The new house is smaller and cheaper than my London abode, but with a real sense of coziness and homeliness. Travelling down yesterday morning on the bit of the M25 that had not collapsed (although the return journey threw me right into the middle of it) I received news on the way that the sale had been completed, picked up the keys and then went to the house, meeting workmen there to deal with locks and shelving. The tape measure told a happy story as well, for my work desk and digital organ will fit almost to the inch in the places I had imagined for them.
As we travelled westwards the torrential rain of London gave way to crisp blue skies, an omen, surely, for those of us not yet in the twenty-first century. We met our neighbours, plus two people from across the rear courtyard, and I made immediate friends with the exuberant lady who runs the local coffee shop, who even supplied me with a free bar of chocolate to welcome me to the neighbourhood. London it ain’t.
Some boxes of precious things went down with me yesterday, but much is still left to be packed, coinciding awkwardly with a frenetic patch of work during which I also want to get some more writing done on the Carta Cantata. I keep telling myself that, for house and cantata, the most difficult part is done and what remains is going to be easier.
Over the weekend to come I have more Verdi, plus a run of Britten’s wonderful Rejoice In The Lamb, and in the background I will be listening to some early Schubert songs and jotting down bits of my own writing. I would not say that I am wafting along on some cloud of beatific calm all of a sudden, and I know that there will be some tricky bits of planning ahead, but I did go to sleep with a sense of earned tiredness last night. Holding the new keys in my hand is a good feeling, and I am intrigued to see exactly which doors they might open.