Posted by: chptr37 | 04/28/2009

Pg. 28: Home Flat Home


One section of the forever staircase that leads up to my flat. Like an adder: Beautiful but deadly.


  • Weather: Mostly cloudy with a bit of sunshine. 10 degrees C. Windy as all hell.
  • Miles Walked: 2 (plus whatever credit I get for going up and down my stairs twenty times).
  • Discovery: The local library, which has a fantastic fiction collection. Unfortunately, I can’t get a library card until I get a bill or something that proves I exist here.
  • Media: Furthermore, by Susie Maquire (collection of short stories).
  • Worst Thing: “The four flights of circular stairs to the flat,” says my dying lungs.
  • Best Thing: “The four flights of circular stairs to the flat,” says my flexing calves.
  • Quote of the Day: I’d repeat it for you, but I have no idea how to spell it. At all.
  • Word of the Day: Napper (noun). Means head. As in, “I aimed for his napper with the broom, but only knocked him in the shoulder.”


God, it feels good to be “home.” Even if this home is temporary—six months at the tops, since that’s how long the UK will let me stay without a Visa—it’s amazing to be in one place again, to sleep in the same bed for more than one night, to scrub the tub and vacuum the rugs and drag the furniture around. To not live out of a suitcase, to not have to wake up and pack all my stuff, to cook again.

The flat as a whole is fantastic. Incredible high ceilings, lots of light from windows on both sides, great moldings and window panes, neat old furnishings and lots of gorgeous art. All the rooms are big, and the kitchen has a large butcher block counter just right for cooking. It needed a good scrubbing, mainly because no one’s lived here in a while, I don’t think, and the cooker is Betty Crocker sized, but it works just fine. There’s no heat – I’m running electric plug-ins when it gets to the point where my fingers start shaking on the keys – but the hot water works incredibly well (as long as I remember to turn it on at least an hour before I want to shower. Otherwise, as I learned the hard way, I get a rather lovely dose of freezing water in the face).

I haven’t figured out the tub washer for clothes – something that requires me to fill the washer with the shower hose, then empty it into the shower, the refill it for a rinse, then drag the clothes into the spinner to get some of the extra water off before hanging them, dripping, from the clothes rack that sits in the tub. I’m sure it’s easier that I’ve made it out to be, and I’d probably get the hang of it eventually, but I’ve found a laundrette, where I can do my laundry, saving time and confusion in exchange for spending quite a few pounds.


The view of the garden behind the flat. It’s not really a garden, obviously. More of a wild, untamed, green bit of space.


The people at the local hardware store already like me a great deal, I think, as I’ve bought pans, candles, lamps, wicker baskets, coat hangers and a fruit basket from them for the flat so far. They also think I’m rather nuts, I’m pretty sure, since I asked for things that made them raise their brows at me: a sieve for the shower so my hair doesn’t clog it up, basil seeds for the kitchen herb garden, a Sharpie for writing my name on my mail slot. Then again, if they’re having as much trouble understanding me as I am having understanding them, perhaps they’re just giving me that look out of complete and utter confusion.

I have a desk in the corner of the “wee sitting room,” where I’m writing now, and where I get a pretty good view of the harbor. This, in combination with the library and the little coffee shop down the road, is likely where I’ll be spending quite a few of my upcoming hours and days. The other great thing about being “home” is that I can write again — fiction, poems, the novels: all of it is flowing from my fingers after having been kept at bay while I traveled. I know many say that “Home is where the heart is,” but for me, home is truly where the writing is…

Home at last, s.



The view from my desk as dusk falls. The big ship is the ferry to the mainland. I’ll write about that tomorrow.


“Where thou art – that – is Home.”  ~Emily Dickinson



  1. “The other great thing about being ‘home’ is that I can write again — fiction, poems, the novels: all of it is flowing from my fingers after having been kept at bay while I traveled.”

    Your brilliant napper must have been boiling over with unwritten writing!

  2. Wow! What a beautiful place!

  3. I just showed Ken the pictures in this entry, and told him where you were (and how close it was to our honeymoon wanderings), and he said, “So, do you want to go visit her?”


  4. While I’ve felt that mix of exhaustion and relief only a few times, it pales in comparison to your travel ‘across the pond, and into a dank corner,’ I’m sure.

    From what little I’ve seen, it looks stunning, to say the least.

  5. Welcome Home sweetheart. The place sounds stunning and it looks like you’re finding little treasures left, right and center.

    So tell me – how does their coffee compare to the stuff back on the west coast?


  6. Well I’m glad you’re safe, sound, home and writing again darlin’. And the flat sounds quite amazing.

  7. I love untamed gardens and you are causing me to miss my old home as well! All that green…

    The laundry washer deal does sound confusing and messy. I would have gone to place to do my laundry as well.

  8. PS the four flight will work off any extra pounds gained on the flight over so look on the bright side.

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