Two weeks to midwinter. Reasons to be cheerful. Other than that, it has been overcast for ever it seems. Today, I got up with great determination and housework intentions, nothing too fast or dramatic, I am retired after all. But in the end, we left after breakfast to bring all assembled sleeping bags and iso mats and the camping gear found in this house to the help-for-the-homeless center. I felt like a piece of shit, with my superwarm coat and my thermo gloves and insulated boots, handing over stuff so others may get a tiny bit less cold when sleeping on the streets. Now, according to official news and the social worker friend we have, nobody has to sleep on the streets in this city but many do not wish to sleep in the emergency housing, various hostels etc. for so-called private reasons. I don't handle these scenarios well or even wisely. I just wanted to get out of there as quickly as possible.
We then called into a furniture store and purchased a new red sofa. This is how capitalism works. The sales guy was very nice and keen and we did not ask him where he was from because what does it matter that his German wasn't quite there yet and also, asking the "where are you from" question is racism, I have been told. His jacket was the most gorgeous soft tweed and after the sale was done, I asked if I could touch it and he laughed and said, oui madame. (So my guess is Northern Africa, not said I asked for that reason.)
And now we are looking for a good home for my great grandfather's sofa, which looks a bit like this here
but somewhere along the line, my grandmother chopped off the legs, removed the back and remodeled most of it. About 20 years ago, I redid the covers - same colour, velvet - and replaced the springs in the seat with hard foam. So nothing like this after all. I have loved this piece of furniture for as long as I can remember despite the fact that it is too low and angular to sit on it comfortably. Everybody in my extended family always disliked it, mainly because my grandmother chopped a potentially valuable antique to bits. That was her way of doing things. When my grandfather died (I was five years old at the time), she reportedly attempted to give away his supposedly most valuable stamp collection by handing out one stamp each to various friends and acquaintances after the funeral.
My father used to smile and shake his head whenever he came to our house but I thought that secretly, he was happy that I had room for this sofa. But now, my father is dead and a few days ago, I said to R, let's get rid of this thing and here we are.
As it turns out, we do have a picture of the sofa, look here:
Next, we stopped at the art museum bistro for lunch which was awful (mine) and good (R's) and when we got home, my intestines were starting their usual cramp colicky routine and R straight away steered me out of the door for a long walk of distraction before the sun set just after 4 pm. I try not to think too much about the upcoming diagnostic to confirm the gastro expert's suspicion of damage resulting from something that was done to me 30 years ago. Walking helps. We looked into the windows of the grand houses further south, their impressive overpowering but ever so stylish xmas decorations and returned with relief to our under decorated small homestead.
In good news, I have watched all episodes of three seasons of Reservation Dogs and have found it be moving and funny and goofy but also heartfelt, honest, emotional and educational (to us here).
I was also introduced to the work of Ukrainian photographer Zoya Shu and in the past days, have spent a long time looking and discovering human life and love and pain in her work. Have a look here.
And now I am sitting here with a cup of tea and a heating pad on my abdomen and R is coughing a bit next door and in two weeks time, we will celebrate the winter solstice.