Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Bad Vibe/Good Vibe

I've mentioned before that the past couple of months have been difficult as I struggle to get even a little bit of sleep and have weird nerve issues and stuff like that. Here is the rest of the story.

I was never overly keen on this apartment. When we looked at it, I was looking to see if it was 'good enough.' I was not looking for wonderful or spectacular or anything like that. Bill was so keen to come here and I did not want to, but I was determined that unless it seemed really bad, I would not make a fuss.

So we looked at it and when he asked what I thought, I said halfheartedly, 'It's OK.' And so it seemed. Moville had promise, but I had misgivings about this apartment from the start. Then we went back to Killybegs for 3 weeks and when we came back, we discovered that mould was growing up our bedroom wall just behind the bed and all around one of the windows. When we pulled aside the net curtain to look out the window over the sink, the area was black with mould. We both got a little depressed. We cleaned it up and kept an eye on stuff. In November, when we went from below freezing temps for several days to the 60s, the mould began to grow again. It is everywhere--except, oddly enough, the small middle bedroom. There is a small bit around the window in there, but the rest of the room is clean. Not so anywhere else. We were trying to clean with vinegar, since bleach bothers me--I get a burning throat and breathing gets weird. We just could not keep up. I developed an allergy to mould a decade ago, so all of the weird health issues I have had for the past 2 1/2 months started with the mould. Finally, we found a spray cleaner that has bleach in it, but it is not overpowering and as long as we do a bit at a time, I can deal with it. It does inhibit the new growth a bit, so instead of scrubbing everything down once every week or ten days, now we can go a month, but even though we can't see it, we know it is there. We both are having trouble sleeping, Bill is itching, I have had the headache, nerve issues, etc.

Then there is the furniture issue. We knew before coming here that the furniture in the sitting room/dining room consists of a loveseat, table and four wooden chairs. The loveseat quickly proved to be painful. It slopes toward the center, so sitting on it means sitting at an angle when we are both on there together. I let Bill have the whole thing so he can sit in the centre with a pillow underneath and one behind himself. That left a hard wooden chair for me, which hurt my back (as did the loveseat when I tried that at first). I found a sort of medical stool thing in the charity shop recently and got that because it was better than the wooden chairs. I have a pillow on the seat and a cushion against the back, and this makes it somewhat comfortable for shortish periods of time, but I still cannot sit out here for a long time. I have spent most of our time here in one of the bedrooms sitting on a bed. This means, of course, that Bill and I spend very little time together in the same room. He still has numbness from his shingles and the loveseat seems to exacerbate this and sometimes it turns to pain. I have had back pain that interferes with sleep. No way to find a decent chair and add that to the room, because there is no space--there is a giant TV in the corner--and mould growing behind it.

I also discovered this winter what a really bad idea tile floors are in a place that is not tropical. The bedrooms are carpeted. The sitting room is nice wood with tile trim. Everywhere else is tile. My raynaud's suffering feet have not been happy--cold and then warm, they burn and shoot pain, again interfering with sleep. I can tell you that it is a really bleak feeling to be wandering around this apartment at 3 am, crying, in pain from the waist down, and wanting more than anything a place to sit down and get a small bit of relief. It has been getting worse--all of it. Bill has been saying we need to move. I have been saying I do not think I can physically do it--all the packing and dragging stuff from place to place on the bus and all of that. I have felt weak on some days coming home from the shop. I am so tired. Besides that, he loves Moville. I have been depressed to varying degrees since we got here. I have never really liked this apartment, although I have tried hard to do so. The vibe was always wrong and while it looks nice with the lovely tile and wood floors and the rest of it, it is a hassle to actually live in. Even inviting someone for tea was an issue because there was no comfortable place for them to sit. I would always feel bad, watching visitors fidget around.

The other day, Bill brought up a listing for a terraced house on one of the roads into town. It has been on the letting agent's site for a while. He suggested I look at the pictures. I had a good feeling about it. Yesterday morning we were going to make our weekly stop at veg man's stall and we called in at the office before we did that, to see if the place was still available. Immediately after telling us that it was available, the wonderful young woman (she is always SO helpful, kind and nice) said, 'Just so you know, it has electric storage heat.' I laughed and told her that we love storage heat. She laughed and said that was good. We set up an appointment to go see it a few hours later. When we got home, I mentioned to Bill that perhaps the reason it was still available was because of the heat--we'd been wondering why it hadn't been rented, because rental properties are few and far between here. Later, when we were in the house, I asked Leo (letting agent) if people do not like that sort of heat and he said they do not. He has a hard time getting people to even look at a place with electric storage heat. The ideal for people is open fire with back boiler and oil fired central heating too. That is what we had in Killybegs, although we did not use the oil. He said those houses get snapped up. Give me electric heat any time!!

Anyway, we walked through the house and I felt myself both relax and get excited. The place made me happy. The vibe is good. It feels right. I love it. I think I feel the same about it as I did the cottage in Killybegs, but for different reasons. Before we decided to view it, we made a list of pros and cons. The cons were few--it is on a main road into town (but not right in the town centre) and the rent is a little more than we pay now (as it would be, since it is a different sort of place). The list of pros was long. But the biggest thing in its favour was how I felt when I was in there. I felt like I could breathe. I was smiling. We will move in at the end of the month. In the past, we have moved using a moving van, a U-Haul, our vehicle, a borrowed work van, a plane, public transport (bus) and now we will move on foot using rolling suitcases and a shopping cart. The new house is down the street and around the corner--takes us less than 10 minutes to get there. I really was resistant to the idea of moving again, but this one seems right. And, it has been empty for a while and it was not cleaned in a major way before the person left--and still there was no mould to be seen. We checked. That seems like a good sign!

Bill was relieved because when we got home, I said I had hope now and was kind of excited. I really liked the place a lot. It has been hard for him because he loves Moville, but finds this apartment frustrating. Plus it has been hard for him to see me struggling with pain and discomfort and being unable to function. I was thinking that it was kind of interesting how much I loved the cottage in Killybegs, even though it was small and crowded. This place is also small (except for our mouldy bedroom), slightly less crowded in some rooms, and yet I always feel like the place is closing in on me for some reason. We will both be glad to move along. And I feel like now I can really enjoy Moville without having my feelings about the village mixed up with the bad apartment vibes. Last night was another night of poor sleep and I was exhausted before I got out of bed. Even so, I did not wander around crying in the night and this morning, I found myself humming Mendelssohn's Italian Symphony in the shower. Just knowing there is an end in sight has made me feel better.


DJL said...

Dear Shari,
I am glad for you! A mold allergy is so debilitating! My editor at work finally had to start working from home because the mold in our building was bothering her so much. I am lucky that it hasn't bothered me but it can really do a number on a person.
Congrats on finding a new, happy place to call home. I look forward to seeing the pictures!

Shari Burke said...

Thanks, Dana! That's a shame about your co-worker. I am glad she was able to make the switch to working at home! We are looking forward to getting to the new place and settling in--the countdown has begun! 😃

Anonymous said...

How frustrating for you both to have had to deal with Moldova issues. I do hope you'll be much happier in your new home. Lesley

Very Lazy Daisy said...

So sorry, I Thought that I'd written 'mould', but auto correct seems to prefer Moldovia ;-)

Shari Burke said...

Gotta love auto correct!! :-) Thanks for your good wishes! It has been frustrating and it is a shame, because it is a really nice apartment in other ways. The building is old and was renovated, but they seem to have focused on appearance and ignored some structural things. I am sure we will discover annoyances at the new place, but hopefully they will not be things that make us sick!