Double the chaos, double the fun!
I want to write this while it is still fresh, before I take it for granted and forget to mention. Or even, Light forbid, edit my memories the way humans do, so the memories fit better into their life narrative.
A few days ago I realized that boxes would be great for moving. I have not used special moving boxes before, just various leftover cardboard boxes. At first I did not think they were available locally, and felt stupid for not having ordered some. Then I discovered that the local Clas Ohlson supermarket had them. I went and bought 6 of them, and carried them home over the course of two days.
Yesterday I bought 6 more, and carried them home instead of food or my work computer â€“ the packs of flat-pressed boxes are not all that heavy, but unwieldy.
Moving boxes are Heaven’s gift to mankind. Blessed be whoever came up with that idea. I wish I had bought twice as many, truth to tell. They certainly made this move at least a bit smoother than usual. Of course, usual moving for me is somewhat nightmarish.
The landlord had made an appointment to show up with a van and workers at 10 today. During yesterday afternoon I started to realize that I was falling behind on the packing. I had mostly ignored the whole thing, except for carrying bottles out of the house every day since I heard of the move. And except for filling six fairly large sacks with things to throw away, not counting filling the garbage bin to the top each week. I had some stroke of insight as the weekend approached and defrosted the fridge, which was finished sometime Monday.
I did not sleep quite as well as normal tonight, as can be expected. While I did not actually panic, I felt pretty rushed through the morning as I packed and packed an packed and cleaned (which was, incidentally, a waste of time: The house is going to be razed to the ground, really really. I asked again. Well, at least its last inhabitant was someone who appreciated it… eventually!)
Around noon the landlord appeared with the van. I was just starting to pack down the computer equipment, that is to say, pretty much everything in the home office. At least I had turned it off before he came, although I had not unplugged most of the stuff. He went home and ate. When he returned, I had more or less finished. He brought two boys who look like the have barely started school, but worked like teenagers, except for not whining. I was kind of disturbed that he let them carry beds and stuff, but they evidently do this habitually. They must have been lifting weights since they were babies or something.
They did not take the washing machine though. Adult workforce arrived later and took the heaviest stuff. I did not touch the washing machine with a finger. It has it in for me, I feel. It has been close to killing me a couple times already.
It took two turns, but we did it! Everything is now in the new apartment, the lower half of a fairly large house in Mandal. Despite the landlord’s assurances that the apartment is at least as large as the old house, that is just not true. But it may well be 75% or even 80%. The living room is huge, probably the largest I have ever lived in. There are two fairly large bedrooms, the largest of which is becoming my home office. If I stay till winter, I may consider moving the computer desk into the bedroom so as to heat one room less, and heat the bedroom with the computers. Of course, it is possible that the next winter will be normal, with temperatures just barely below freezing and no howling arctic wind. Those who live shall see.
I knew the living room reminded me of the Chaos Node. The windows are smaller (thank goodness, I could barely even wear boxers in the Chaos Node during summer) but the wallpaper is exactly the same. It is kind of ridiculous to see, I get this flashback feeling when I look at a wall where there is no window. It is even longer though, and wider at least in the sense that there is no kitchen area taking up part of the space. Possibly wider even apart from that. It is ridiculously huge for what must have been a middle-class home.
The kitchen is reasonably large, although it would be crowded if it was used for eating, which it probably was. Here is shelf space, shelf space and more shelf space. For some reason the washing machine is attached here, instead of the bath. The bath is fairly spacious because the toilet is in a smaller room with a separate entrance, so I can shower without guests peeing their pants. This might come in handy if I actually had guests.
I mentioned the two bedrooms. The inner bedroom is facing north, and there is a large outhouse / shed across a small backyard so it is very sheltered. For good measure, a giant cherry tree is overshadowing the place. The street is to the south too, so the bedroom is quiet, sheltered and cool. I may appreciate the north-facing less when winter comes, I guess. The windows are single-glass, something that is almost extinct in Norway. That implies the whole house may be poorly insulated. At least it is sheltered from the howling winds that howled on the open fields of the river valley.
