Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Dazed and confused

Dear friends, I'm so sorry I've been quiet for so long with not even an explanation for you. We went off to see the family in England and attend our friends' wedding in Ireland, in between which we stole a few days to ourselves in a cottage on an organic farm in Tipperary with an overnight sojourn to the Aran islands.

Ah, it was blissful. Over two weeks hanging out with my darling girl and the hubby exploring, slowing down, walking, breathing, reading (real books!) and staring at the sort of landscapes that heal the soul (I can recommend the view across to Connemara, the Burren and the Cliffs of Moher from Dun Aengus, a 4000-year-old fort on Inishmor, at sunset, especially if surveyed while inhaling the scalpy scent of the flaxen-haired 11-month old pixie snoozing in the baby bjorn on your chest).

Seeing the grannies was also marvellous (and when I say grannies, I include grandpas and uncles and aunts, and great grannies and great uncles, too) partly for the extra pairs of hands but mainly to share the pixie with people who get almost as big a kick out of her as I do. I have a nasty feeling I shall need to un-eco-friendlyly fly them here more often; either that or move home...

Things seem to have gone a bit haywire since we got back. A jetlagged baby is never a pretty thing but tonight poor little Dot puked all over the baby food aisle of a supermarket (and her mother and herself) in Battery Park City (downtown Manhattan near the World Trade Center) and was found to have a temperature of 100.6 on arrival home (she's sleeping peacefully now so fingers crossed). We were in downtown Manhattan because the hubby and I think we've decided this commute is no good for me (it cuts into my Dot time too much, psychologically I feel too far away from her, it's nearly an extra hour on the trip upstate and anyway I want to be riding my bike to work) and we miss our old life (no subways, just strolling round the West Village of a summer's evening) so in a burst of activity we decided to look at Manhattan apartments. Whether we can afford to live in the city is something we're not really talking about; for now it's enough to poke about on the offchance we find something ideal. We tend to get lucky like that.

And then we did. Well, if we find ourselves with $1.2M to spare, we did. A green building going up right on the river. Green roof, recycled water, fresh air circulating, bamboo floors, energy-efficient devices, a poet's cafe, organic bakery, kid's playroom and branch of the NYC public library on site, free bike storage, Zipcar pick-up center and swings and other kiddie stuff right out front. All with air that feels fresh and a 20 minutes from work. It's kind of greenie heaven (although I struggle with the fact it's a new build and the kitchen cabinets are decorated with hardwood - i.e. not that green but anyway...)

The weirdest bit was the hubby loved the idea. I'd barely bothered to suggest a green building even though I'd been reading and dreaming about them, assuming he would scoff and dismiss it out of hand.

"No, it makes total sense," he said. "Apart from anything else, everyone will want a green building in a few year's time so it'll be worth a fortune."

So we went back to look today. Dot was laughing and boogieing all over the apartment. The bathroom was a bit naff but otherwise it was lovely. The sun was shining, there was a refreshing breeze, people were biking, blading, sailing and kayaking past the front door. The hubby was sizing the place up to see if he could shoot there.

Then Dot was sick. Then I hit a rough patch. Was it worry about her puking? The thought of dragging her in the buggy back to Brooklyn and up endless stairs on my own in shoes that were rubbing and with 73 bags of crap to carry? The hormones from being back at work, apart from Dot? Being a spoilt brat at seeing a dream apartment which ticked all the boxes but that we couldn't afford? Or the reality of another manic day in the office, dreaming of the greening/Dotting/blogging days of yore?

Ah, who knows. And now I'm home in Brooklyn it's cool and peaceful and I wonder if we should just stay. The other option is to go and live on Inishmann for a year to grow vegetables and write a book. That's what I'd really like to do.

At least I think it is.....


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