Saturday, August 11, 2007

life on the pavement: a lesson in acceptance

We are very happy people. No, really, we are; we have absolutely everything our little hearts desire. Except... a garden. Every year, in summer, Marc and I run into the 'garden issue'. Every year, the issue looks pretty much the same: we have a lovely roomy house with a large balcony, but the balcony is too hot (being full South, out of the wind and under a flat roof, it usually measures around 10-20 degrees warmer than any other area in our neighbourhood) to actually sit on during the day, and we can't use it at night either because it opens into our bedroom where there has always been a sleeping baby/toddler/four-year old (a situation which, in view of my girth and our parenting choices, is rather unlikely to change any time soon). We miss a garden. Yes, the beach is lovely, the parks are lovely, the forest is lovely, but you have to get there first, and, more annoyingly, you have to come back pretty soon after getting there because of the sleeping schedules of little people. Basically, in the summer, we would just like to sit outside.

Every year, the garden issue brings us to a multitude of plans:

- Moving far far East (well, at least beyond Utrecht) where one can get house + garden for pretty much the price of our house here (downside of this plan being that it requires not only a move but a) two new jobs, b) one new Art Academy, c) one new school, d) two new local grand-parents and many other essential items);
- Getting a house with a garden in our neighbourhood (this means either a much much too expensive house or alternatively a much much too small house);
- Getting an allotment: this one is actually our favourite one at the moment, it's pretty realistic and might actually really happen but with the end of summer in sight and a birth coming up any moment now, I'm guessing there shall be no concrete steps until next year.

In the meantime, the summer is here (if barely), and I'd like to sit outside. So I decided to make do with what I have. And what do I have? The pavement. It's not particularly romantic, not as green as one would hope, it occasionally has dog poo on it, but hey, it's here, it's in the shade, interesting people walk past, and with a couch cushion for comfort, some ice pops for flavour, some chalk for inspiration and some really good company, my garden issue is receding, receding, receding, almost gone...

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