Friday, June 30, 2006

What Shannon and Di did ...

Yesterday was one of 'those' days ...

Shannon wandered in from Brussels, making me laugh even as I was on the tram going to meet her train. She smsed me, something like 'Is Malines Mechelen in French?'

I laughed outloud on the tram, wondering where she might be and had to write back 'I've got no idea but don't get off there', highlighting the problem of a country where every town has two names.

She smsed a few minutes later, the ticket inspector had clicked her ticket, she was on the right train ... and so, in just two sms messages, you have the constant dilemma of the expatriate-type.

Where am I?
Am I on the right train?

So we arrived in the same place as per plan and came home on the tram. We hadn't seen each other in a while, so we caught up on news, talking of her studies and my plans for the future ... that kind of stuff.

After lunch, I have no real idea of why we decided we might move the 2 couches here in the lounge but we did. It wasn't straight-forward but it was done and seemed like the new arrangement might work.

Looking around we realised that moving the couches meant moving the dining table ... and so we did, taking off the blue tablecloth revealing the woodfinish.

But moving the table meant moving the computer desks ... and the file cupboard and that large plant on the hearth.

And it was all looking rather nice when Shannon the decorator noticed the lavender plants on the balcony. We wandered out, she had a few ideas as we put up the table and chairs then dug out the large sun umbrella.

Inspired by her vision we went to the plant shop and chose a few 1 euro plants, in flower, and carried them home ... repotting immediately. She loaded some onto a ricketty wooden set of steps and voila, the balcony was transformed in ways I hadn't envisaged.

Needless to say, I was easily convinced when she suggested we lift the small fridge up onto the freezer, freeing up space. It looked good too.

So ... Gert had left his apartment at 8am with no idea of my plans, since there weren't any ... and his face was a delight when he walked in.
He loves it all.

Shannon and Gabe stayed for one of those lovely hot summer evening dinners, where you eat out on the balcony, drinking that last bottle of Spanish white wine and telling stories of times past, laughing like children sometimes ... Shannon is master of a certain storytelling genre.

A friend back in New Zealand once told me that she changed her house almost weekly as a way to stand being stuck in one place ... as I look out over the lounge this morning, I can see what she means ... and so it is that we travelled yesterday, changing place.


Dobermann said...

Heh, we too have two name for every city, street and sometimes buildings. The official languages in Finland are Finnish and Swedish, so everything is also in swedish. The funniest thing is that swedish names look and sound nothing like the finnish. Yup, they're direct translations when possible. Like: Lake-end = Järvenpää (fin) = Träskenda (swe).. So try to find out when to get off the train.. lol

Your "extreme home makeover" sounded like fun. Usually it starts like that, brainstorming. Oh, and I like those late summer dinners out. When there's just bit too much good wine and food available. ;)

You have to come over for one when we've got that own house, I think you've got your legal status by then. lol It might take couple years for us..

Anyway, I'm glad Gert loved it and didn't freak out.. ;)

woman wandering said...

I think I would pretend I was mute if I moved to Finland ... talk seems complicated.

The extreme makeover was fun but we're both aching this morning, potentially we shouldn't have lifted the fridge with stuff still in it ...

We'll bring the wine when we come for dinner :) NZ or Aussie wine methinks but yes, fingers crossed regarding my legal status lol.

Dobermann said...

Don't worry, if you ever find yourself in Finland alona and lost, most people do speak english. And those who don't are just as eager to help and you find yourself from some museum you were'nt looking for. :)

Similar has happened to me in Thailand.. We were lost with my gf-at-the-time and the lady we asked directions spoke only whatever she spoke, but she managed to take us to this small elephant museum. We went in and later got a cab (or what ever it was, the guy had a car and he charged us) back to our hotel..

chiefbiscuit said...

So sweet - what a great time with a dear friend - wine on the balcony - nothing to beat that! You've written it up so well too - effortless writing - makes great reading. Changes are good - I used to be changing the furniture all the time - the boys would arrive home from school and be astounded - ABM wld arr back from work and wonder how i managed to shift such heavy furniture (to a Southern woman, moving furniture is a doddle!!)

woman wandering said...

I had to smile, chiefbiscuit. The friend who always moved furniture grew up in Balclutha and we were all living in Cromwell at the time ... thos southland women eh.

Thanks for you comment :)

Anil P said...

Enjoyed reading this :)

woman wandering said...

I'm glad you enjoyed reading it anil :)

Anonymous said...

I read this blog the other day while I was at another friend's house... I moved her things around too, but your house was way more fun. The minute I walked in I felt such a positive energy, and I guess I just felt inspired and your enthusiasm helped too! I had a great time spending the day with you.. and seeing our conservative men react to our not so conservative tales was priceless. Did I go over board with the vomit stories? ha ha..

The Concubine