Sunday, 16 May 2010

Home again, home again, jiggety-jig

Finally, on the afternoon of April 24th, we got our lovely house back. Having lurked around the neighborhood for the best part of a week, we were relieved to become full-blown residents once again.

Sophia ran straight up the stairs and into her room, just to check it was still there, before inspecting the rest of the house. The letters spelling out her name were still intact on her bed.

Daniel wandered around, admiring all of the handiwork – curtains, doorknobs, painting, doors, yet more storage space – he had completed before we moved out. He felt like a king in a (bijou) castle many times the size of an Airstream Caravel.

I marvelled at the thought of No Stuff. Even vastly reduced, Stuff had been the main impediment to life on the road. Our clean and tidy house still boasted the furniture, kitchen stuff, TV, etc, that we had left behind, and we had learned to live with (comparatively) few things. Why ruin this, when we could lead an uncomplicated life of minimalism?

Lulu, for her part, having left this house at the age of six weeks, seemed to perceive that at last we were home. That night, for the first time ever, she slept the whole night through.

Picaresque London

So recently returned to London, we had forgotten about all the petty crime. At high noon on our first full day back, we intercepted a mobile phone theft.
“Help, this guy’s trying to steal my phone. Call the police!”, a passerby entreated us. So, naively, we walked over and asked what was going on. A local thug on a bike had asked to see the man’s phone, and then tried to walk away with it. So, reaching for my ancient Nokia – and realizing I didn’t remember what the number in England was - I took a photo instead. Or pretended to – I had also forgotten how to use the camera function. The perpetrator got mad, telling Daniel to make me deleted it. Daniel said no. Sophia asked what was going on, and Lulu rubbed snot onto my top. The guy eventually let up his fight, issued a threat for the future and then cycled off.
Later that day, two kids tried to break into our car.
The following afternoon, a neighbor across the street told Sophia that the thumbtack she had retrieved from his windowsill had been dipped in rat poison. Angrily, he said that the hundreds of other such rat poisoned tacks were there to prevent pedestrians from sitting or leaning on his windowsill. Challenged as to why that was a good idea – on a thoroughfare frequented by children – he retorted that youngsters were the worst offenders. I asked whether erecting a sign to warn parents of the danger might be a good idea, even offering to make one myself, he said that was beside the point.
So, I called the police. They sent the neighborhood safety patrol around, and nary a tack has since been seen on Columbia Road.

From his studio in Cornwall, Daniel presents some new work

Last year, Barbara made good on her dream to build a room of her own, atop her home in Saltash. It's a fantastic space, with views out to the Brunel Bridge and the River Tamar, with light that lasts the whole day.
There, Daniel set up a studio in which he painted and painted.
Here is a sample...