Moved In

I had two moves. I had a storage unit at the cheapest place I could find, at the opposite end of the city. It was a 90 minute bus plus subway ride to the end of the line plus another bus ride to the storage facility. Things that could not physically fit into the apartment were there. It was logistically impossible to coordinate a move on the same day.

I felt overwhelmed by the end of the second move, the one where I would start living in my house. The friend who helped me move brought her homemade vegetarian chili for our supper, and gave me extra servings for after my move. This was so kind of her. The only thing I was absolutely sure of was that I could not stay in Toronto.

After she left I set up my bedroom and hung up some curtains. I ran a bath, which I was seriously looking forward to. The nightmare apartment had a landlord special bathtub – cheap, small and uncomfortable. The house had an old clawfoot tub. I sat in my bath – which wasn’t quite hot enough – while the cats anxiously wandered around their new home. I was really happy to have a decent tub again. Of course the previous owner had the water heater turned to the lowest setting. This also explained the very low utility bill.

The landline was supposed to be connected, but was dead. Bell came, and discovered that the phone line had shorted out somewhere, and the phone box had a tree growing out of it, which was sort of a problem. He told me that it was the homeowners responsibility to remove the tree. Since I had just taken possession of the property, and that tree had been growing there for at least 10 years, I could not see how this was so ? He got the phone working, somehow.

(The phone box after I trimmed away all the wretched Manitoba Maple the following spring. How is a homeowner supposed to fix this ? I called a tree service and they wouldn’t touch it, due to the electronics. Sheesh, Bell.)


I think I did a lot of sitting around in the house during the first few days, pondering where I could start. I unpacked what I could and got the kitchen set up. The kitchen as it was, was hideous and dysfunctional. The colors really bothered me, but I swore that I would leave it alone, until I was ready to start fixing it.

I did my laundry and discovered that while the washing machine would start and fill up, that was all it would do. I bailed out all the water and my dirty wet clothes, then discovered that the drier was also a piece of crap that took almost two hours to dry a small load. The next day I walked to the closest used appliance place and bought their cheapest washer and drier.

After a couple of days I ventured out to the grocery store in the evening. On the walk there I did not encounter a single pedestrian, only an aggressive drunk woman on a bicycle, talking to herself. I shopped carefully, so I could carry everything home, on the 20 minute walk home. Existential angst was nibbling at me.

Welcome to London.

Despite this, I liked my new house, and was sure I could make it better than it was. At least the new furnace was working fine.





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