I am going apeshit on the garden's ass. We are all moved in to our new house and any trepidations I had about being a homeowner and in hock to the bank went up in smoke as soon as I started weeding. As a special bonus, we have a citrus grove here in full fruit. Luckily the colony of fruit bats next door have serious sugar teeth - they like mangoes, longans, shit like that - not the acidic fruit - so we are fucking drowning in mandarins here. I'm making marmelade today and keeping a big punchbowl of iced tea with a bunch of them sliced up in there, which adds a class to the household I never expected to have. And there are oranges, lemons, and limes. It's great.
We're getting chickens in later this week. Food is so fucking expensive in Australia that it's key we make us much as we can in our garden, which is 1200 square meters and fertile . . .
Reading Fernando Pessoa's Book of Disquiet. It is a little whiny and describes a mindset that I shook off after psychoanalysis a few years ago, but I'm enjoying it, and thinking of ordering the Portuguese original for the poetry of it. With my Italian and the English version next to me I can probably blunder through it - written Portuguese is reasonably easy to understand, certainly compared to spoken Portuguese. It is having the brutal effect, though, of making me miss Lisbon so much I could cry. Pessoa seemed like a pretty miserable fuck but his love of Lisbon is obvious in every chapter of the book. I love Lisbon too.
As much fun as I'm having in the garden, and running, and chatting with all our nice friends who I can't help but feel are comparing themselves with us, and who we are comparing ourselves with, in ways I was never aware of before and that I'm not comfortable with though it feels very natural - despite all that, I feel about a million miles away from everything that matters. When you're a ten hour flight even from Singapore - farther from Singapore than I was from my family when we lived in Europe - shit, we are far away from everything. From everyone I love besides the F-word, and from character. Melbourne is a fine city and Australians will tell you it's an oasis of culture, but Melbourne is fucking vulgar and rich, almost as vulgar and rich as New York, which is not a problem in and of itself but the more vulgar and rich a city is the less special is its character.
I may have already pointed out before that I'm happy here in a way I haven't been before - it's such a physically vital place, and now we have a house, and a mammoth garden, and fucking mandarins coming out of our ears. That's still true. That's also a condition of my job, which could change anytime, and then how will I feel about this place if I already start sniffling every time I remember something I'd half-forgotten about Lisbon, or Berlin, or all the other poor and unvulgar cities I love? I don't know. All this is so uncertain. Sigh.