The quiet joys and foibles of solo living.
Something is now happening – which dominates how I structure my days.
Cold Feet. Freezing to the marrow of the pedal extremities.
It’s the middle of the Melbourne winter, and normally at this time of year I’d be in a climate-controlled office building. Now I am learning just how much fun a 13 C day can be. Not.
And yet… I don’t feel the cold all over. Most of my body is fine, rugged up in a jumper or – it has to be confessed – a bathrobe. Sometimes my ‘mature lady flashes’ even have me hanging out in a Tshirt for a while. One day I blissfully sat in my bra.
But my poor feet are like ice-blocks by around 2pm each day. Even if I have encased them in four layers of wool and sat a heated wheat bag on them, with a rug wrapped around. I guess I don’t have the greatest circulation. My hands are also feeling it, but are more easily warmed, wrapped around a hot cuppa or clutching a hot water bottle.
For the sake of my energy bill and my low unstable income, I refuse to turn on the oil heater until after 5. The bill hit recently hit its highest ever, even after my pay-early and concession discounts. Having it on wouldn’t do much for my feet anyway, I suspect.
So here’s what I’m doing:
I am not letting myself sleep in, tempting though it often is. I’m recognising the morning as my best time of day for mood, motivation and the ol’ foot thermostat. Quite often, I will make a cup of tea and return to bed with my laptop for an hour or so of creative writing in the fresh morning light. Then up, a super hot shower (every second day) and at my desk for the day’s tasks – freelance tasks, job applications, bill paying, researching and generally faffing about online while listening to the radio.
Around 1 or 2, I am finally hungry for lunch, and quite suddenly, my feet are becoming painfully cold. The morning sun has passed and my place feeling darker and colder. I get back into bed with my lunch and a hot water bottle for my feet. I read for an hour or so while my feet thaw out. Sometimes I might have a short siesta, watch something or do some self-study.
By 3 – 3:30, it’s time for a change of scene: the kitchen, to do the dishes from the past 24 hours while listening to a podcast. This chore is a great hand-warmer, and the afternoon sun – if any – will be shining in my kitchen window.
After that, I go for my daily walk or run. Even if the weather is dodgy, this is my daily exercise, and my feet love it too. I’ve started exploring neighbourhood streets that I haven’t walked down before. I like checking out the different styles of homes, what people have done with their front yards or porches, and if there’s any pavement-overhanging rosemary, lavender or lemons I can sneakily pick.
The evenings are OK, foot-wise. The heater goes on, as do the pyjamas and the big TV screen. Very occasionally, I have not put the heater on – yet my feet stay OK in the evenings. It’s just those afternoons that are the downer.
What else did I do this week?
I cleaned out a desk cupboard, tidied out a stationary drawer, sorted my CD, DVDs and books, noting which ones I will get rid of when I’m able to. Feeling quite in limbo with my great decluttering intentions, because I can’t actually sell or move unwanted goods out of the house at the moment. A box under one of my chairs, and the upper shelf in my small hall cupboard have become holding places for these, and they’re both full.
I made a delicious Moroccan Date and Pumpkin Dahl – which I forgot to buy the dates for. Never mind, I added the cinnamon anyway, along with turmeric and ground cloves, and it has really taken the flavouring to a new level. I’m often having my main meal at lunchtime, and a sandwich in the evenings. It’s healthy for the digestive system.
Saturday of this week, I was moody and completely unmotivated. I gave up on everything productive and went to bed mid-afternoon. At 6, I got up and went to collect fish & chips, which I then ate in bed while watching Pretty In Pink. Molly Ringwald and John Cryer are so cute. And young James Spader? Phooarrr. Molly rocks that 80s single dangly earring, a look I wish would come back, as I have a number of unpaired earrings with lost partners. These days it would work better if you have punky or asymmetric hair, otherwise it just looks like you’ve lost an earring.
I’m re-reading all my Love & Rockets comics, collected in my early 20s. So good!
I’m also getting through my ‘coffee table books’ – namely, the larger art books I’ve collected because I love the art in them. Lounging on the sofa with my feet wrapped up, a comic or one of these giant books propped in my lap and a cup of tea on hand, then stopping to muse on art and feel inspired about my own.
I remind myself that this is not too bad a way to spend life, really.