When Michael was ill, I would read blogs by people in similar situations and when they got better, the blog would abruptly stop. I always wondered why this was and yet this is what has happened with me.
I am not sure what the explanation for this is. I could say I have been too busy, my lifestyle has changed with moving house, going to Paris and London and work, …all of which is true, but mainly I think it is because life has returned to the mundane and I really have not been inspired………….. I tend to write when I am emotional. After the turmoil of the past few months it is nice to be “normal”. Maybe we needed life to return to the mundane.
It is almost as is we have awoken from a bad dream to find ourselves living in a completely different place and time. Michael particularly. He remarked, to some friends recently, that he had not been involved in the decision making of moving house, much, because he had been too ill and tired out with the chemo. Now he seems to have woken up and be taking an interest.
We are now living in a rented fifth floor apartment in a Grade 2 listed converted cotton mill, whilst we await the completion of our own apartment on the next floor above of the same building, in a few weeks. (more stories about walls in the wrong place, poles in wrong place and the upset of kitchen re designs later!)
Mostly I am obsessed with interior decor,( more blogposts about that later) but it is also interesting to observe the culture of apartment living. Mostly I love living here, I love the financial freedom, the sense of security and ease of being here. I love being able to walk out onto the outside terrace with my coffee in the morning, but not have the hassle of a garden. I love that it is so easy to clean and everything is new and I don’t have to worry about maintenance.
People tend to keep themselves to themselves, it is amazing how quiet it can be when so many people just go behind closed doors of their apartments. but, unusual for British people, always nod and say “hello” when we pass in the lift or the lobby, just like in Paris apartment buildings.
There is a very powerful residents association and committee. who have got the local council tax reduced and have battles with the developers.
There is a definite social structure here. The younger people seem to live on the lower floors and I am told ” like to party”…, whilst the older middle class downsizers, like us, live on the upper floors. The higher the floor the more well heeled people seem to be. ( this may just be that the higher floors have more expensive apartments) Single men and gay men seem to be around floor three, single ladies floor four …..and then there are the “renters” who some of the residents association members seem to think are responsible for all the ills of the building!
My particular battle is the bin room.! There are several on each floor, where everybody is supposed to recycle their general rubbish in sealed black bin bags with bottles and paper in separate coloured bins. The are large notices explaining this.
The caretaker comes every couple of days and takes the rubbish down to the huge communal bins in the car park below.
Every evening I take out our rubbish and put it in the bin room in the prescribed manner, and every evening I find, rubbish in white supermarket carrier bags, but even worse, rubbish just thrown into the bin room, as if it was a giant bin, bottles just thrown on the floor, paper in the bottle bin and bottles or general rubbish in the paper recycling bin!
What is wrong with these people, can they not read? do they not understand English? Do they just think the fairies come and remove their rubbish?
So every evening I don rubber gloves and tidy up the bin room before it gets too messy, mainly to make the job easier for the the caretaker.
I think I am now turning into one of those crabby old ladies, because I am seriously thinking of putting up a notice my self.
But how to word it? ….. do I go for sarcasm, as in
DO YOU THINK THE FAIRIES REMOVE THIS RUBBISH?
THIS IS NOT A LARGE DUSTBIN,!
DO NOT JUST THROW RUBBISH IN THIS ROOM.
THE CARETAKER IS NOT YOUR SERVANT.
PLEASE RECYCLE YOUR RUBBISH AS INSTRUCTED ON THE NOTICES.
or more polite?
EVERY EVENING I COME AND TIDY RUBBISH JUST THROWN ON THE FLOOR OF THIS ROOM.
PLEASE CONSIDER THE CARETAKER AND PUT YOUR RUBBISH IN BAGS AND BINS AS INSTRUCTED.
PLEASE FOLLOW THE RECYCLING GUIDELINES.
….and then there are the car parking space wars!
But then that is another blogpost!