Notes by Nectar

Your destiny lies in your own hands

Three months in…

So, I moved into my own apartment exactly three months ago yesterday. The time has flown by and I’m still loving being on my own. I love days when I can just sit around in my pajamas and get on with work or reading or writing. It is total bliss.

I have finally put up my paintings and mirrors too – so the flat is really starting to take shape.

I still hate cooking – but eventually came up with a solution. I spoke to a couple of friends about meal plans which are delivered to your doorstep on a daily basis. I made a few enquiries and ended up going with Daintree – because they have the option of delivering just one meal a day. Every Monday they send out the menu choices for the following week, I fill in the form online, and then six evenings a week, one main course, one side dish and one snack are delivered to me. My breakfast is usually tea, almonds and a banana, and one meal I can manage on my own – pasta, cottage cheese and crackers, or whatever. And then one meal is a proper hot meal. The meals are all healthy and low-carb and I’m happy with that.

I’m loving not having a TV. By the end of January I was already on my fifth book of the year – and my goal for the year is to read 30 books. A friend asked me if I’d perhaps be able to finish all the unread books on my shelves. I told him that if that pile of books was Mount Everest, I’m not even at base camp yet! There’s a long way to go. And I still need to sort out that second bookcase.

I’ve discovered I quite like plants. I inherited my mum’s curly bamboo, but have also received two orchids, one Chinese money plant (Pilea peperomioides), a prayer plant (Maranta) and some basil. The basil was brought by a friend from Spinney’s for a small get-together. I put what we didn’t use in a pot and it hasn’t stopped growing. Miraculously, all the plants are still alive.

Basil (left) and Sybil – the prayer plant (right)

I have some very intriguing neighbours. One guy walks around naked/semi-naked most of the time. Seriously, he needs curtains more than I do. I actually quite like not having curtains and I think putting them up will make my room seem smaller – but I do need to sort that out at some point. When I buy mine, I might buy him some too.

Oh, and the laundry guy has not dared to show his face at my front door.

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On my own…

As I mentioned earlier, I moved into my own place just over seven weeks ago (I’m loving it) and my parents left exactly three weeks ago today…

The last few days of my parents being in Dubai were frustrating – they seemed to be aiming for the most disorganised move in history (and I’m still dealing with some of the fallout from that, such as DEWA deposit refunds, etc.) and I was looking forward to them leaving so that I could enjoy just ‘being’ in my flat.

But, when we got to the airport and said our goodbyes, I bawled my eyes out… which led to my dad getting upset (Mum seemed fine)… And thinking about it now still makes me a bit teary. On my way home, I was debating whether to attend a friend’s 40th that evening. I just wasn’t in the mood. But when I walked in the front door and took a look at the boxes (of junk, admittedly) that Mum had left behind in my living room, I rolled my eyes and got ready. And I’m glad I went – it was a fun night.

The next morning I felt fine – I woke up in my quiet flat and knew I’d made the right decision not to go with them.

But then I suddenly had to think about what to have for lunch. And what to have for dinner. And then repeat the process all over again the following day. And the day after that. I’ve discovered a few things:

  • I absolutely hate cooking. Cooking for one person is a complete waste of time. Even making a simple salad is tedious – washing vegetables, chopping vegetables, making the dressing – and ten minutes later it’s all gone and you have to clear up. I’ve made eggs, stir fries and pasta – but I don’t like the heat of the open flame on the stove either. I do seem to have mastered brown rice though (without the rice cooker).
  • Don’t use the salad spinner on the kitchen counter. This might sound like common sense to you – but as I put the leaves in the spinner I wondered where the water went… and five seconds later I had my answer. Right out of the bottom of it! I did laugh out loud though. At my own stupidity.
  • Don’t go to the supermarket on a Saturday afternoon. I already knew this but had reconfirmation just before the New Year. I thought I’d stock up on a few items before VAT kicked in and I think everyone had the same idea.
  • IKEA has ruined my dream. When I moved here, I bought an Expedit cabinet/bookcase – 185 x 185 cm – for my books… and my plan when I moved was to get another one to go next to it in my living room so I could have my wall-to-wall books. Well, Expedit no longer exists. It was replaced with Kallax, which is almost identical, except it’s 182 x 182 cm. Can I live with that difference of 3 cm and the shelves being 1.5 cm lower on one side of the wall? No, I don’t think so. I need to find other options (I’m currently trawling Dubizzle, hoping someone is selling off their old bookcase).
  • I love sitting at home with the balcony doors open and the birds singing but the flat gets so dusty so quickly!
  • My new laundry guy has been scamming me for the last six weeks – charging me more than I should be paying. I only discovered this because he was away and someone else who works there dropped off the laundry. Oh, just wait until he gets back…
  • Zaatar w Zeit don’t deliver to my new address. I can’t describe the devastation I felt.

