Just Merveilleux

Life at № 42

The Body Swap Films- and I.

Freakyfriday1976

That’s how the past nine months have felt, like I woke up in a different body. It wasn’t just moving to another house, every aspect of life is so very different. Sounds, smells, food, the landscape. Had we not sold the furniture, there would at least be more of an air of familiarity. There was something comforting and homely about the small tear on the leather sofa into which I used to stick my little finger. There was a certain charm to the chandelier in the cupola room on which only eight of the twelve lights worked.

In this new life everything works. All the furniture is in perfect condition. The oven doesn’t sound like an aeroplane. The Louis XV chandelier has been re-wired and was put up a few days ago 1450 km away from its previous home.

I’m still trying to discover who this new person is, what he does. Being on a hamster wheel was tough but gave me purpose. I had to make X per year. I was expected to go to X events. I hosted X events. I knew that to keep the house going/presentable I had to do X. I didn’t have a single moment to spare.

Now I get up sometimes and just sit in one room, then in another. Then I take a walk in the garden. Then I sit down again inside. Then I work a bit. Then I repeat the process. It’s so odd not to have the pressure. I’ve never lived this way before.

I suppose little by little this feeling will go away. That as the house is more done, it’ll feel more like this is my life. The other night I woke up and in a state of grogginess thought “What in the world is going on? Where am I? It wasn’t my bed, my bedroom, my anything. Then it all came back to me. I’m not that guy in Southern Spain anymore. I don’t go out for tapas every week. I don’t buy the Navarra wine. I don’t get annoyed by the summer tourists from Madrid. There are no summer tourists from Madrid. I don’t get invited out to lunch all the time. Lots of I don’ts.

Figuring out the I do’s is less straightforward than I imagined.

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29 comments on “The Body Swap Films- and I.

  1. Godless Cranium
    August 23, 2015

    Moving can be quite a shock. We’re creatures of habit. I hope you get things organized quickly and make new memories in your new place.

    Like

    • Mr. Merveilleux
      August 23, 2015

      Thanks. I’m sure you’re right. We’ve only been here since March. Hopefully by next March I’ll be able to wake up and know where I am 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. myatheistlife
    August 23, 2015

    Great post. The Do’s are complicated… Great line

    Like

    • Mr. Merveilleux
      August 23, 2015

      It’s true. In general people don’t think about it because they confront life in a reactive way, in the first person. In reality we’re just millions of decisions. The decision to be patient, the decision to dress a certain way as to be perceived a certain way. The decision to use a certain tone of voice.
      Suddenly I’m at a point where reactive living is no longer on the cards. I can make choices without constraints. It’s almost frightening.

      Liked by 2 people

      • myatheistlife
        August 23, 2015

        It is frightening but freedom. Many people don’t want to be free because the do’s are complex and chaotic. I wish you great luck on top of your obvious skills!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Cara
    August 23, 2015

    Moving can be a shock. We’re creatures of habit…some of us more so than others. While you may not be THAT GUY in Spain who had to make so much money, had to host certain events, etc., you’re not nobody either. You get to reinvent yourself, become someone new and exciting.

    Like

    • Mr. Merveilleux
      August 23, 2015

      I took being a creature of habit to the extreme. Same house, same furniture, same partner, same routine from the age of 22 to 37 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Cara
        August 23, 2015

        Whoa, you did take it to extreme. A new house, new surroundings, can inspire you to create, though.

        Like

      • Mr. Merveilleux
        August 23, 2015

        I hope so. I imagine the more we personalize the house the more it’ll feel personal 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Hariod Brawn
    August 23, 2015

    Unfamiliarity breeds contempt? [Just kidding]

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mr. Merveilleux
      August 23, 2015

      In a way, yes 🙂 It certainly breeds confusion. It’s surprising how much of one’s identity is tied up with where we live and what we own.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I do like to color of the wall in the photo on the right.
    On the other hand you are now more experienced and don’t make very many wrong purchasing decisions. The impulsiveness of our youth where we fall in love with something we see in a store or auction, buy it, only to admit it really doesn’t work in the home and then we are stuck, is diminished with age and experience.

    Like

    • Mr. Merveilleux
      August 23, 2015

      I work with art/design, so getting it right is an obligation 🙂
      I love that grey too, it’s actually the original colour of the room. We spent the first few weeks test-scraping to find the first layers of paint in every room. The house was originally decorated by Maison Jansen (who also did the White House for Jackie Kennedy) so my plan is to get as close as possible to their design and style.

      Like

  6. roughseasinthemed
    August 23, 2015

    Your chandelier looks better in its new home.

    I experienced different feelings when I first moved to Spain, mainly, how many bills from the previous owner were we going to be hit with? (We passed them all on.) she still uses our address for all her hacienda and coche taxes.

    What I do get, living between two places is an inability to remember where I am. I’ll wake up and think I’m in the other place. I think that’s just old age though 😉

    Figuring out the day to day is the easiest way to go about it. Once you’ve worked out where you are of course.

    Like

    • Mr. Merveilleux
      August 23, 2015

      You’ve got a temperament that adapts well to change. How many countries have you lived in?
      For me going to Malaga was like going to another country 🙂 At one point I didn’t like crossing from Soto alto to Soto bajo. And because of the dogs we had a three hour rule, meaning wherever we went we had to be back within three hours.
      Going from that life to this one was jumping in at the deep end. I’m at the stage where I avoid leaving the house as much as possible to compensate for all the change.

