Only six months ago today, Daniel and I spent our first night in our shared home. It feels like another century! Not many days before that, we hurried along to the estate agents, eager to catch them as early as we possibly could before we headed off to the Lake District for a dramatic few days' holiday . The lovely estate agent indulged our excitement completely, and taking the keys to our new home I felt more like an excited child in a toyshop than someone who had just made the most grown up and important commitment of her life so far! We hurried to our new house, running between the rooms in delight and awe at the adventure that was ahead; the house really was, and still is, a dream come true, and back then with its bare rooms and fusty smell, it was a real-live blank canvas for us to start painting a life together.
In the spirit of this little landmark I've been thinking about what has changed, or come about, during the time we have lived together. The changes haven't been big or even obvious, but day by day I've noticed some small shifts in the way I, and we, work.
I've noticed that...
...I am, as it turns out, incredibly lazy. Faced with a few days alone in the house, I suddenly realized that I had no idea when the rubbish and recycling should go out, or even what to do with it.
...my boyfriend is an amazing cook! Give him a big kitchen, space to create chaos and a spice rack and you will have an incredibly tasty and fantastically healthy meal within the hour. Never offer to do the washing up as a compromise for his cooking efforts, though, and don't expect to find a spare plate, bowl or fork to eat the meal with.
...when disasters are shared they become adventures.
...I have more bad habits than I cared to realize, made all the more noticable by Daniel's surprising lack of bad habits.
...living with someone else means you can benefit from another lifestyle aside from your own - orange juice, weekend papers, a LoveFilm subscription and novels by authors whose names I can't pronounce are just some of the wonderous newcomers into my life these days.
...having someone to laugh with is, at times, just as important as oxygen and water.
...this is not giving up any sort of independance, and it is certainly not becoming a half of someone else. It is becoming a half of something much bigger, stronger and tidier than I could ever be on my own, and that is simply awesome.
...for some reason I really care which way the teaspoons are put into the drawer. This is troubling, but not as troubling as the time Daniel put the teaspoons back the wrong way.
...life is much more fun when it's shared with someone else.
...once the romance has been turned down to a simmer, something even more wonderous starts to appear. Like in the beautiful passage from Captain Corelli's Mandolin, it's as if we're unfolding into "an art and a fortunate accident", where everything is comfortable and warm, and it doesn't even matter if my pyjama bottoms don't match my pyjama top. You could almost call it taking things for granted, but actually I think it's more like the roots metaphor from the same passage: "roots that grew towards eachother".