It’s sort of forward planning.

You may remember, dear reader, my horror last summer at running out of books and my subsequent purchase of a Sony eReader to make sure it would never happen again?

Well, of course, being the old codger that I am, the eReader is fine – for emergencies. I really prefer a “real” book – the feel of the pages, the smell of the book, the never running out of battery, etc., etc.

Last year, if I remember rightly, I had somewhere around 9 books for 3 weeks and reckoned that, even at a rate of 2 books per week, I’d be fine. In fact, I ran out of books by the end of the second week.

And, although I now have my emergency backup eReader, I don’t want to be running out like last year.

And, the other day, I was reading something on Twitter from one of the people I follow and they were plugging their book as it has just been released in paperback. Which made me look at my “bookshop” (I use Bookstore, in the UK. Amongst the very nice things about this company is the fact that I have my “list” of books saved and I pick out the ones that I want to buy.

Now, I use this company as it is a truly independent book shop. It’s not part of the Amazon mega-corporation. OK, so I pay a little more than I would at Amazon but the service I get is superb. If I want any type of book I can ask. If I want to change my order before it is shipped, I ask. They are always very nice and responsive and you feel you are dealing with a human being rather than some computer (see, I told you I was an old codger).

Anyway, so really, as a response to this Twitter post about the paperback being out, I thought I might as well get it. I went onto the site and found it and, whilst I was there, checked the books I had put in “waiting” and decided to order some.

So, when the order arrives, I will have another load of books to add to ones I had already bought at the end of last year.

I’ve still got some way to go but I shall probably buy some of those books on the shortlist of the Bailey’s Prize this year.

In any event, I am excited about receiving my parcel of books in the next week or so :-)

Moving forward?

Well, I’ve waited until now to mention anything because I didn’t want to spoil it for Lola when we met yesterday evening.

So, I can say that we have made an offer on the flat we saw (again) on Friday. The offer was, obviously, lower than their requested price. Not that the price they wanted seemed that high both for the size of the flat and the position. Still, you can’t offer the full price, can you? Especially as we live in Italy and here, everything is negotiable.

It is a lovely flat. Light and airy, a large double sitting room with an large archway to, what would be, the dining area. We talked about New Year and how we would be able to extend the dining table fully and be much more comfortable. We talked about the fact that we would need to buy more chairs.

We talked about or, rather, I suggested that he could have his sound system in the corner of the dining area – then we would have music for guests and it would be “his” area. He could do his “music” stuff without interruption.

The hallway is long and, in places, very large. The front door opens onto what is, almost, a room. A doorway opens to the dining area. The “corridor” goes through the length of the flat with a doorway on the left to the lounge and to the right to the large kitchen.

The kitchen needs to have the units fitted, of course, as is common here. But it will be large enough to have a smallish table. It has a small “service” room off to one side, perfect for the dogs stuff and some cupboards to hold things like dog food and cleaning equipment. And there are sockets! This is not so common here, in Italy. It almost seems as if people don’t use electrical devices! Having a number of adapters and multi-plugs is common, as I have now. But, maybe in the future, less will be needed :-)

The hallway continues leading to another doorway on the left to a large “bedroom” that would actually be my studio. I have mentioned “doorways” since they have removed nearly all the doors apart from the kitchen, the bathrooms and the bedroom. Obviously, for this to be my studio, we will need to refit a door or, rather, what I want is a reclaimed double door, such as that in the kitchen, the original type of doors for the 20s and 30s, with half glass and, if we can find it, one of those with an art noveaux/art deco-type stained glass. I’m sure we can. People are throwing them out these days.

My “studio” would also contain my wardrobe – but it is a very large room.

Where the hallway gets to the studio doorway, it opens out again to create a type of “room”, though small. From here there are the doors to the two bathrooms – one quite narrow with a shower at the end and the other quite large with a full bath. It’s particularly nice as the fittings are all brand new.

There is also a door to the bedroom which, although not as large as my current bedroom, is large enough for a full-length wardrobe, double bed and other units and still with plenty of space.

The other advantage is that there are four balconies, for the dogs. Also the bedroom is at the back of the building and, so, much quieter than mine is now.

We went with the estate agent to his office and made our official proposal. F wrote a cheque for a deposit and now we wait until the end of the week to see if they will accept our proposal.

But F is quite excited and we are talking about how life will be better and things much easier and that we can have people come round and do dinners and drinks and stuff.

We are talking about the re-covering of the sofa, F picking types of material he likes. We’re talking about kitchens.

It’s all very exciting.

And yet ……. there is that part of me that feels a little bit frightened. Of course, unlike my previous relationships, I am happy with things as they are – in a way. So, it’s the “change” that frightens rather than anything concrete. But I’m sure it will all be fine. It’s not like we’re teenagers and we seem to rub along just fine.

So, Thursday or Friday we should know more. And you’ll be the first to know :-)