A month earlier than is usual, I find myself with a four-week countdown. Tomorrow we will sign the contract on the Sett. I’m trying to nail down a completion date today; likely it will be the 28 November, which is when the stubborn tenants will leave.
We have arranged to stay, or at least pay rent and keep the room, at the Palais until 1 December. It is like living in the eye of a hurricane – all around us things are swirling and being uprooted but – for the moment at least – we are calm. Housemate M has left the building and taken her plastic shoppers with her. Temp Housemate has decided that her boyfriend, the commercial pilot, should move in with her. Temp Housemate is between contracts right now as is her boyfriend but, since we will cease to be landlords on 18 November and TA’s sister will take on the mantle of responsibility, I’m not going to worry about their ability to pay rent and bills or the legality of endlessly subletting rooms.
A moment of Googling tells me that the colours of advent are purple, colour of royalty, and the blue of the night sky. And, as flippant or irreverent as this may sound to those with deeply held beliefs, I do draw a number of parallels with the following explanation:
“Advent is marked by a spirit of expectation, of anticipation, of preparation, of longing. There is a yearning for deliverance from the evils of the world…It is the cry of those who have experienced the tyranny of injustice in a world under the curse of sin, and yet who have hope of deliverance by a God who has heard the cries of oppressed slaves and brought deliverance!”
There are a few other areas of our life that TA and I would like deliverance from – the tyranny of unemployment, the tyranny of struggling with money, but as the season requires we are remaining hopeful that this deliverance will come to pass.
Finally, I’m very much looking forward to lighting an Advent candle in our new home – I love the festive season, bringing light and love to dark, cold nights. Celebrating family and marking the year’s end. My own celebrations and rituals encompass many sensual pleasures. Rereading the Dark is Rising sequence. Listening to the BBC’s adaptation of the Lord of the Rings on cassette. Drinking cocoa. Scuffing through the dead leaves and enjoying the smell of leaf mould. Pretending to hibernate under our wedding blanket. Cuddling and holding hands. Pumpkin soup. Mulled wine. Spices. Ugg boot slippers and velvet skirts.
Come February I shall be heartily sick of the cold, bleak damp that London exudes, but right now I welcome it and the way in which my world slows and the mind focuses on home and hearth.