Saturday, October 15, 2011

A surprisingly rambling post about shelving and tennis

Sarah and I will be celebrating our first wedding anniversary in a week and a day. It may qualify as the strangest, happiest and most unsettled year of my life (ask me again in 50 years. Set an Outlook reminder so you don't forget). We spent every day together in India for nearly six months, we got back and kept on moving (from Oval to Shannon to Cheadle to Ealing to Salisbury), slowed down for a few months in the Cheshire countryside (courtesy of generous family members, shout out), got a hefty chunk of freelance work, and took Megabuses between Manchester and London. I played a little Xbox, before the E74 error put a stop to that.

Fields, Iwerne Minster 

I can't be bothered to do a tortured drawn-out metaphor about striding boldly through the furrowed fields of the present towards the horizon of the future (see photo), because really we're just feeling our way in the dark. We got to go through our old possessions a few months back and realised that not much of the stash is really worth hauling down from the loft. You'd have to be pretty hard-minded not to concede after a few months of backpacking that unless you own a house with extensive shelving, you can forget the removal van and get by with a hard drive and a Kindle. Not that a house with extensive shelving is on the agenda anyway - instead, we're back in south London in a flat-share with a couple of old friends. Not your average post-marriage set-up, it's true, but it's turning out to be immensely fun. I haven't been this sociable since 2002. And in the last month I've played more hours of tennis than I did throughout my 20s, thanks to this.


 

The Landlord and I (after some drinks, admittedly) were inspired and set about it. Disaster struck, but slowly. It chipped away, really. After 13 consecutive days we caved in (literally, almost) and rested due to a combination of wristy RSI, back pain and all-round massive exhaustion. Shame. I would say this, though: getting to the office at 9am having already played a set of tennis is an amazing thing, and you walk round energised, smiling at the secret in your head. Going down the escalator at Vauxhall on my way to work after a 7am knockabout, my eye was caught by the sight of a woman handing her young son a tennis ball. I looked again; it was an apple. Tennis on the brain.

The block

A friend saw this picture on Facebook and said later, "Oh! You're living somewhere gritty and urban now, aren't you?" - and the snap was supposed to have something of the Original Pirate Material about it. But actually this is the view looking out. Sarah was originally wary about the transition from the rolling hills of Bollington, identifying one of our new local London landmarks, a massive painted wooden board with the legend "PLEASE LEAVE ROOM FOR ACCESS :-)" as a downer, an unwelcoming symbol of city life. I think for her it was like a passive-aggressive post-it note scaled up 500% and evidence that the capital is snarling at innocent passers-by. I was like, "BUT WHAT ABOUT THE SMILEY?" That did the trick. It's a pretty persuasive argument.


Glowing flats

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