Ahhhhhhhh AIR!

A very exciting moment happened earlier today, as we were tackling the mountain of unpacking which still needs to be done in the new flat.

When we moved in, keys were copied and replicas made, but the key shop hadn’t the right blanks to copy the window keys, so they remained tucked neatly in an envelope. New keys were bunched and distributed to the various bods who needed them. The window keys disappeared into the ether.

Since then, we’ve done our share of turning the place upside down, my Mum has turned her purse, her coat and anywhere else she could think they might be, upside down. No keys. Mucho frustration, and with the weather slightly warming up (today it hit 14 degrees – might spring be arriving at last?) it’s been incredibly stuffy.

We’ve coped by opening the balcony door (still can’t get over how chic that is, and wish I could exclaim about it en Francais) but it’s been less than ideal as the door has a tendency to blow shut.

Today we got our acts together and decided to give the sorting and unpacking a bit of a whizz, and halfway through, Husby yelled to me. He’d moved a pile out from under a box and there in their envelope; the window keys.

We celebrated by immediately opening every window.

The flat is so cool and airy and delicious now, I can’t begin to describe it – it’s like…nope, there are no words. It’s almost ethereal.

There’s something about air – it really taps into somewhere deep. I know we need it for oxygen and that it’s pretty commonplace, but there are moments when the air is so pure and delicious it’s almost like wine.

Usually those moments are not inner-city ones, I realise that – they tend to be up a mountain somewhere or on a clifftop with the sea sparkling beneath you, or in the middle of a forest with the sun shafting through the trees and tiny golden motes floating everywhere, or in the centre of a great heath full of coconut-scented gorse and the sun shining down and the butterflies flitting…in those moments, it’s all that we can do to just breathe great lungfuls of sweet air and try to imbue ourselves with some of its wonderfulness.

So, out of interest and purely to be nosy – what’s your favourite air to breathe?

Mine is definitely sea air, where it’s so clean, there’s no way to tell the difference between the shine on the surface of the waves and the salty, squeaky cleanness of the air. I also love the way the light changes as you approach the sea and you can tell where it is while it’s still over the horizon.

I’ve heard of people having the sea in their blood, and though this usually refers to people of sailing stock, I think it’s more contemplative in my case. My Grandma’s Father was a boat-builder and was heavily involved in the construction of the beautiful J-class yacht Velsheda. My Grandma (I am told) used to love to sit and watch the sea and could do so for hours. I love to watch the sea, but also, if at all possible, I love to get into it, even just to paddle, and to feel the mix of saltwater and air on my skin.

Velsheda, in all her glory

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13 thoughts on “Ahhhhhhhh AIR!

  1. It's hard to be away when you love it. I'm lucky to be relatively near the coast, so it's not too hard to get a top-up now and again. One day I'd love to live near the beach so I could fall asleep to the sound of the waves. That'd be the most amazing thing ever.

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  2. What can I say – it must be love when your husband trolls your blog, right?

    Painted shut windows sound horrendous! Thank goodness for your new lovely kitchen.

    Is that the kind of earthy smell you can get? That is an amazing smell. I didn't realise there was a name for it, but looking it up I find it's called petrichor, from Greek words for 'stone' and 'the fluid that flows in the veins of the gods' Pretty awesome stuff, etymology!

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  3. Now that I'm done laughing at the comments…
    Yay to open windows! Our 150 year old windows were painted shut long ago. We only had two windows which could open in the entire house, until the kitchen remodel. Now, at least, I can get fresh air in my kitchen.
    I do love watching the ocean. Any water, really. I think my favorite air to breathe is right before a good hard rain on a warm, but not muggy, day. Love the anticipation of it just as much as the smell. We go out to play in those rains.

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