      Like

      • roughseasinthemed
        August 23, 2015

        Worked and lived in France, Italy, India (v briefly), and the longest was in Australia before Spain and Gibraltar. Oh, and England. Tried to work in Germany but the grape picking arrangement fell through so went on holiday instead.

        We’ve always had a dog hour rule too. Dogs can be so convenient at times. 🙂 They keep you out of all sorts of mischief and extended social situations.

        I can imagine the change from Soto to southern France to be significant. Moving was exciting when we were younger. There’s no attraction now. But who knows?

        Liked by 1 person

      • Mr. Merveilleux
        August 23, 2015

        I promise you moving is not exciting at this stage of life. It’s tiresome. One’s back hurts. Not knowing which of the china boxes has the soup plates is a pain.
        I’m never moving again.

        Liked by 1 person

      • roughseasinthemed
        August 24, 2015

        It wasn’t too bad in our 40s to Spain and then to Gib. But ten or more years later, I wouldn’t relish it. I admire Mike’s fortitude.

        I used to unpack everything immediately. Unlike you, we never do up our places immediately, usually just before we come to move. Hence we live in hovels. But still, they are usually in financially sound places 🙂

        If you aren’t moving again, does that mean I can’t tempt you back to Andalucia? 😦

        Like

      • Mr. Merveilleux
        August 24, 2015

        Mike is amazing. I’ve never known anyone with the sort of energy he’s got. Right now he’s in the basement sanding windows which he’ll then paint.
        He’s the reason we managed to keep the Soto house looking the way it did even though we had very little outside help.
        He gets up at 6am, from 7am forward he’s walking around looking for anything that’s not quite right. Could be repainting, could be weeds, if he knows how to fix it he does. Meanwhile I’m in bed pondering existentialism and the merits and demerits of whatever I was reading the night before.

        If I can one day buy in Andalucia, it’ll be a second home. So no packing will be involved except for a suitcase. Besides, I’d want something very different from this house, so it would be a rustic finca sort of thing. Whitewashed and all that. Everything that’s here stays exactly where it is 🙂

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      • roughseasinthemed
        August 24, 2015

        A is a few years younger than Mike. He gets up a similar time (was 5.30 today), walks Snowy, has tea and toast, and started work at 7.30 painting the block staircase. He’d have started sooner but was waiting for another dog owner to walk their dog first. (Snowy goes ballistic.) I, of course, am lying on the sofa, having moved from the bed, pondering how much editing/reading/whatever paperwork I can get done today. Instead of actually doing it.

        Mine is rustic and was whitewashed. Cal is a pain to keep up to and harbours nasty bichos. TKrom does a good quality paint that looks the same and lasts well. Has the chalky effect.

        Like

  7. belle💕beckford
    August 23, 2015

    It is strange moving house and moving to a different environment/country is so dramatic too. I’ve moved too often – countries, US states – and I still feel out of place sometimes. But it does get easier once you embrace it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mr. Merveilleux
      August 23, 2015

      I am trying to throw myself into it head first, to really put down roots. We’re exploring the area, inviting people over to the house- but it all still feels very, very new. We’ve only been here since March, so I guess it’s partly normal.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. acflory
    August 23, 2015

    I’m a homebody, and there’s a part of me that still misses every single house that was a ‘home’, but I’ve put down roots here, in Warrandyte, and you will grow into Mazamet as well. As for the sense of purpose, that you have to provide for yourself, and I think you’ve already started; you have the skills and the ‘voice’ to make a difference in the world. -hugs-

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mr. Merveilleux
      August 23, 2015

      I do love everything, the house, the region, the projects we have going. I suppose the big difference is that in the past 15 years change was gradual. This time it was complete and all encompassing.
      November 2014: financially tight, workaholic, home-owner, ultra-busy social diary, ancient car, Spain
      December 2014: financially flush, can’t work during the move, looking for a house, don’t know a soul, brand new car, France
      March 2014: New house
      Summer 2014: rental property owner x 10.
      It’s a lot to absorb 🙂

      Like

      • acflory
        August 24, 2015

        lmao – when you put it like that, it is. I suspect though that the only thing that has substantially /not/ changed is the workaholic part. You’ve simply changed the focus of your work, and the motivation behind it.

        Like

  9. theoccasionalman
    August 24, 2015

    When I found myself in a similar situation but in a much smaller living space, I started learning to play the guitar. I like learning things. Enjoy the stillness while you figure out how to fill your days.

    Like

  10. Helen Devries
    August 24, 2015

    Well don’t do what the Dutch IT millionaire did after buying one of our houses…he went from door to door with bottles of Oud Genever. to intoduce himself.
    The neighbours thought that he was offering samples..grabbed them and shut their doors.
    His Rolls Royce counted for nothing…it was neither French nor German…

    Bit of a shock to go from one life to another…..take your time…society in a place like Mazamet has its own rules and while it is happy to accept a well heeled incomer you need an insider for the introductions that count.

    Like

    • Mr. Merveilleux
      August 26, 2015

      OOOh no! I’m not complaining about not being socially busy! It’s actually a relief. It’s just odd adjusting to a completely different way of life 😉 I can’t tell you how wonderful it is to not be pressured into going to lunch after lunch after lunch.

      Like

      • Helen Devries
        August 26, 2015

        Amazing how the underlying purpose of a lunch invitation can spoil the appetite at times…

        Liked by 1 person

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