My dad’s flat: the dirt and the benefits

So, as some of you, or none of you know, I moved into my dad’s flat yesterday. After leaving my job and the town where I worked, I spent two weeks at my mum’s. I took that time as a sort of mini-vacation during which I spent a lot of time thinking about writing and trying to escape to places where I could  actually write (not succeeding) and reading and going for jogs.

One thing has been made very clear to me during those weeks at my mum’s: why my dad had a separate place for writing when I was little. It’s impossible to write around her, plus at the time my brother and I lived at home as well, so triple that distraction (or double, because my brother was never home). My mum doesn’t really realise that what to her is only a comment or a side note, to the person writing it is like someone would drag you out of the place in your head where the story lives and force you to concentrate on something very trivial (as an example, the other day my mum dragged to look at a photo of my friend’s dog on Facebook) and then it takes a good while to claw ourselves back into that space.

So, I actually never had hard feelings about my dad disappearing once a week, but if I did, he would be forgiven. A room of one’s own. And a door with a sturdy lock and at least 1km between my mum and me.

So what about the dirt you ask? Weeeeell… There was, and is still, a great lot of it. I mean actual dirt. I’m not the most neatest person in the world nor am I cleanest. I leave dirty dishes in the sink for days and sometimes go through my fridge to remove any liquefied fruit or vegetables and mouldy jars of pesto.

Suffice it to say that I was pretty shocked. I spent yesterday cleaning the kitchen, as it was the most critical place. I also washed the window (in Finland we have triple windows, so that’s no small feat) and hung curtains. There’s still a couple of cupboards to tackle, but if I cleaned first and wrote later it would take me a week to get to writing.

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Another problem here is the smell. My dad smokes pipe. Luckily he does it on the balcony only but of course it has spread from there to the living room and with his clothes to everywhere else. He hasn’t lived here long enough for it to stick to the wallpaper, but it’s still going to take a while to air out the smell. I’ve chosen my writing space according to the smell, so I’m now sitting in the bedroom. One of the walls in the bedroom is entirely a cork board, so I’ve pinned my character bios and other notes on the wall. I love that wall!

I was too exhausted to write anything yesterday. I cleaned for 10 hours. I didn’t even open the computer yesterday! But today I’m going to make up for it.

More cleaning and writing updates to come.

Love,

Maiju

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