2014. AT HOME, ANYWHERE

I spent the entire afternoon outside yesterday in the garden of my new home for the first time, relaxing in my pyjamas, hidden from curious eyes. Now that the sun has finally come out of hiding, our house is surrounded by flowers, many of which I’ve never seen before! Flowers with fruits, birds, butterflies, keys… everything imaginable. That’s what you get when you bring home a packet of mysterious seeds from Brighton. Some of the flowers are midnight blue with jet black hearts. If I squint through my eyelashes, it’s almost as if there are animals in the flowers, little creatures gazing at me. I wave in return. 
    
I’m not really sure how long I’vebeen living here exactly, when it was I traded the doves, hustle, bustle and chaos of the city for the immense views and seasons of my new country life. It’s already been more than half a year, but this house still feels brand-new. Things from my urban past also look completely different here. That’s probably because of all the lovely wall paper we have throughout this house and the large windows. They cast everything into a different light. I’m absolutely thrilled with the peace and quiet I’ve found here. Olle plays outside in the orchard all day long, regardless of the weather. The girl next door is his best friend – or perhaps just her horse? –and he knows exactly what the weather will be by simply looking outside. The weather, the seasons – it’s not quite the same as in the city. Here you can’t get around it. Winter is distinctly winter. The same goes for summer. When it snows, the entire world is covered in white. When the sun sets, it becomes pitch black outside, so dark that the first time my brother visited, he drove his car right into the ditch. Fortunately, both he and the car were all right. The tow truck driver was a funny man who ended up spending the evening chatting with us. Luckily, he knew the neighbourhood like the back of his hand, so he made it home safely that night as well, even in the dark of night. 

Our new home has also allowed me to finally make good on my eternal resolution to get more exercise. It may be hard to believe, but the people here in the village have gotten to know me with bicycle and all. I bike through the village, to the bakery, to the furnishings shop, to the dunes... And when I’m not on my bike, I walk or swim – after all, we live by the sea. It may very well be time for me to design something to wear at the beach. 

Every day, I try to unpack one box. You’re probably not surprised to hear that I still haven’t unpacked everything. I finally found all the toys recently. Olle is crazy about Scrabble. I can still beat him, but I need to keep sharp so he doesn’tget better than me. I notice that I still sometimes – on the very odd occasion – miss the city ever so slightly. Or perhaps simply a city. I thoroughly enjoy the old stones of Rome, the ice cream carts of Pisa, the flowers of Brighton and the buzzing crowds of Parisian shops. The atmosphere, the people, my sweet neighbour – it’s all part of city living. So when I feel nostalgic, I go to Li-La. It’s like coming home! Everyone waves, I know every single windowsill, can draw all the flower pots from memory and still know all the neighbours. But you won’t stumble over my bike on the street anymore because it’s safe at home parked on my new garden path.

To be honest, I’m not really sure where I prefer to live. I think I’d feel right at home almost anywhere on the planet. And that very thought inspired me – during an enormous costume party in our new home – to celebrate this with everyone I know, with old and new friends, with Li-La, who, in her silk dress, was like something right out of a Chinese fairytale, her face like porcelain! I filled the house with flowers from the garden and, naturally, also invited our next door neighbours, the ones who live in the hypermodern house. They came dressed as flamenco dancers in flaming red with black polka dots. My silly brothers came dressed as street musicians and played music all night long. My brother-in-law came as a sultan, wearing genuine harem pants and accompanied by his dog, Presley, who loves to chew open my garbage bags. We danced, ate like there’s no tomorrow, drank a little less enthusiastically and, above all, had a good laugh. After all, the world is both beautiful and fun. Olle, incidentally, was dressed as a little captain, since he loves to travel. He may very well sail the high seas when he grows up since, like me, he feels right at home anywhere and everywhere.  
         
Love and kisses from PiP