I must admit to carrying around a feeling of jittery and nervy excitement with me in recent days. There are things going on in the RD life that I'll share with you, just because it's a big happy world of abundance in these parts and you might be interested.
The first thing is that I'm actively out flat, or apartment, hunting at the moment. Isn't it funny how apartment feels very different to flat? A flat conjures up images of old Parisienne type buildings with quaint lifts and musty smells. An apartment is modern, bright, airy and appeals to a different kind of person.
For a few reasons it's the apartment side of things that I'm seeking. I've pretty much decided on an area and this is so exciting that I literally get butterflies in the bath stomach as I think of it. My most important factor was that I wanted to be close to the girls, though my definition of "close" is governed by driving time rather than physical distance.
So I've been searching in the vicinity surrounding where they live, places within about a twenty minute drive of theirs. All good in theory but I play the drums, something that isn't conducive for the apartment hunter. You know me, I love drumming with a passion only matched by my passion for everything else in my life, but there are times when I wish I'd been born to be a singer or a harmonica player.
This drumming lark means that I need a place with good loading and unloading facilities. If it's above the ground floor then I need a lift. The last thing any drummer wants is to get back home at 2AM after a gig, park half a mile down the road and then lug his drum kit up stairs and around corners before going to bed.
Then the place needs to be solid with exceptional soundproofing. It's not that I practice on my acoustic kit at home, but that I have an electronic practice kit which is one of the best things ever invented. It does make a thumping or tapping noise though and this could seriously frustrate a downstairs neighbour or someone on the other side of a thin wall. This rules out all the old big houses, the conversion flats which are plentiful in these parts but generally have the soundproofing of a balmy Colombo night.
Next we have the divorced Dad issue. According to all my how to be a good divorced Dad books one of the common mistakes our species make, once the financial hardship starts to improve, is to go out and get some sort of cool batchelor pad, the kind of place we dreamed about living in when we were batchelors the first time around only couldn't afford. The newly divorced Dad, the one who has read no how to be a good divorced Dad books, gets one of these places and forgets that it is the most important thing in the world to give his kids the message that he is still their father, that they're still a big part of his life.
He has them over at the weekend, or whenever has been arranged, and they sleep on a settee or are given the message that it's not their home too. Well my thing is that I need to get a place with at least one bedroom for the girls. My concession is that they can share, but they will have their own room, ideally with a bathroom so we avoid all the complaints about the sharing issue.
I told K that I was looking for a place with a bathroom for them and her reaction was:
"Oh cool, so we won't have to put up with your bum hair then?"
The idea would appear to be popular.
All the objective and logical criteria are relevant and well and good, they need to be fulfilled for me to be happy somewhere. But then, on top of it all I'm trying to be in touch with my feelings on this, something we men find hard.
I'm trying to find a place that ticks all the boxes and does the functional stuff, but one that feels good the moment I walk into it. This is a challenge, one that I'm enjoying and relishing. I've already made an offer on one place, but it doesn't look like I'll get it. But I'm out there viewing and surfing and trawling and seeking.
It's a new area for me and trusting my gut is something I've got a lot better at in recent years but it's definitely like diving off a cliff in the dark. You just have to have faith and jump, you'll only get injured if you spend too much time hesitating.
Post divorce life presents challenges that are new to me. C may come over here to spend time, which will be cool, the girls will be with me at their usual times, but I'm conscious that they're getting to the ages when their main desire is to hang with their friends. So I know I'll be doing a hell of a lot of time hanging around on my own, like now, and the new pad has to make me feel good just to sit there and chill in.
I'm excitedly mellow about it. I'm hunting and viewing with a zen like calmness, knowing that, if I have the confidence, I'll find the perfect place. The place will be the final piece in one puzzle and the very first piece in the next one. Nice.
Oh, and I'm off to Singapore on Tuesday, so things might be a little bit quiet here for a day or two.
Happy Monday all.