Well, David and I are now moved into our new room in Abbey House. It's a substantial panelled room, with a high ceiling and view over the walled garden. It has so much space we could waltz around in it, should we ever wish to. From the moment we arrived, we experienced a strong reluctance to even going back to our old flat. But return we did on the Sunday, to finish off the cleaning. I'd taken time off the following week, so I spent much of the Monday, letting in carpet cleaners, instructing window cleaners and paying both for their time. Tuesday was a final check over the flat before I handed the keys back. It was such a relief to hand them over, I finally felt I could let go of responsibility for it.
There is still the issue of how much of the deposit will be returned to us. The estate agent did their final inspection on Wednesday, and seemed remarkably to find only relatively minor things, to niggle over. So how much it ends up costing us, is any ones guess. It's a bit infuriating, that as tenants, we have to expend so much energy and time on leaving a flat as near spotless as is humanly possible, when it was far from spotless when we moved in three and a half years ago. We also have had to produce receipts to prove we carried out the window, carpet and curtain cleaning. I bet there wont be any receipts forthcoming from our landlords agents to justify the money they'll take off our deposit. The whole thing feels distinctly unbalanced, unfair, and not a little unethical.
That moan aside, David and I are very happy in our new abode and community. It's, obviously, still early days, our 'honeymoon' period is not yet over. But having said that, the house is a much more very supportive environment for us to live and practice in. Having a designated shrine room, separate from your living space is helping both of us in the regularity of our meditation practice. The house is quiet, with no insensitive noisy residents, beside or above us. I'm not getting cold air landing on my shoulders as I lie in bed. Both of us are sleeping better. I've felt a bit depleted in energy at times during the week, just about coming round, physically, by this weekend. Getting into town from Abbey House is also a much shorter journey, and most of the other Buddhist communities are within easy walking distance. A few things have gone missing during the journey from Newmarket Rd to here, well at least we've yet to rediscover where they were hidden in the flurry of packing.
We are both re-adjusting to the community lifestyle,which is not overly restrictive, so is no hardship. Also deciding, between ourselves, which little traditions of our life in the flat can be continued here, and which cannot. This weekend has partly been spent finding a home for the few remaining bits of our kitchenware. Some to be integrated into the communities, the rest boxed up and stored in the cellar. We certainly have accumulated a lot of crockery over the last three and a half years, which only confirms our 'foodie' status, I guess. It remains to be seen what further lifestyle changes develop during the next months. David goes off on his four month ordination course at the beginning of April, so he'll have barely settled before he's whisked off to the Spanish mountains. And I? Well I will do the best I can in these (much improved) circumstances.