Well, I think that about covers all the important things I’ve learned over the last few weeks. I’m sure there will be more revelations as time goes on, so watch this space!

 

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A new chapter…

It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything apart from the weekly and monthly tarot forecasts! I’m still training with Pete but haven’t posted anything about those sessions either, but here’s a quick update with what’s been going on…

Four weeks ago today I moved into my own place. For the very first time. I know – it’s been a long time coming, but I’ve finally done it! Why?

Earlier this year, my parents started toying with the idea of moving to India… and there was absolutely no way I was going with them. They tried very hard to get me to change my mind (guilt, emotional blackmail and so on) but I wasn’t having any of it. There were a couple of times where I thought it would be the easier thing to do, but I just couldn’t bring myself to do it.

I imagined myself living in Business Bay (I don’t know why) with a balcony where I could have my tea and read/write every day, but… back in August, a friend of mine and I came to see a couple of flats in a quiet neighbourhood behind the Trade Centre Roundabout and I fell in love with the building. The flats I saw were nice – one was a duplex with an amazing walk-in wardrobe and the other was a single-level flat, which was a bit bigger and brighter. I spend a lot of time at home and wanted somewhere which would feel spacious. Anyway, saw the flats, liked them, but I wasn’t sure about the neighbourhood and getting around (I don’t drive) and I also felt August was a bit too soon to start paying rent as my parents wouldn’t be leaving until December.

Fast forward to October. I’d seen a few flats, nothing I particularly liked – including one in the building where I used to live. I emailed the property manager to see if there were any apartments going in the building I’d been to in August. There were two. On Diwali, Mum and I went to see them and I just fell in love with the flat. It was different from the one I’d seen in August – it was bigger – and I immediately knew where all my (parents’) furniture would slot in and I imagined wall-to-wall books on one side. A week later I’d signed the contract and moved in a couple of weeks after that!

After getting quotes from a few moving companies, I decided to go with Emovers. I’d heard horror stories about moving companies here and how you have to watch them carefully and make sure they handle things properly. But I was so impressed with them. They were on time, polite, efficient, careful and quick. For example, my bookcase is an IKEA one, made of up 25 squares. When they were packing the books, they labelled the boxes A1, A2, B3, etc so that they would know in which square to slot the books in when they were unpacking! I’d highly recommend them – and even emailed them the following day to tell them how happy I was.

A week before I moved, my parents had some friends over for dinner. ‘What are you most looking forward to when you move?’ one of them asked me. ‘Peace and quiet,’ I replied, without even thinking about it. ‘Yes, but you know, sometimes that just bites you on the ass,’ she said. Excuse me? Talk about raining on my parade! I didn’t really know what to say to that so I didn’t say anything. Of course, the perfect response came to me three days later (as usual). ‘Oh, but I quite like that,’ is what I should have said.

My parents asked how I’d manage for food (I can’t cook to save my life) – I told them I’d learn off YouTube! And probably lose a bit of weight in the process (not a bad thing). I joked with a friend a couple of days ago that I’d have to attend networking events where they served canapes and attend parties I wouldn’t have considered in the past, just for the food! Oh, how we laughed.

I’ve been spoilt living in Dubai – living at home, with a car and driver, with live-in help and having all my meals cooked, laundry done, bed made (!) and so on. I’m now dealing with cleaners who say they’re coming on a certain day and then don’t show up or answer their phone (FFS) – which is just frustrating. I don’t miss the live-in help. I love waking up and pottering around in my pajamas without having to put on a dressing gown, I love the peace and quiet (I chose not to have a TV), I’m even enjoying the birds that sit on my balcony every afternoon (and crap everywhere). The bamboo, orchid and basil plant are all thriving – which is surprising considering my office/house in London used to be the place where plants went to die.

My parents leave on Tuesday and I’ve been going home for most meals – my fridge is pretty bare at the moment. So it’s been a lot of back and forth. I haven’t put up my mirrors and paintings yet and there are still a few things to sort out, but once they’ve gone and I can spend more time at home, I’ll be able to do that.

So this is my new chapter… wish me luck!

A.

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