I’ll take some time to segue into “real life” stuff no one will care about.
I’m moving house in a few weeks. Moving “house” is a little innacurate in some ways. That is to say, I’m moving from a house, to a flat.
It’s weird. I’ve never lived in anything but a reasonably-sized house before. And since leaving home, I seem to be gradually downsizing every time I move. The one we’re in currently is a fair-sized two-bed end-of-terrace, which feels like a perfect size for us, but it’s a bit nonsensical. We’re a couple. We don’t use the top bedroom at all. We’re paying for space and doing nothing with it except for storing boxes.
So we decided to move. For the same money – a little less, actually – we can move into the thick of the city centre action we rarely get involved with (but it’ll be handy for Ladyfriend’s work), and live somewhere smaller but substantially nicer than where we are at the moment. The new flat is lovely: it’s on the ground floor of a beautiful old gothic building, newly converted into swanky pads. And it’s probably as big as we need, though we’re having to get rid of the tumble dryer as there’s totally no place to put it.
But it’s going to be interesting getting used to it, for a few reasons. Ladyfriend and I have lived together for plenty of time already, and are rarely in different rooms from one another, but being physically constrained to such a small space will be a new experience. Not a bad one, I don’t think, and it’s not like it’s a studio apartment: there’s a separate bedroom, even though the kitchen and living room are one and the same. But, crikey, it is small. Lovely but small.
More importantly, though, the thing I’m really quite sad about: leaving this place. It’s… a bit of a dump. The boiler keeps breaking, the toilet doesn’t flush, the kitchen’s falling apart, there are burn marks in the carpet from the previous tenants and so forth. But it’s become representative of a key period in our lives. It’s the first house Ladyfriend and I have shared. We’ve converged our design tastes into something with a real character, something pretty much unique to this house, and something we won’t be able to fully translate to the new pad – which is, basically, minimalist and modern, and without any reason to change that, as it’s newly decorated. It also marks a pretty severe transition in both our lives, a period of change and of growing up; a transition from carefree studenthood to actually having to work and network and slide into being the people we’ll probably be for the rest of our lives. I don’t think I’ve ever matured as much as I have in the time living in this house. And the environment’s kind of come to stand for that, in some sort of ethereal sense. Dunno.
This isn’t to say I’m not looking forward to moving. I am. It’s a brill place, really flashy and nice, and I do look forward to being there. Ladyfriend is crazily excited about moving. And it won’t be a permanent place: we plan to head away from the city all together in the coming years, towards the part of the world we could do to be in to pursue what we want to do with out lives. And it really is lovely. Small but lovely.
As I write, Ladyfriend starts slapping me with a face wipe. Nothing will change. We’ll move, the transition will happen, and it’ll be normal in a second. But I’ll always remember this house, the place I became who I am. Funny how a few bricks can do that.