Tuesday, 7 July 2015

Melting, Moving, and Making steps

Phew! Is it hot in here or what? That's right, folks, you have indeed read the thermometer correctly: Groningen experienced 36 degrees Celsius recently (96F), which, without trying to sound like I'm complaining, is a bit much. I have been teaching summer school (three days to go, not that I'm counting or anything), and am so grateful that we have been put in the new wing with Air Con. It keeps the students awake, too, which is always a plus.

In addition to teaching, I am saying goodbye to the attic room (which in 36C is really not funny), as I have been fortunate enough to find a nice little place a bit further out from the city centre near to the park. It has been a slow and steady progression of boxes and sorting, moments of "when on earth did I get this?", and heaving stuff down two flights of the steepest stairs known to mankind (have I mentioned The Stairs of Death before?) only to haul them up another two flights of normal stairs. I somehow managed to get a small set of drawers up the stairs, and thought I might indeed melt onto my new hardwood floor from the heat. Needless to say, all other haulage has now been conducted after 7pm.

While I'm looking forward to the new place very much, I do feel slightly sad to be leaving this old attic room. It has character and a certain cosiness, and I have had a lot of nice memories here (if we forget about the mouse incident). I have written a lot here, both fiction and music, and when I look around the place it hits me that this was my first home in the Netherlands, and therefore will always be rather special.

I must say, however, that moving 1.3km (.8 of a mile) is by far the shortest distance I have ever moved in my life, and it is certainly massively easier than moving countries! I have moved countries multiple times, and would do so again, but being able to move just down the road is some kind of bliss. I have even stocked the new fridge with beer to help ease the process.

It is exciting to start on a new chapter in a new place. In the past, that has often involved me moving to another part of the world, across oceans, or finding myself in the midst of a new culture. Now, I merely have a new neighbourhood to explore, and Groningen's large park, the Noorderplantsoen, at my feet to stroll through on long summer evenings or enjoy a drink on a terrace by the fountain. A very exciting start to the summer holidays!

Moving day!