Winter is Coming

Sometime in September my grandma started turning on the heat in the house again. Then a few weeks later she started making a fire in the wood-burning oven in the kitchen in the mornings. The smell of the radiator in my room and the stifling sauna I enter when making breakfast each morning are both reminders of how horrible I was feeling at this time last year.

Nothing but grey skies over grey water
Nothing but grey skies over grey water

A year ago I was still telling myself things like “if I’m still here by the end of October something will really have gone wrong in my life” while slowly sleeping in longer every day as the sun rose later. In the few hours of daylight (and by “daylight” I mean depressing grey fog that is slightly lighter than the night sky) I applied for jobs, went to the gym, watched House, and complained about the amount of junk food in our home. Then I decided to move to London and spent a few weeks looking forward to that before everything that could go wrong there did and I came back to Germany.

Ducks: happier than I was a year ago.
Ducks and swans: happier than I was a year ago.

The skies are still a depressing grey, I’m still waking up to a room temperature of 15°C, and the fog is so overwhelming that I’ve had to blowdry my hair after biking home from work, but there’s a bit more optimism in the air this time. Not only did I have a job to wake up to a few days a week and a newfound love of cooking to take up my free time, but oh yeah – there’s also a house where there once was a barn in my grandmother’s backyard.

At least, it looks more like a house than a barn
At least, it looks more like a house than a barn

Finally, after sixteen months of living here, the construction of my mother’s house is coming to an end. Of course, as things tend to do when you are given an end date, some projects have gone wrong and been delayed. But the end is in sight. My contract at work ended this month which means my next few weeks will be spent unpacking our things and rebuilding furniture. Finally.

After I’ve basked in the nostalgia of all my possessions I forgot I had, my next adventure begins: moving to Copenhagen. The timing is eerily similar to my move to London last year but my two weeks in renters’ hell, combined with a more set plan than simply using my native English skills and local address to get me a job, have me feeling a lot more prepared than I was a year ago.

Even the trees are looking a little brighter this year, no?

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