Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Memory Lane - Our first home together

So I realise that I’m constantly counting days... (usually with the help of online date-counters) ...
Our home in PMB was our home for 67 nights, and last night we slept our 68th night here. That means we’ve lived longer as a married couple in Cologne than in PMB! I find that mind-boggling!

So, feeling somewhat nostalgic, I decided to reflect on our PMB-home.

I lived there since the beginning of 2011 when I started post-grad. I was getting tired of the digs-life (though I loooooved living with my digs-mates!) and decided it was time to venture out on my own... at least a little. I remember looking for a flat in the classifieds and trying to get the courage to phone people to see the available places (I really avoid speaking on the phone!). It was a Sunday afternoon and Malcolm was hanging out with me when I finally tried calling the numbers I had listed... I was SO disappointed that after all my courage-building, nobody answered their phones! So, determined to be brave, I found another advert and called – they answered, and I made plans to go see the place.

Malcolm and I arrived there, and met Fred and Valerie... they showed us the flat, and I don’t think I stopped smiling the whole time we were there. It was lovely – a beautiful little garden, open-plan kitchen with lots of space, a bedroom with built-in cupboards, secure... I was in love! I called mum and told her about the place, and she phoned them to arrange things. I think Fred and Valerie  were apprehensive about having a student live there, but in hindsight, with all the cookies and cupcakes I baked, I don’t think they minded!

I was so excited to move in; I needed to buy a stove and microwave and all sorts of things, but it was the first time I was living completely alone (besides Fred and Valerie who were on the property), and it was so much fun organising things. It took ages to pack up all my stuff from my huge digs-room, and it was just Malcolm and I moving everything in our cars... thank goodness he had roof-racks on his! It was a HOT day and I was surprised by how much stuff I had.

Over the next two years the flat gathered gathered more things and so many memories were created there... it was the venue for tea-parties and pic-nics and braais. It was the place for family to stay the night when they found themselves in town. It was where I worked on assignments, baked excessively... I loved to throw open the windows and get a breeze through the flat. I’d lie on the cold tiles on a hot day.

When Malcolm and I were planning our wedding we needed to consider where to live. On one hand, we wanted to move into a new place together and make it home, on the other hand, we knew there was the possibility that we’d be moving anyway and it wasn’t worth the effort moving twice in two months. So, it was small, but we managed to fit all our stuff and made it our home when Malcolm moved in after our wedding. It had always felt a bit like “our place” because he’d been there from step one, and because he’d come over for supper most evenings and he usually did the dishes... but there were times that it felt like my place – he still needed to figure out the hot and cold tap in the shower and he’d never seen the house in complete darkness. It was strange, and I don’t know if it ever really felt like it was our place for him, even though his stuff was there and I did my best to try make it feel different. But it was great, not needing to say goodnight in the drive-way!

 Then there were Fred and Valerie, our amazing landlords. After I asked, they increased the rent by such a tiny amount when Malcolm moved in. They were really accommodating and patient with us constantly parking them in. But more than that, they were like our PMB parents (though we had quite a few!). Fred helped Malcolm out when his car broke down one afternoon and I was teaching. He also helped us out when we were leaving and Malcolm’s car again gave trouble and needed to be towed, and then needed to be fetched after we were already in Germany. Fred engraved a pocket knife I bought for Malcolm, and he calmed me down when I was freaking out two weeks before the wedding and Malcolm’s ring was way too big. Valerie taught me how to sew ballet skirts. They gave us free-reign in their house when we house-sat for them. I played hide-and-seek with their grand-kids in their house while babysitting there. They gave us suitcases they didn’t need any more so we didn’t need to buy any when we moved over here. They both worked from home and I loved stopping for a chat on my way in or out.

I'm so glad they were at our wedding, and it really was so sad saying goodbye to them after two and a half years living there! 

So, now we're here in Cologne... we've made really great memories here, and there's lots I love about this place too. But, I also really miss the people in PMB and our little home we had there... and despite our adventures here, those memories we made there are still some of my favorites! 


  1. I also really dislike calling people on the phone, usually I have to psych myself up and then just do it.
    Hope your new home is everything you want it to be, it's such a special time to build a home together!

    1. I'm so glad it's not just me! But actually once it's over I realise it wasn't so bad ;)
      Thanks, it is so much fun and really special! :D