Barring divine retribution, I think I will indeed be here this winter. I had not expected to fall in love with the place, but it is very nice. If I get along with the family upstairs (as in, have nothing to do with them) it seems a very nice place. I love the huge number of wardrobe closets in the bedrooms. I have an insane amount of clothes.
People, let me talk about clothes. I had no idea how much clothes I had. I have used 3 pullovers throughout the winter and spring, but it turns out I have something like a dozen of them! What the Hell* was I thinking buying that many pullovers? And how did I forget it? I knew I had a multitude of shirts, but it turns out that I have more than twice as many trousers as I thought too. I probably have enough socks for the next 20 years too. This is just crazy.
(*Hell is here used in a religious sense, just not as an expletive. The urge to amass random earthly things far beyond my needs is definitely not divinely inspired.)
As I kept carrying clothes, I realized something hugely ironic: If I had saved that money instead of buying unnecessary clothes, I could have owned a place to keep those clothes I did not buy. These were not cheap labor class clothes either. The cost of them would in fact have given me enough starting capital to buy a flat and pay about the same on the loan as I now do in rent. Or buy a house in the countryside, I guess, although not like the place I lived.
Don’t get me started on the hundreds of computer games I bought in the past. Well, all this is long ago now. I usually buy a couple expansion packs to The Sims each year, and that’s pretty much it. How did I have that kind of money back then? Well, the rent was lower. :p
The rent here is the same as for the house. I can see why he thinks that is fair. While not new in any sense, the house is not near collapse from old age either. It lies in a quiet part of town. Taking a short walk, I saw middle-aged and older people in several of the well-kept yards. You don’t feel surrounded by roads â€“ I can neither see nor hear any road to the north, and the road passing on the south has very little traffic. Most homes are painted white, as is the custom here on the south coast, and seem to be in good shape. There is a bakery and something like a convenience shop so close that I could have gone there even if my foot had not recovered.
The foot did recover, incidentally. Despite the overuse yesterday, it is fine today again (unless I walk an hour again, I guess.) On the other hand, I think most of my body is going to hurt tomorrow. And I dare say my blood sugar is not dangerously high right now. I have worked hard and barely eaten until now in the afternoon, so I was starting to get weak. Well, that is good. Emptying the glycogen reserves means the blood sugar will have somewhere to go now that I have food again. Yogurt and rolled oats! The heroes of breakfast!
I have inhaled a year’s worth of dust and muscles are hurting that I did not know I had, but I am happy. The move was completely amicable and while I will miss the beautiful landscape and the sight of the river, the truth is that I only spent an hour a day in the landscape and most of the rest looking at a computer screen. Which I still do.
Continuing to speak about walking, a couple minutes from the house (but on the other side of a small hill, it seems) is the town bridge. It connects the sleepy residential south side with the shopping district on the north side, and conveniently also the bus station, about 5 minutes from home. Unfortunately the bus station is on the other side of the main street, which may prove a problem during rush hours. We shall see. People on the south coast are not exactly known as speed demons, so I am optimistic.
Now, what to call my new domicile? House of Cherries? Cherryview? The Half Home? Â Wardrobe Central? Or perhaps Double the Chaos, since it reminds me of the original Chaos Node but with twice as much space? It certainly looks like chaos now, with dozens of bags and boxes and scattered commodes and two vacuum cleaners. Â (The landlord let me keep the one from Riverview, and it turned out there was one here already. A meaningful coincidence?)
I don’t intend to put it all in place immediately either. Each thing, before I give it a place in my home, will have to pass examination: Will it go or will it stay? I am not going to drag this sea of unnecessary things with me one more time. Not again. Not ever again. Well, perhaps the shirts, as it is kind of nifty to go a decade or two or three without buying a new shirt. You don’t know how close I was to setting some of the other things adrift on the river last midnight while the neighbors were sleeping. I would have gotten away with it too. Â There was a door on the river side of the house and no neighbors at all that way. I was tempted. I was so tempted.
But now: First night in a new home!