Now that the apartment in which I've lived for the last twenty-five years is formally on the market there's nothing much I can do about it for the next few weeks except keep it very clean and phenomenally tidy for open inspections; buy bunches of flowers to decorate it (most pleasurable); and keep my fingers crossed that someone - or preferably two competing someones - will want it enough to pay lots of money for it.
So, my thoughts are inevitably turning to my new home. I'm not moving very far; just to another apartment in the same building. I'll keep all the things I like about where I live - particularly its convenience and my neighbours. But I'm moving to a much smaller apartment, and I'm finally having to face up to the fact that I can't take everything with me. I'm not much of a consumer. I'm the kind of person who wears clothes for more than ten years, expects electrical appliances to last forever, and feels affronted when the 24 year old dishwasher finally stops functioning. Most of my furniture is old - just old, not antique - and I feel emotionally attached to it, but I also know that not everything will fit in my new apartment. I have china and glassware and old photos I brought from my mother's house when she died, but I know that if I wish to keep these, other things will have to go. And I have to cull my collection of books by at least half - maybe more.
The smaller apartment to which I'm moving needs renovation. I'm not even sure if renovation is the right word, because everything needs to be done - a new bathroom, a new kitchen, new lighting, new floor-coverings, lots of storage. I'm sensible enough to know that I could never manage this project by myself, so there's a designer with whom I've worked before who will manage this rather overwhelming project for me. We had our first meeting yesterday evening - more than two hours in which we achieved a great deal, though there are still many decisions to be made and I have been given homework to do. We're hoping to start the demolition next week and have the whole job finished in 8 to 10 weeks.
So my head is full of tap designs and timber flooring and paint colours and tiles and questions such as 'do I need a microwave? will my sofa fit comfortably? can I manage with a (much) smaller wardrobe? 'where will the paintings hang?' and, of course, 'how much will it all cost?'
I'll keep you posted.