SG cooked breakfast on the one-hob camping stove and we did the dishes in the bathroom sink. The kitchen is still a month off arriving and the TV is balancing on a bedside table. But the dining room, with its two chairs and outdoors table has been painted the colour of a Santorini sunrise and the matching ‘feature wall’ in the living room glows in the afternoon sun. Lights have been installed, the guest bathroom has a mirror and the study has acquired a new piece of work out equipment and now appears to be 90% home gym, 10% my home office. It’s getting there, our new home. In three weeks, it will be on the receiving end of everything I have collected in my 14 months here (and all the cups and mugs I keep buying because it soothes my feelings of apartment-helping impotency, being so far away). Then will come the furniture shop binges, the delivery of SG’s Monster Couch and bit by bit, we will settle in. New town, new jobs, new home.
I finally made it into the centre of Weiden last weekend. We live but a five minute trot from the shopping stretch and a seven minute stroll from the Altstadt. Which isn’t a hugely uncommon feature of an apartment in a town the size of Weiden. It was freezing, the sky was high and a brilliant blue, and I took about 700 photos of, as SG gently pointed out when I asked him to send them to me, ‘basically the same things but from a slightly different angle.’
But the town centre is cute. It is colourful and quaint and old, with a teeny Rathaus and plenty of cafes framing the cobbled platz. In the summer, the place must come alive with long wooden benches outside the restaurant and the late-setting sun warming the shiny stones. Sitting in The Black Bean, I said to SG, ‘I can do this. I can live here.’
And I will. In three weeks.