You'd think there would be a big old firework of joy and excitement, wouldn't you. Actually I'm really tired, slightly numb, and slightly swearing at tourists who stand in my way. I live in a beautiful, beautiful place. It came home to me how fortunate I'd been to get this place (which I signed for just four weeks after the burglary) when I met someone who told me it took a year for them to find a place to live in Gent. I think just everything has happened so much and so fast. It's like a montage of highlights when someone gets kicked off a show. So much in one year, and it's proper knocked the stuffing out of me.
But I'm sure this will change. I've already met some nice people and I think that socially it will be a much easier city. Each time I pass Blokker I buy something - glasses, a saucepan, mugs. Bag by bag I am gathering essentials. In the new year I'll go for the big stuff, so that people can sit or sleep.
The commuting is bearable. I've been trying to read Peter Ackroyd's "Clerkenwell Tales" but get no further than a page or two because I fall into that uncomfortable nodding-dog sleep.
Once upon a time sleep cures were the fashion. I'd quite like that now - to be put under for a month or so and wake up to find my apartment furnished, and a little sense of joy waiting, and some pals. It will come, I'm sure. This is the place.