Week 24: Fresher air
This blog started, twenty-three weeks ago, with the words ‘I craved fresher air . . .’. They appear below my portrait, as painted by my niece, Lucy Gordon. She insists it wasn’t a portrait of me at all, just one of the many animal characters she creates in between looking after three small children and working for the NHS. I took an instant, unwittingly solipsistic liking to it, and soon after was informed by everyone who saw it that it was, basically, me. According to how this displays on your device, you may or may not see Edith: she’s either on the right, or hidden way below at the bottom of the string of posts.
Anyway, the craving for fresher air than London could ever offer was one of the many impetuses for our move. So the irony of having caught bronchitis on arrival is not lost on me.
It came on the back of what seemed such an insignificant cold. I let the cough linger for a week. Husband returned from his baking course in Scotland, more enthusiastic and optimistic than ever, if that were possible, and my condition concerned him.
I followed up on the estate agent’s suggested clinic and got an appointment on the day of asking, at a cost of 55 euros. The doctor was pleasant, precise in his diagnosis and reassuring. The pharmacist was very quick with the prescription, and very nice. I am to see the doctor again in ten days’ time; he would like to ensure the lung infection is gone. ‘We don’t want it to develop into pneumonia,’ he said. Heavens, no, we don’t.
My next doctor’s appointment is therefore on the thirteenth of November, in Tavira, which, by coincidence, is also the day – and place – of final signatures for the purchase of our home. We will meet the Sensibles, the agent, our respective lawyers and a notary to complete the transfer of ownership. After that, the Sensibles will stay on for a couple of days before departing on the Saturday to drive north; in a sense, they’ll be our house guests. A somewhat unconventional arrangement.
We have spent time with the Sensibles at the house and I am pleased to report that we are all back on terms of perfect mutual understanding and, I dare say, affection. When I’m at the house, I feel a tumble of joy, disbelief and apprehension. The apprehension not least because there is an awful lot of land, both garden and scrub, and I have hitherto barely kept a house plant alive. We were there today, and I breathed in wild herbs pressed underfoot as we walked up the hill behind. (I’m glad of the antibiotics, which have restored ease of breathing and my sense of smell.) I picked a stalk of dry lavender and crushed it to release an unexpectedly rich scent. Bay in the garden had an intensity of fragrance I have never experienced before. Freshly picked lemons were heady. It sometimes feels overwhelming.