Tag Archives: home

Home is where the flowers are … and the wine

18 Oct

So much has happened since the last blog post, it’s hard to know what to cover. Let’s hit the highlights – I now live in Amsterdam. As a somewhat politically incorrect German colleague noted, I’ve moved “from the colonies to the motherland”.

What’s been the most interesting about moving to Amsterdam is how quickly I’ve begun to feel at home. Part of it was the ability to move directly into the flat where I’ll spend the next year. Another was being able to walk almost everywhere, so I quickly got a grasp of the neighbourhood up close. But the real excitement has been the block-by-block discovery of the streets around the flat, which led me to the neighbourhood flower shop.

Now there are undoubtedly lots of flower shops around the city. There are probably several within a mile of the house. But my flower shop is on a side street, in a converted garage with a permanently damp concrete floor, and a walk-in chiller filled with the most amazing roses, tulips, chrysanthemums, and this week, golden oak leaves and the last hydrangeas of the season.

Turns out feeling at home isn’t necessarily about having all your stuff around you, or knowing your neighbours, or having lived there forever. For me, it’s really about the special moment when you can mentally call up a picture of your space, and realise that there is no place you would rather be at the end of a long week, a long flight, or a long day. It’s the place where you want to have a glass of wine, make a nice meal, and just be. It’s the place where you know you will spend more time than usual, enough that buying flowers doesn’t seem like an over-the-top extravagance, but the most logical thing in the world.

Welcome home to me. It’s nice to be here.

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