Those boxes won't unpack themselves!
When I opened my eyes on my first day in the new place, there was so much to do.
Sure, I’d managed to get my bed set up, and my kettle and cups unpacked, but most of the rest of the house was piled high with removers boxes (many in rooms I had not intended them to be in).
First things first...
“Where on earth is my underwear?” — this was my major preoccupation for the first hour of that morning.
Finally, having managed to dress myself, I sized up the mountain of boxes in front of me. With the rain thundering down on the Velux windows, running away outside was not an option. So I squared my shoulders, took a deep breath and hurtled into the cardboard mountain like a whirling dervish.
(Why is it that wherever you want to put something you have just unpacked there is always another pile of boxes in the way?!)
As items got distributed, plugged in, hung, balanced and attached, the box mountain shrank. And the house began to feel more like a home than an empty cold shell.
The challenge of making a fire
Feeling pleased with myself by the time night fell (the rain was still drumming its tattoo on the windows), I noticed that the temperature had dropped significantly, and the pain in my joints was becoming unbearable.
It was time to sit down and warm up.
Now, a real fire or log burner is not something I have encountered since childhood — not one that was down to me to set up and light anyway.
I delved into my memory banks to figure out how to clean the grate and lay the fire. As I discovered, it is not as easy as it sounds to light and keep a real fire going.
After several failed attempts, I resorted to consulting the guru that is YouTube (whatever did we do before the internet?).
And I am proud to say that I can now expertly lay and light fires just like the Scandinavians do, and that my fires catch fire quickly and stay lit until I want them to expire!
For those of you interested, I was always taught it’s paper, then kindling, and then logs/coal on top. The Scandinavians do logs/coal on the bottom, then 3-4 layers of kindling laid criss-cross like Jenga, and two firelighters at the front of the kindling pile.
As an aside, I was not too sure how my PTSD would react to being so close to flames. But all these years of therapy must have worked because the only symptom I had was a hypnotic fascination with the flames, (which I think is pretty normal?).
Furniture sorted, food cooked, house nice and warm and, most importantly, underwear, and clothes in their correct place, I sat back with a V&T in front of my magnificent fire. Ah, sheer contentment.
Tomorrow is already planned and sees the cats’ arrival by pet courier from the cattery. And on checking the weather app, I see more rain is forecast…
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