We have had to leave behind the rented haven that was Chateau Grump. Goodbye Dudley. Goodbye Rocky the arsehole cat next door and goodbye unwelcomed EDL marches.
Our new base, a bungalow. Yes, a bungalow. Well, I say bungalow, it’s actually a bungalow with two other bungalows underneath.
Okay, it’s a flat.
No, it’s a Penthouse! We’re on the top floor. I’m going to settle for Condo. Condo de Grump. I don’t know, I’ll have to decide on a suitable name. It’s not a chateau anymore, that’s for sure, but we have still got two bedrooms.
I wish I had a funny story to tell you about the move but I really haven’t. It went relatively smoothly and we have now settled in although there’s still some work to be done to make it all to our taste.
But I have learnt a few things since moving in.
1) I’m incredibly clumsy.
It is remarkeable how you can get used to your own space and know the limits of your surroundings. You zip around your home without even a second thought, vacuuming with speed and grace like a well oiled machine of precision.
I thought it was just a holiday thing where I keep banging my head. No, it’s not just a holiday thing. Put me in an unfamiliar space and there’s a chance I’ll bang my head. I’ve also dropped things, clipped things and scuffed things. Nothing major but still, Mrs Grump is concerned that I’ve managed to devalue the property since moving in. A one man demolition crew working inside out!
I think that’s a bit of an exaggeration. I’m getting used to the space now and besides, this bubblewrap suit that Mrs Grump made me is fantastic.
2) We need a third person in our relationship.
Now before any swingers start writing in offering assistance, allow me to explain.
“It’s pink,” I said, staring at the small piece of lining paper with a tester pot’s worth of paint in a nice neat square, courtesy of Mrs Grumps appreciation for symmetry and straight lines. I’d have done a large splodge. Maybe a hand print.
“That is not pink!” replied Mrs Grump. “It’s an off white with a hint of blue.”
“There’s no blue in that,” I insist.
“Are you just trying to wind me up?”
“No,” I reply and although I’m smiling at the notion that she thinks I’m joking with her, it doesn’t help my case that what I do actually see is a slightly pink square.
“I’m not. I genuinely see pink there.”
“What is wrong with you? You’re bloody colour blind!” said the good lady.
“Hold on; how do I know that you’re not the colourblind one?”
It was a stale mate. We need an independent adjudicator to determine who can see the correct colour.
But a colour has been chosen for the bedrooms and “Marble” is a subtle and soothing colour that we both like. Mrs Grump swears it’s a kind of creamy soft yellow. All I’ll say is it’s a good job I like purple.
3) I don’t really have any opinion on colours.
Well, except pink. I don’t want pink! But other than that, I just don’t have an opinion. I think it’s a man thing.
4) Noise travels.
When you move into a new place you become hyper sensitive to all of the new house sounds that you have to get used to; or in our case, Condo sounds. Living in a condo you also have to get used to the sounds of the neighbours. There are more of them now than before. We have one next door and one underneath us.
It had been a couple of weeks and we hadn’t heard much. But then we heard a couple of things. Nothing major; a cupboard or drawer banging next door and the TV underneath being too loud. I had to ask him to turn it down. Okay, I think the shaved head helped. That and the large stick with a grimace. Of course I joke. I wasn’t grimacing. Neither did I have a large stick!
But this was after a couple weeks of living here. I’d already made noises of my own for which I do wonder whether they were heard. Mainly the noise that a great majority of men make shortly after waking up. It’s like a call to the world to announce to all within the vicinity that the alpha male has awoken. Of course, I’m talking about the fart.
Hey, it’s a natural bodily function. It happens. Let’s not ignore the elephant in the room. But I fear that it may be too late to now start suppressing them. It’s as if the neighbours remained in a quiet vigil for a few weeks to draw us into a false sense of security. Meanwhile, I’m thinking that the sound proofing in these condos is amazing and most mornings perform a very healthy alpha male call to nature. To my neighbours, am I known as the neighbour with a wind problem? I don’t have a wind problem, I’ve spent time with plenty of mates to understand that I am not alone in this morning call. But even so, it may well be my only discernible feature right now within our block of fla- condos.
5) I am a nosy neighbour.
I don’t go prying into other people’s lives but being on the top floor with such a vista to survey, I can’t help but peer through the Venetian blinds now and again to check all is in order. We also have a spy glass in our door; I believe the technical term is a door viewer. But quite often I pass the front door and can’t help but take a peak. There is literally nothing of interest to see, only our neighbour’s front door and the top of a stairwell. Nothing ever happens of interest and I know this. So why do I feel compelled to peak? I’m hoping the novelty will wear off.
So there you have it. I have no doubt that the search for paint, furniture and other elements of creating domestic bliss will be a source of Grumpy material. Watch this space.