And fresh grout, too. You’ll recognize what I inhaled when I first climbed the 39 steps to my new place in Cork. [Insert your own joke here. There really are 39 steps. I’ve counted every one of them, each way, between the street and my top floor apartment.]

I’m having that wonderful sensation of recognizing every bit of the construction work that’s being done here – and not having to do any of it myself. The punch-list things were minor and took just a few hours to finish. My building’s a few doors down from a historic site and has been around for well over a century. The only things remaining of its own history are the exterior walls and shadow.

Having said all that, I’ve encountered some problems. Everything that’s electric is digital. There’s no such thing as an on/off switch and a knob with sequential numbers. I’m pretty sure we put a man on the moon with fewer controls than I have on my heaters – there’s a 12-page manual and the 4-page “quick start” instructions need to be translated from manufacturer English to something resembling everyday step-by-step language. On a good day, an engineer might be able to extrapolate the steps they’ve left out. The rest of us have to guess what to do between each step, since the booklet illustrations don’t have any relationship to the miniscule screen’s dim LED icons. Oh, I’ve got a dual-oven range, too. Thank god I won’t need this piece of rocket science since I’m surrounded by wonderful award-winning restaurants. I’m thankful that I’ve always found menus more interesting reading than recipes.

My landlord has supplied an ordinary kettle I can use to fry water.  Each day will start off right, since I’ve reclaimed my coffee pot from a good friend who safeguarded it over the past few months. It was a hostage guaranteeing my return.

And then there’s the pleasant discovery of my persistence of memory. The stuff I sold and gave away a few months ago needs replacing, including bedding, towels and the rest. Back in my department store days I was a buyer for linens and bath products – and I’ve actually remembered thread counts and everything else I’d banished from my consciousness while I’ve explored local stores and housewares departments – but no hardware stores.

I’m wrapping up the logistics of living, so I can spend more time living.