….. and all but the very last vestiges of my life in the Gotic, have been brushed and bleached from the memory of number one Carrer de Lleona. After the big move last Tuesday, I have popped back and forth throughout the week to collect the remnants of almost three years of my first really independent steps, here in Barcelona. I remember as if it were yesterday, the feeling of abject terror taking the plunge and signing that contract on my own, after almost four years of sharing with someone who was to become one of my closest friends. How lucky I’ve been.
I hate and love change in equal measures. I hate the process of packing up and physically moving with such passion that I would rather, genuinely, get married and divorced twenty more times. And knowing what you do, you can understand the depth of that emotion. I dislike intensely working out a new routine, because routine is what keeps me sane. A place for everything, and everything in its place. And if it’s not, well……………. *BOOM*! It’s the reason why I will quite literally beast myself for a week to get everything moved, built, hung, constructed, organised and in order – to achieve the sensation that I have always been in the new place and nothing is out of the ordinary, or place. Right now as I write, I am bloody knackered. Physically and emotionally. That might have more to do with the fact that my relationship recently ended, I’m almost forty-seven, five floors of stairs are a bitch twice a day, and my knees hurt – but actually that I haven’t stopped until now to write this. Collecting another twenty kilos (más o menos) of stuff from the old place in the good ol’ IKEA bag (what did we do before), dismantling an old blind, putting up curtain poles, hanging curtains, and emptying the last boxes of stuff in the new place. I despise not knowing where everything is, it gives me the jitters. Yesterday, I bumped into my elderly neighbour at the old place, as I was chucking stuff out. We have had one minor disagreement, when he suggested that water was magic and bent around his flat from the top floor, to flood my toilet. But apart from that, he’s relished waiting in the dark mornings of winter to scare the living bejeezus out of me as I left for work, falling about laughing when I jumped out of my skin, (yeah, totes bantz Señor), we’ve chatted in the stairwell about all kinds of bollocks, and wished each other happy holidays when appropriate. And when I told him yesterday that I was leaving, disappointment flashed across his face so tangibly, that when I went back into the old place, I sat down on the sofa and broke my heart. Change is shit.
Then there’s the excitement of the new. Discovering the nooks and crannies of your new neighbourhood, *finding the bars, hidden shops, getting to know the locals (a bit, not too much like: natch). Rearranging furniture, hanging pictures, making it your own. I love this new place so much that I keep walking up and down the little corridor, saying inside my brain “this is mine!” (And the voices, “this is yours“), like I just won the lottery and moved into a Cotswold country pile next to Kate Moss.
I know that I’m going to be very happy here, despite the mixed emotions right now, and it’s very probable that I’ll never move ever again in all of my remaining days. Ever. Like never, ever, ever. EVER. So, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off out to buy a cat to complete the ‘dies alone and has face eaten off by domestic animal’ story. I considered a fish tank, but I just don’t think a goldfish will cut it.
*please note the first thing on the list was: bars.