My writing studio, at the moment, looks like someone (semi-skilled) has tried to play a game of tetris around its edges.
To get to my desk I have to step over Tadpole’s first bicycle (the very same bicycle Mr Frog and I bought for her second birthday, just prior to him moving out). Around the sofa bed are piled boxes (of books and BD‘s, mostly) from Manuel’s flat – which he relinquished last month – teetering alongside the scant few pieces of furniture he wanted to hang on to. On top of these are stacked the contents of Mr Frog’s cellar, emptied during his recent move, basically constituting everything Tadpole has ever worn or played with, 2003-2008.
Every time I open the door and see the sheer volume of stuff piled up there, leering at me, I feel a mixture of wistfulness and excitement. The tiny room is a repository of memories: Tadpole’s life to date; Manuel’s life before we met. But it also represents the imminence of our new beginnings. The prospect of re-using some of Tadpole’s old things in the not too distant future (or so we hope). The prospect of transferring all our possessions – his, mine, hers – under one, jointly-owned roof.
We are moving into our new, bigger place at the end of this month. We’ll have a living room, at long last. A room into which the whole of my current flat would fit comfortably, with space to spare. It will be ours instead of mine: bookshelves will house both our book collections, cupboards will be filled with our intermingled clothes. We’ll be able to invite folks over for dinner.
We signed the first papers back in April, but something, superstition perhaps, prevented me from writing about it here until we had a signature date set in stone and I could be 100% sure our dream was really set to become reality. In the meantime (alongside the wedding preparations) there were loans to be obtained (and to say French banks are suspicious of people like me who do not have a nice, stable office job would be the understatement of the year), and various hoops to be jumped through, but now, finally, our prize is (almost) within our grasp.
Which is why when I’m not working or hijacking moving cars, I can mostly be found surfing the internet for furniture p0rn and making appropriate ‘ooh’ and ‘aah’ noises when I find something sexy.
The month of August can’t come quickly enough for me.
FYI: Manuel is pronounced Man-U-el (think football team, not Fawlty Towers).