Tuesday, February 10, 2004

Sunday morning comes early
(or, a lad’s pad no longer)

The curse is lifted, the sun shines once more on our happy vale.

OK, I exaggerate – but we’ve finally replaced the top-room flatmate (the odd mathematician who departed rather spectacularly at the end of last term) and my favourite Italian, the good sociologist, returned from a week in Milan yesterday as well.

Now, while we have never been a larger-can and dirty-socks-on-the-floor kind of house, we have been a house of five or six men for some time. I think we’ve made an effort not to let standards slip for this very reason. We also have, most useful of things, a kitchen cleanliness freak and of course, five visits a week from a bedder, dubbed by my Greek and Italian flatmates “Santa Martha”. She’s fabulously sweet to us, and thinks we’re very tidy and considerate.

(I still cannot believe how rapidly my egalitarian embarrassment at have a cleaner come in so often has evaporated in the face of sheer convenience.)

Anyway, with the latest addition to our “garret” room (standing upright in some corners of it is rather tricky), we finally have a full-time female resident. (A fellow committee member and a South African, just to add to our household’s UN flavour.) We also have a flatmate’s girlfriend visiting from Greece. The change in atmosphere is subtle, but evident. Between a visitor and a new flatmate, and the sudden presence of two women, everyone is making a real effort to be polite and welcoming.

(The amiable trading of insults in three languages will break out again soon, though, I’m sure.)

And most delightful of all, everyone woke up between ten and eleven this morning and wandered down to the kitchen and lounge room. With everyone milling around in track suits and PJs, making cereal and coffee and swapping stories and jokes it really felt like – well – family, or a relaxed Sunday morning.

Even the elusive downstairs lawyer popped his head in (he’s friendly, but he’s normally only at home to sleep, shower and change clothes).

Fabulous way to start the morning.

If only I weren’t now psychologically convinced it’s Sunday. How can I work under these conditions?

No comments: