Settling Dust








We are here.


In our new house.


We moved on Friday. Finally. After half-heartedly shifting half-loads for weeks, we got out our big stick and herded ourselves off and out. Five lorry loads ensued. Me piling the final dregs into bags and boxes as the truck drew out of the gate for the final time: wash bags, sponges, almost empty bottles of shampoo, the Leaning Tower of Pisa pile of books beside my bed and armfuls of back copies of the Spectator.


We just had time, once the last load had been packed, transported around the corner and unpacked, to hastily erect enough beds, sling the appropriate number of nets over each one and fall gratefully into them.


My eyes are gritty from too little sleep and too much dust – the house is full of it.


Our new home is still a building site. What was completed must, it appears, be rebuilt: we are learning which taps drip or don’t turn on/off at all; which wall sockets don’t work (most of them) and which doors won’t shut/open. We provide, I am sure, around the clock entertainment for the askari who peers in through windows naked of curtains as this little family scuttles about grazing on peanut butter sandwiches and bananas whilst unpacking boxes and cursing the lack of book shelves.


The garden is devoid of much except for a spectacular flamboyant in front of the verandah. I long for it to ignite into fiery blooms which will bleed all over the dust beneath it. Nor can I wait for end of year rains so that the sandpit that masquerades as a lawn will support the grass I plan to plant. When it rains. Until then we must endure the dust beneath bare feet like talc and try not to mind that nothing looks clean: Daz-White must wait til Christmas.


The dogs have ceased to tail me anxiously, from room to room. They have stopped trying to clamber into my car every time I go out. I think they have begun to understand this is home. The cats, incarcerated in my bedroom for a week, have lost their wild-eyed stares and are curled into peaceful balls beside me as I write. Under normal circumstances they would not tolerate being in the vicinity of one another but these, they have clearly agreed, are not normal circumstances. They’re not talking. But they have obviously, judging by their proximity on the duvet, made some kind of space-sharing truce. For now. No hissing or spitting or swatting each other crossly.


Whilst literal dust hangs choke-thick, eye-stingingly, skin-sloughing heavy in the air, the metaphorical kind is settling: I managed to find something clean to wear this morning; the television is working; the internet is up.


And the fridge is full of cold beer.





17 Responses to “Settling Dust”

  1. Mapesbury Mum Says:

    It looks a lovely house and I’m sure you’ll all make it a great home. The most important things are working – and the other things you’ll probably soon not even notice they don’t work properly. I can see from here a double plug that is not as the builders shoved a radiator in front off and so only one side works. Its on the snagging list somewhere!!

  2. Roberta Says:

    Welcome to your new home! Many blessings and many happy years of rain and joy!

  3. R. Sherman Says:

    Welcome and good luck.

    (The last sentence says it all, BTW.)


  4. Potty Mummy Says:

    Sounds like the important stuff is sorted then. Though I would probably recommend a bottle of vodka in the freezer, if we’re talking about essentials…

  5. Maggie May Says:

    Welcome to your new home. It is exciting! You will soon have it how you want it!

  6. Rita Says:

    I bet you feel like hosing down the house to get rid of all the dust. It’s a funny picture to imagine 😉

  7. reluctantmemsahib Says:

    thank you, Mapesbury: and you’re right: the most important things are sorted xx I am intrigued, and encouraged somewhat, to know similar snags occur in London. Although in perhaps not such prolific quantity as here?

    Thank you Roberta.

    And Mr Sherman; thank you too.

    I have Potty, haven’t I, got the essentials sorted. As to the vodka … i need to find it first …

    Maggie May: i hope so. things are slowly falling into place. what seemed overwhelming at 7am on saturday seems manageable now.

    thank you for reading Rita: that’s exactly what i feel like doing – hosing the whole place down.

  8. Tom Says:

    Well, I think the place looks very cozy and I wish you peace and prosperity there.

  9. Mzungu Chick Says:

    Gorgeous verandah RM – a house I would most definitely choose for myself, dust and all!
    I hope you have lots of happy years there.

  10. Mom de Plume Says:

    Hmmm having just spent the morning in a hot, dusty town, the sound of those cold beers is very appealing! I hope it is a happy home for all of you!

  11. nuttycow Says:

    Beers in the fridge, animals happy. Key things sorted then.

    I almost feel like I should send you a house-warming present. What would I send? Rain? A hoover? Vodka?

  12. reluctantmemsahib Says:

    thank you Tom.

    mzungu chick: yup, verandah’s good isn’t – our addition. got to have a great big sod off, come-in verandah in africa. if you see what i mean x

    come and crack one with me then, mom: a nice cold beer.

    nutty: as to mom – come for a beer instead. company here beats anything in the way of presents x

  13. Mozi Esme's Mommy Says:

    Sounds like you are right at home already! Congrats on getting it all there, pets included . . .

  14. Roland Hulme Says:

    A LOVELY house – and a fridge full of cold beer? Sounds like heaven!

    I hope you settle in quickly!

  15. AlexM Says:

    I found your site on technorati and read a few of your other posts. Keep up the good work. I just added your RSS feed to my Google News Reader. Looking forward to reading more from you down the road!

  16. reluctantmemsahib Says:

    thank you very much AlexM.

  17. Leaving Home | Reluctant Memsahib Says:

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