Skip to main content

On (isolated) shared living

You know what would be fun? Living in a cool terrace house in Tokyo complete with pool, games room, modern kitchen, and two cars in the garage (one being a mustang, naturally). You know what would be more fun? Living with six Japanese people who use their time to work hard, achieve their goals, make new friends and awkwardly fall in love.

You know what’s not so fun? Living in a house in Melbourne with your husband of six months… and your parents. You know what’s less fun? Not being able to get out of the house (that doesn’t have a pool or a mustang) except to visit the supermarket or to exercise, namely going for a walk, which should increase morale but ends up making you feel worse since walking around the block just highlights the complete lack of freedom we have right now. (Not that I’m complaining because staying home + washing hands = saving lives blah blah blah yes, yes we get it but my god does anyone feel like they’re hovering outside their bodies, looking at the state of their lives right now and saying WTF?!? Still, not complaining.)

If you had told me on the day of my wedding, that part of my newly married life would be played out in front of my parents, I would have laughed hysterically, slapped you in the face and gotten on with my drinking-and-eating-in-a-restaurant-life because seriously, I’m starting to think that’s all we ever did pre-pandemic.

But then the apocalypse arrived (as did my new obsession with Terrace House if you hadn’t already noticed. Not for nothing but if I was still single, quarantine would not have stopped me tracking down Tokui and demanding he take me as his other half. I would then immediately request access to what I imagine to be one hell of a wardrobe. And yes, this imagined situation takes into account his recent money scandal and doesn’t alter my course of action at. all. What even is money these days? Is anyone making any? Does anyone have any?).

Wait… Where was I? Oh, yeah, the arrival of the apocalypse and living with my husband and parents.

This new living arrangement has meant adjusting to ways of life that I had never considered. I have quickly had to learn how to argue in silence, voicing displeasure through a glass put onto the table top with a little too much force, opening the washing machine with a little too much grit, scrapping back a chair with a little too much strength. It has also meant stealing a hug or kiss in an empty room that can quickly fill with an accidental audience and leave everyone feeling Japanese-level awkward.

I’ve learned what happens when everyone not only wants to eat dinner at different times, but wants different things as well (spoiler, as soon as this f*cking thing is over I’m never cooking again). It’s… a lot. But I know how lucky I am. We have enough space so that everyone can go to a room and watch whatever they want on whichever screen they use. (Lolz to the generation gap of parents watching TV, victims to the programming wills of pay TV and Foxtel, and us ‘kids’ freedom fighting our way via laptops and tablets, with Netflix and… other means.) We have outdoor space, don’t have to line up to use the bathroom and, most importantly, we have company. So please, don’t think that this post as a rant. It’s just… How do you balance pleasing the two people who have been in your life the longest, know you the best, and have helped you in more ways than you can count, with the new person in your life who is not only your future, but the person you WANT to know you the best, and longest? Who you want to grow your life with?

Answer? Yeah, no idea. All I can hope for is that each of these finely balanced relationships survives Covid-19 so we can go back to normality (ie seeing each other for a weekly meal, or maybe monthly…).

Anyway, this is all a roundabout way of saying, remember Sylvanian Families? I recently discovered the collection my sister and I cultivated throughout our childhood and my god how I want to start the collection back up again! (For those just tuning back in to this blog, I'm currently mining my childhood for subject matter now that we're all shut ins and whatnot.) 
I might have to start my collection going again

My favourite Sylvanian pieces were a telephone box that the cat family were quite fond of, and a sewing machine that I think the fox mum was the most competent at using. The toilet was adorable and used, of course, by everyone.
Makes you want to ditch your smart phone, right?
Can you see the tiny scissors? CAN YOU SEE THEM??

It.Has.A.Flush.

Our Sylvanian Family houses were crammed with as many families as we could fit. Foxes mixed hedgehogs, cats mixed with dogs, ducks befriended bunnies and they really did seem happier for it. There wasn’t all that much space, or freedom since we called the shots, but they all got on just fine. Just. Fine. There's hope for us all.





Comments

Popular posts from this blog

On accidentally becoming a cat person

Building a new life in a new city can throw challenges at you both big and small. Most challenges are to be expected; learning a new public transport system, setting up a bank account, finding the local pub, getting a job, making friends. Some are not; Brexit, realising your old winter clothes are a laughing stock when compared to ACTUAL winter clothes, Brexit, knowing your phone calls home will always mean one side of the conversation is just waking up while the other is on its way to being drunk and never the two wavelengths shall meet, Brexit.
What I hadn’t planned on were challenges that would fundamentally change who I was. And in that respect, there is one challenge needs addressing, and has needed addressing for some time. For the eagle-eyed amongst you, you will have noticed a certain someone who has crept into my Twitter feed and onto my ‘currently reading’ page. And for those of you who have spotted this certain someone, and also know me well, will surely be wondering WHAT TH…

On the privilege of seeing Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (no spoilers, promise!)

Beloved characters from books, films and television shows are often sacred ground for us fans. We have journeyed with them, taken them into our hearts and think about them when our real lives are being a little less than spectacular. And so, when these characters are revisited for what sometimes feels like a money grab, and what sometimes is (I’m sure) a form of closure for the creatives, we wait with the duelling emotions of hope and fear, wondering if those in charge are about to wreck everything. Most often than not, they do wreck things, a lot (Mitch Hurwitz and your Arrested Development season 4 shambles, I’m looking at you!). While I always want more Bridget Jones, Mad About the Boy didn’t quite do it for me and I’m terrified about seeing Bridget Jones’s Baby for fear that watching it will forever ruin the first film and first two books for me. Similarly, I’m nervous about the upcoming Gilmore Girls episodes even though I’d give my right arm to go back to Stars Hollow. And maybe…

On buying toilet paper in a new city

It’s the little things. They’re the parts of life that can offer the greatest moments of joy or send you into the darkest depths of despair. This is true never more so than when you’re trying to create a new life away from the comfort, security and familiarity of home.
The first time I moved to the UK was ten years ago. I was in my mid-twenties (read: actual mid-twenties) and I was lucky enough to have arrived with a job and friends to stay with until I got my own place sorted. Nevertheless, I still experienced some sharp learning curves and long, dark moments of doubt about the choices I’d made. Thankfully, I came out the other side a better, more learned, more experienced person who could often be heard remarking how living in the UK for two years was one of the best things I’d ever done.
On my second move to the UK, which entered its one-month anniversary this past Sunday (hence the reflective tone of this post), I expected things to be very different. I was at a different stage of m…