Thursday, November 19, 2015

Movin' on in

So while we were roadtripping around South-West France, wheels of a different kind were in motion. Jules and I have been together for over a year and a half now, which is a year and a half of what I term "medium-distance dating". Long-distance is a bit dramatic, since we spent every weekend together, and we've only been two to three hours' apart the whole time (traffic and so on depending). But still, it's obviously not quite the same when you have to say goodbye every Sunday evening and go back to your weekly routine on your own.

There have been high-level negotiations going on over when we could move in together, and the general consensus reached was to look into it some time after we got back from Albania. I think we both quite wanted to have at least one summer in Jules's apartment, which is sunny and has balconies on both sides, and it made sense to get summer holidays out of the way before he started a new job. Talk accelerated after Albania as well because it was the first time we'd spent longer than a week together and then it makes it harder to settle back into daily life without them.

Enough soppiness. Anyway, Jules started looking pretty much in the late August or the beginning of September, and within a week of sending his application to this one place, he had a phone interview, came up to Brussels to meet with them the following Saturday morning, and by mid-September, when we were due to go away on our trip, he was debating whether to hand in his notice before or after our holiday.

He decided to do it beforehand, and with the week's holiday, a weekend in London and another in the Nord-Pas-de-Calais, the month flew by and in mid-October, before I knew it, he was on my doorstep with all his portable possessions in the back of his car (his furniture thankfully stayed behind in his flat which is now rented out - and I never got to say goodbye to it!)

It's now two weeks in (more by the time this gets published, since for once I have stored up a number of posts in advance and am doling them out at a measured pace instead of dumping them over a few days and then radio silence for a month) and I don't think it has really dawned on me that he lives here yet. It doesn't help that we were back in London again the day after he moved in, or that this week he's gone away with his new work.

One major challenge is trying to fit two people's stuff into an apartment that has heretofore been set up for one person. Even just sorting through the duplicates of herbs and spices needed some strategic thinking (yeah, yeah, first world problems). So there's been a bit of an IKEA-fest, getting a second wardrobe, a little thing with drawers instead of the small coffee table, and replacing one of the bookshelves with a vitrine, which has the dual function of freeing up space in the kitchen and giving me somewhere to put my pretty things.



Room for more wine too :)
I fell in love with the Fables of La Fontaine series of Gien faience when I first moved to Brussels and have been collecting it since. They had a sale on a couple of months ago, and I rashly bought some of the Four Seasons plates too (on the left). I need to start having dinner parties so we can use them!
Coffee table replacement, aka storage for all the crap hanging about the lounge
I don't know how things will change from here. It's fair to say that living apart extends the "honeymoon period" somewhat, since it's always a special occasion when you see each other. But I'm pretty excited to do normal couple things like go to pub quiz on Mondays and occasionally meet up in town after work (Christmas markets!) or go to our favourite local restaurant which is only open for dinner on Thursdays and Fridays, so we could never normally go. And maybe I'll feel a bit more like my life is actually here in Brussels, and we might even make some friends (gosh, dreaming big here). It should be fun to find out :)

Update/ Time to publish this post and it's now been a month of living together. Still very early days of course, and to be honest, I still don't feel settled into the routine. It's more just like the weekends together have blended in to one another or something. The house is tidier, which is a bonus! I do clean, but I'm kind of a "big clean once a week" girl, whereas Jules is "little and often", which is a pain at the time but does result in a more continually clean dwelling. I miss having leftovers for lunch though! Hasn't quite filtered through to my brain to buy more food and cook larger quantities since the number of people eating has doubled. Boxes are mostly unpacked and stored, but will still be good to move somewhere bigger eventually, if only for the chance to get a larger fridge! (Also hampering that "cook bigger meals" thing.)

15 comments:

  1. Hurray! I can only imagine that it must be nicer not having to say goodbye all the time. But I am very jealous that he's a little-and-often cleaner, my J is more of a never-except-that-one-thing-that-bothers-him (the dust in the staircase down to the basement---who cares? and even that he only does about once every two months).

    Nice work on the wine cabinet.

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    1. That cracks me up for some reason, who does care about basement stair dust??

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    2. Completely agree, glad to know I'm not alone.

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  2. Yay - going great guns by the sounds of it. xxxx
    p.s. I like the new furniture (not to mention that cute platter next to the striped lamp).

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  3. I remember you as a once a year cleaner - if that!

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    1. Funny, I don't remember you cleaning at all!

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  4. Is a vitrine a small glass toilet?

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    1. What is it in English, cabinet?

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  5. Oooh, sneaky you trying to slip this one past us! ;) In all seriousness, congratulations, that is great news! I hope you two will enjoy discovering the city together.

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    1. Thanks, not much discovering this weekend ha ha!

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  6. Congrats! It definitely takes awhile to get used to seeing someone all the time, but in a good way :-)

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    1. Thanks! And good luck with your move!

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  7. Yay, congratulations! We divide and conquer on the food shopping - he goes to the supermarket and I go to the fruit and vegetable market, so we both end up bringing back about the same weight of food!

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    1. That's a good idea. He has a car though, which makes things easier on the weight front

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  8. Congratulations! This is wonderful news ... although I guess it's technically not "new" news for you anymore but it is for me. I'm really pleased for Jules and you. I also have a weakness for Gien faience and recently gave some to Stéphane for our wedding anniversary.

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