Tuesday, 21 October 2008

In Newcastle, it felt as though summer gave way to winter almost immediately, as though autumn were a comma between two clauses. Here, I map the seasonal change each day from within the wintergarden, dust blowing underneath the door, leaves piling onto the concrete steps.

Jan, our intrepid traveller is back, here in his home-from-home after going to a St. Petersburg mall to complete an installation, dashing over to Tel-Aviv for his own finissage, before returning to St.Petersburg, photographing the streets there and returning on a plane to Berlin via Istanbul. We sat till late last night, talking of the various trips we have made, horrendous train journeys and the like, smoking cigarettes. To traverse Russia on a train takes eight days, but you can also get work driving cars over from China to Moscow, he told me.

Other than that last night was a slow one, we journeyed down the hill slightly, Gustav-Adolf to Schonhauser and then darted into the side streets, riding quickly through the warm, low evening. We sat on benches in the dark, watching the trees in the park move and all around the lights of the apartments turned on and off singularly. Cara, Jan and I then went into a nice corner bar, long wooden tables and lampshades made from hardened and moulded cream wax. We took hot chocolate and cognac and talked about the onrushing new years eve. There is not a day that passes, even those where I am tired and hungry and isolated, that I don't realise that I'm lucky to be here.

We have very little, establishing ourselves here is hard. Retreating into my novel, shying away from German fluency, scared of being drawn into the systems of work, occasionally the pulse drops. But even then, there is always the possibility of riding through the streets on our bicycles, throwing leaves, and then returning to our cold, cold house, boiling more potatoes and settling in for the night. The next day holds endless possibilities. More planning documents, logistics in colour, and ploughing through the tedium caused by a move abroad.