Winter in the old place

So, we’ve moved back in with V’s parents, suddenly and without much warning. Her sister, currently seven months pregnant, decided she wanted her flat back, and that was pretty much that. Fortunately the two houses are ten minutes walk away from each other, and we don’t have any furniture to speak of, so it wasn’t much trouble moving everything back. Unfortunately I was at that moment in the last couple of days of speed novel writing, and had about 7000 words to catch up, but V was very understanding considering how pointless the project was and how I didn’t really have time for it in the first place.

The only heavy thing we needed to shift was M’s cot, a wooden thing on wheels, and V thought we should fill it with bags and wheel it over. I thought it might be a little too heavy to get up a flight of stairs, but a quick test showed it was just about do-able, so we wheeled it into the lift and downstairs, where, just at the point where it was impossible to go back, two of the wheels decided to snap off. After ten minutes trying to reattach the things, and looking for a missing screw, V reappeared with a sanlunche – a three-wheeled bike with a trailer (here’s a photo of one) which she’d borrowed from the shop downstairs. We hauled the cot up onto the back and I got on the front and started pedalling. The thing was so heavy it wouldn’t go in a straight line at all and I kept veering towards cars and walls, meaning we progressed much slower than walking pace. To make it worse we had the dog running round us and yapping excitedly, and I was concerned I’d run her over. I mention this on here as it’s a funny memory already, but I was not at all happy at the time. I get enough attention being a foreigner in the sticks, but the circus procession of it all seemed to draw an audience.

Anyway, we arrived ‘home’ just about safe and sound, and now a week seems to have gone by here. I thought we’d moved away from the in-laws for good, but it seems that a few more months are needed at least. There is a good side – less pressure on us to get everything organised, help with chores etc – but at the age of 33 I’m already stuck in my ways a little, and will always feel like a guest who has to follow somebody else’s rules here. The biggest problem is the disparity between our child rearing ideas – especially the bedtime routine – and M was confused by the difference at first and cried until 1am on one of the first nights. After a few days we agreed that night-time was ours and they should leave us to it, but we’ll see how long that lasts.

It’s cold, windy winter outside now, we’ve all got colds and are wearing several layers, even in bed. Luckily there’s a holiday in the south coming up, or it would all be a bit depressing. Will this be the last winter here? It sort of seems like it, but it may well not be.

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