But my silence is with good reason: I'm not among my own lifestyle accoutrements. While my brother looks after my dear, dear sofas, I'm living in an apartment for the first time since I was a single woman. I don't think apartments have changed, but I have. 'Italian marble,' says the brochure, but it doesn't mention that the appliances nearly work. Just enough so that they are not actually broken, merely ineffectual. Except the toaster, which toasts magnificently.
There was a time when I wouldn't have cared, being out on the town and all. Casapinka and I put up with genteel pelmetted curtains and the wrong kind of tumble-dryer for years in those carefree days in Dublin. But here, once the appeal of the lift wears off, the children start wondering where to employ their superpowers (invisibility, rocket-boosters, fire-breathing). How much fun for the parent, you ask me, is an urban playground? None, upon the second visit. Ditto the library. Ditto Murphy's ice cream shop, though their sea salt ice cream is delicious.
We miss our garden and its snails and daisies and I miss my oilcloth tablecloth. Somewhere during these seven married years I have become Set In My Ways and will have to decline the post of Irish Ambassador to Borneo when next it comes up, even if the roofless embassy there has an equally magnificent toaster that pops sky-high and scares the starlings. Forgive me, Borneo, if your embassies have roofs; Wikipedia wasn't clear on the matter.