Thursday, October 25, 2007

Gushing

Is anyone still here?

What a whirlwind... The crisp autumnal air, the clear blue skies and the fiery crinkly leaves have all conspired to inject new energy into my jet-lagged bones. I love Autumn.

On Friday, we saw Akram Khan perform Zero Degrees again at the Sadler's Wells with Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui. My review from the last time we saw this performance remains unchanged, but I marvelled again at how the loose, fluid movements of Cherkaoui contrasted beautifully with the logical, almost alacritic movements of Khan. This now counts as my sixth Akram Khan performance, all of which are collected here on my blog since 2004. Obsessed, moi?

Then on Saturday night, we attended Philip Glass's musical adaptation of Leonard Cohen's The Book Of Longing poems. I like Glass's original compositions, but find his adaptations of other peoples' work less passionate and inspiring than the originals. I enjoyed this night for the majestic presence of Mr Cohen himself. What a man! Though he sat in the audience for the entire performance - at the end of our row no less - he did recite one of his poems for us on stage and there were other recorded recitations throughout. I would have enjoyed the night even more if it had been just him and his voice. He has a dark and brooding drawl that draws one dangerously in and his descriptions of love and sex and passion and women and God that are so addictive. In short - he is very sexy... and in his 70s! He's also followed Buddhism (without necessarily calling himself a Buddhist) for several decades and several of the audience questions directed at him about spirituality were flowery, pretentious and almost cultish. He deflected those with poise, tact and elegance revealing a man whose spirituality is so private and ingrained that he doesn't have to go on about it. My hero.

Much of Saturday was spent viewing flats and houses in our area - 10 in total. We shortlisted a couple of places in our minds, but I was not entirely convinced: the layout was odd, or the decor was too sterile, or the second bedroom was too cramped and made me feel claustrophobic. And then we opened the door to a three bedroom house in a leafy, quiet street 5 minutes from where we already live and we were instantly smitten. The decor was all wrong, of course (bright red walls in the living room, lilac walls in the bathroom, pine everywhere), but every room was the perfect size and the layout was perfect - a double living room, a double kitchen with room for a large dining table, a pretty private garden with well-established shrubs and trees, two excellent-sized double bedrooms upstairs plus a good sized single bedroom which can be our study or, later, nursery.

We are both used to making instant decisions - quickly weighing up the pros and cons rationally, but ultimately going with our gut. Though we saw a few more houses and flats afterwards, this was the one we kept thinking about. So on Monday we put in an offer and, after a little haggling from both sides, our offer was accepted and they took the house off the market. This morning we set the ball rolling in terms of mortgage, surveyor and solicitor. It could all go pear-shaped and we are prepared to keep searching. But in the meantime, I can't help dreaming of my new house! I pray we can move in before the New Year.

I'm not done with our Japanese trip... hang in there and I will get round to blogging more about it.

14 comments:

Olivia said...

It's funny, that's exactly what happens. The one that nags at you is the one you go back to.

As for the performances you saw. Well, my first reaction was, "gosh, you're so contemporary and so sophisticated!". So there. You are.

First time I heard Philip Glass was on a high school field trip to the Museum of Fine Arts Dallas, in a sound installation. I was a much more concrete and logical person then than I am now, and was immersed in the sciences. Almost the only music I listened to back then was classical, and so to me Glass sounded amazingly random! Now, though, I love his soundtrack to The Hours, and bought it before I even saw the movie.

Looking forward to your next Japan post, but most of all wish you the best in acquiring your new home!

Olivia said...

Oh no no no! I take back the Museum paragraph! It was John Cage, not Glass. D'oh!

childwoman said...

I am here....enjoying the trip to tokyo with you :)

Little Nutbrown Hare said...

Oh wow, that's great news! Fingers crossed for all the paperwork BS...

kate said...

yep: still here :) . . . and congratulations on the house! it sounds lovely . . .

chakli said...

congratulations on the house! how exciting! yep, you know when it is the right one.

Southways said...

yup, still here. Is this your first home? So exciting. We bought our first last year and I envy you the excitment....and wait till you start looking for furniture!!!!

Planethalder said...

Thank you all for the best wishes. Southways, it isn't my husband's first home but it's my first - I've always rented. Plus it's our first bought property together which makes it very special.

We have a fair bit of furniture already luckily but I'm looking forward to buying more as this is by far the biggest place I've ever lived in (without sharing) since my parents' home!

Fingers crossed! W

wd said...

just another person saying, yes, still here! congrats on the house. phillip glass? for the most part: yech. I'll take steve reich over him any day.

Hypatia said...

Wah! Congratulations on the house! It's refreshing to hear your experience was fairly smooth and pleasing rather than the doom and gloom about housebuying that all the newspapers keep promoting.

I walked down the aisle to Philip Glass. That's how much we love his music. It was the opening bars to the first piece of music on the Uakti album - beautiful, absolutely beautiful.

Planethalder said...

Wow, Hyp, how romantic!

S said...

Oooh, a bit late here. Congratulations on the house purchase (fingers crossed).

Myhusband and I bought our flat in Stoke Newington five and a half years ago. It was the second place we saw, and we are very happy there. We love it, snd I dread the day we'll have to move out.

Planethalder said...

Thanks S. I hope everything goes as well for us in our new place as it obviously has for you. Home sweet home, nothing better huh?

Anonymous said...

SilentoneinLondon

A bit late with my congratulations but nevertheless, many many congratulations. Its a very exciting time..