Something is on hold at the moment, but I am not sure what. Life does go on, but the getting and shopping involved in establishing the newborn Brighton flatlet is all-consuming because, basically, I want it over and done with so I don't have to look at another catalogue, compare the price of this to that, think about stuff, stuff and more stuff. Cups and saucers, dustpan and brush, chairs, bins, pillowcases. We are all out of money so the stuff has to be cheap - at least that's one thing we don't have to make a decision about: Regency rosewood or IKEA bog-standard? Easy. But if I was a reluctant shopper before this, I am now well on the way to becoming a shopaphobic and when this is done I never want to buy another Thing as long as I live. When we moved to Signs cottage the stuff from our London home came with us and we just added things as and when it became necessary. Nothing particularly went with anything else but over the years a place acquires a kind of look, an ambience, made of a whole number of things, including the life that's being lived in it. So the ugly grey lamp from Argos is still with us, casting a glow as I type (with a proper incandescent bulb, some things I really do insist on), and now that it has lived here a while and served us to the best of its ability the ugliness is to some extent redeemed. It has become better looking. Or at any rate, it doesn't announce itself, it is just part of the scene; just as the incongruous rose print curtains, quickly got and ready-made when the study was, for a short period, a little bedroom for my daughter when she was ten, are part of the scene. They have found their place. And that's the way I like to get things: as and when, allowing them to find their place, not giving them more than an occasional nod to say thanks for, you know, being ok curtains, a good enough lamp. I've never had to kit a place out from scratch. And the TV, there's a thing. We still have our old analogue one and I had no idea you couldn't get those in shops any more. All the new ones cost hundreds of pounds. Hurrah for Gumtree where one can pick them up for a song. Except that we will have to think about that again in a couple of years when they will become obsolete and unusable.
No really, there are plenty of other thoughts, things going on in the mind of Signs. But there is neither the space nor the desire to go into them at the moment for they ask much of me, or they press on the heart. I am swimming, becoming stronger. Did a stretch of fifteen minutes without stopping today. I still feel ill most of the time, but differently ill and probably no worse. The experiment, therefore, is worth continuing. The next step is to get myself organised and learn how to exercise better judgements in the minefield of human relationships. It is surely never too late to recreate oneself.
But the shopping really has to stop. And soon.