silence golden, food is freshly cooked, ingredients have all been selected by me, and no need to keep the music low so as not to disturb the neighbours. Train strikes? I honestly don’t give a damn anymore. Restaurants? What for, when I enjoy cooking anyway and can do so in the comfort of my own home. Okay, maybe the proximity of a small convenience store would be helpful, for example when I realise that I totally forgot to add butter to the cart last Friday. But here’s the thing, by working strictly with the contents of my own pantry, it gets the creativity juices flowing – not to mention that in the long run it saves a lot of money. Besides, what do I want the big city for when I can end my day like this:

For those of you who so kindly asked, yes, the detox phase is over and the rashes have subsided – thanks to diaper rash cream! The end results? Lightness of body and mind that goes beyond the superficial.

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