Friday, 31 October 2014
Adapting to an apartment
It is certainly very different living here on the third floor, using a lift to get about and looking out from some rooms onto our communal landing, but we feel fortunate to have our little balcony to give us some private outside access and though it does seem a bit like a holiday home, we are adapting.
A few of you asked questions about our new life, yes we have bought this apartment, it is our permanent home. The property is leasehold with hundreds of years to run and each of the 26 apartment has one share in the management company that owns the building. Five of the residents run a committee to manage life for us, maintenance work, cleaning, insurance etc, all in a very efficient way.
The practicalities of everyday life have certainly changed. At present I have three different rubbish and recycling bags in the kitchen. I ordered a smart set of bins from Amazon that will fit perfectly into a space under the worktops, arranging for them to be delivered to my brothers but when we went over last week they hadn't arrived. Almost two weeks since they were supposed to have been despatched, they were delivered the day after we came back, typical. I must admit I miss being able to put teabags, peelings etc into the garden compost and without our stove we seem to accumulate a lot of paper, which I suppose is a wake up call as to how much rubbish we actually produce.
We aren't allowed to put washing outside the property but the apartment did come with a tumble dryer. This is the first time I've ever owned one of these and though I know they are environmentally bad things it is wonderful to be able to wash and dry within a couple of hours. I am thinking I could probably manage with just one set of towels and bed linen, that would be a great space saver.
We are still struggling with storage and have stalled on the final unpacking. We really need to sort out the second bedroom so that we can think about having people to stay. We delivered various items to my brother last week so now that the car no longer contains a large sun umbrella wedged between us we might get out and look at furniture sometime.
The plumber got the gas fire working for us, it is very pretty even if it doesn't give out much heat. We seem to benefit greatly from being on the top floor so we haven't had the central heating on yet apart from to check that it works and it feels very comfortable and cosy, in fact most days we have the french doors open.
We have already enjoyed the communal gardens, we took our sandwiches and a flask of coffee down there one lunch time to sit the sunshine. It was delightful, like going off for a picnic without having to use the car or the indecision of where to stop. There is some good quality wooden furniture in the garden and we had the place to ourselves. OK I did get a bit agitated about a few weeds at the back of the border but really that is none of my business. Mr FF was down again this week and was joined on one of the loungers by a pretty tortoise shell cat who we think lives on the ground floor, she climbed onto his knee for a sleep which made them both very happy.
I heard this week about elderly relatives who are having to move out of their large and isolated farmhouse into a bungalow because of ill health. They are finding it really difficult and it makes me so glad that we have started this process now, it certainly hasn't been easy and it isn't over but I dread to think how we would have coped if the move had been forced upon us. With hindsight I imagine that in another life I would not accumulate so much stuff but even in this small space it's hard to let go of so many things. Its also easy to make do and get on with life, I am still typing with the computer on a garden table knowing we need a proper desk and I may have bought more knitting wool, but that's a story for another day. Meantime the sun is out and Mr FF is already enjoying the garden, I might just join him with a couple of mugs of coffee. Happy weekend.