Day 208: Maybe the longest day ever

July 27, 2007

About a hundred years ago, we got up at the crack of dawn to sell a condo and buy a house. It was a strange, strange day but ultimately I think having a house will work out just fine. The first closing- where we sat on the sellers’ side of the table, went off without a hitch. The beautiful people who will be living here, the very same people who are now our landlords, were very excited and pleased with everything. It was only after they left and we moved over to the buyers’ side of the table that our realtor asked if we were excited and I had a minor breakdown. The monotony of signing a squillion papers had kept my emotions at bay, but it was a pretty sad morning signing away the place where we have been the happiest. The realtors didn’t really ask again if we were excited or happy; strange what a dampener on any situation a fit of crying can provoke. Pah, those pregnancy hormones (such an excellent excuse, I will be milking it until I can blame the new baby hormones). Our purchase was much weirder, so very much more bizarre. The realtor for the sellers’ was sick so she couldn’t attend, instead she sent along her most peculiar, and most un-realtor husband, who kept harping on and on about the home warranty on the appliances, all of which will be replaced within the month. The former owners of our new house are an elderly divorced couple, she is sprightly and vivacious, funny and charming, he is a relic of a person, very much sickened by alcoholism. The whole proceedings were slightly excruciating, in all honesty. Once all the papers were signed and keys exchanged we drove over to “our place” where the lady seller was going to pick up her jacket. We were chatting in the kitchen when the estranged husband let himself in the front door, shouted “only me” and went straight upstairs to use the toilet. It was certainly weird. And we are going to be changing all the locks, probably tomorrow, mysteriously enough.

Next up we took delivery of our brand shiny new washing machine and tumble dryer, ones with fancy buttons and lights and settings, very nice. We’ll probably never figure out how they work. We spent most of the day trying to get our bearings of what should go where, what is needed, and what colours we should paint, and avoiding touching anything much. Although the house looks reasonably clean, everything has a layer of greasy grime, and there are some unpleasant odours around and about. We felt like we should be starting to renovate, or do something, but there are so many things that need to be done in the right order that we ended up tying ourselves into mental knots figuring out where to start. Instead we trecked to Ikea and completed our kitchen order and arranged, at great expense, to have it all delivered next week. We also spent an inordinate amount of time looking at light fittings (something for every room, argh) before deciding that we were too exhausted to think. Instead we picked up Baby A and took her to the new house. After all her “new house: toys”, she was utterly uninterested in the farm set we picked up at Ikea, instead she was greatly impressed by an abandoned watering can and our bribery snacks. And the garden. All in all it went well, she seemed to like the place, except for the attic space which is about a bazillion degrees. But the stairs on the inside were very popular, as was looking at the car out of the windows on each floor. And the lawnmower in the garage; our child is obsessed by mowers “I touch mower” she says everyday. After visiting the garage 3 times to look at the mower, the novelty was beginning to wear off. For us, obviously, not for the little one.

Anyway, finally we came back to the “old house”, our rental unit, and set about making dinner. Olive and Anchovy-Slathered Beef Tenderloin Steaks with Caramelized Onion Orzo and Sliced Tomatoes is a variation on the meal of yesterday, and fortunately a tastier version. The recipe called for 2 tenderloin steaks each; as L and I are feeling like we are on some sort of perverse meat binge, we shared one steak. The olive tapenade butter of yesterday had some anchovy paste mixed in, which actually gave the flavour a good kick, despite my initial misgivings. The orzo tonight somehow tasted much better, although it was essentially the same dish as yesterday, minus the zucchini. The pan was deglazed with vermouth after browning the onions and garlic, which certainly helped, and I went a bit overboard on the cheese and the salt and pepper in an attempt to end up with a more interesting dish. Sliced tomatoes on the side added a little colour and freshness.

Overall, this meal was pretty fine, and certainly very easy to make. Tomorrow we enter the pumpkin polenta fest, a 3-day run starting with Pumpkin Polenta with Chorizo and Black Beans. Maybe it’ll be nice, we’re thinking not, but maybe, let’s at least try it. Preconceptions are there to be broken. Or confirmed, obviously, but that’s a whole different mindset.

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  • Reply Joannie July 28, 2007 at 6:24 am

    Congratulations on the new house! You are very lucky that both closings went smoothly. And it sounds like you had a nice meal to celebrate with — although wouldn’t you have loved to eat out for such an occasion?

  • Reply Helen | One Year Project July 29, 2007 at 8:15 pm

    Thanks! I don’t even remember how to eat out of the house, it surely sounds good though!

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