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.