Il-beit il-jdeed

Posted on Sep 5, 2013

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We’ve moved house.
After two days, a brief stay at my parents’ house and 240 boxes, we are installed less than half a mile from our old house. People have made transcontinental pilgrimages with less fuss.

We had movers to help us (best small fortune we’ve ever spent) so four charming lads packed everything into two enormous lorries and drove it away on Wednesday night. Part of me was a little anxious at the idea that all of our worldly goods were sitting forlorn in a warehouse in Peckham. Another little bit of me was wondering whether it would really be so bad if everything magically disappeared? There’s something liberating about an empty house with no clutter. The architect in me loves a photo with no ugly trinkets. And there’s nothing like watching men struggle to carry your possessions out the front door to make you wonder whether you really need to keep the slightly broken musical mobile that you didn’t really use with your first baby, let alone your second.

Then all 240 boxes reappeared on Thursday and I spent 10 minutes trying to get the lorry close to our house without getting our neighbours’ cars towed away. That’s never going to ingratiate you to new friends.

The new house backs on to a big mosque. We had been told you could hear the call to prayer from the garden – they are not allowed to broadcast from the mosque but they play it quite loudly inside. On our first day I was sitting at the kitchen table tapping on the laptop, and there it was. ‘Allahu akbar’, as clear as when I sat in our garden in Damascus, or was walking around Souq Waqif in Doha. So evocative!

There’s something quite lovely about our eldest son, who was meant to live in Doha for a bit but never quite made it, now becoming used to that sound. What an amazing place London is.

1 Comment

  1. charlotte g
    September 5, 2013

    so glad that the neighbour in question got called to move her car rather than finding it had been towed! Welcome to the patch, lovely to have you even closer xxx C

    Reply

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