Failure (and furniture).

Less than ten days into my "write something every day for a year" project I have missed posts already. I do have the excuse of a 39.7 °C (103.5 °F) fever and the inability to stand comfortably though. As if we were in a film laden with corny symbolism, this coincided with a fantastic storm that flashed our house with white light throughout the night. Ville laid cold wet cloths on my forehead and Anton said "Doctor Brown Bear should bring you medicine" (thanks for the Peppa Pig DVDs Mum!). But in amongst this, there is a delight that there is time for me to be ill and actually be looked after, Ville having a very rare break.

While we would take the kids to the doctor for the slightest thing we do sometimes turn to Dr. Google for ourselves. As these sites have a full range of diagnoses for each symptom, every small ailment can have fatal consequences. So I typed in my symptoms "high fever" and "extreme tenderness on one side of my neck" and this is what I got:

"Hypothyroidism Symptoms

The symptoms of hypothyroidism -- an underactive thyroid -- tend to mirror the slowing down of physical processes that results from insufficient thyroid hormone. Common symptoms include fatigue, weight gain, constipation, fuzzy thinking, low blood pressure, fluid retention, depression, body pain, slow reflexes, and much more."

At least that explains my weight gain and my fuzzy headedness. In order to confirm the diagnosis, I tried another site:

"Lymph nodes can become swollen from infection, inflammatory conditions, an abscess, or cancer. You may have unexplained weight loss."

This one mentions weight loss, so definitely not it.

Luckily, the way this has worked so far is that we laugh and wait to get better. I hope it keeps working. It's definitely looking good for my current state.

The last time anyone was this ill in this apartment was when Anton was 2 1/2 months old. We were still in the middle of the year-long court proceedings to get Ruskin here and I was flying back and forth every few weeks. Since I had last been back, the judge had asked that we prove that we had a separate room for Ruskin. As we were living in a house with one room and an L-shaped corridor/kitchen, this was a bit of a problem.

Our first home on Heybeliada
Us in front of our little Heybeliada house before Anton was born.

As we had a bed-base smaller than the mattress (IKEA "Sultan". didn't feel that royal though) and we had Anton in bed with us, we had to put the mattress on the floor, leaving no room to even open the door fully. Over a week-end, Ville found a new apartment, so I arrived to lots of space, little furniture and Ville with a very high fever. I put single mattresses at opposite ends of the large living room and sanitising stuff in the middle and this way went between Ville and Anton. This scene was extra pathetic because the last occupants had removed the light fittings by cutting the wires close to the ceiling, so I acted all Florence Nightingale by candle-light.

Having a court case, schools and lots of flights to pay for, our furniture has mostly been what other people have thrown out. I have been living with stuff I might sneer at in a junk shop, if I was the sneering kind.

Anton sleeping in a suitcase in the new house
A certain lack of furniture.

It has to be admitted, though, that we prioritized the purchase of a data projector, big screen and Kindles, culture over comfort.

When we returned from Finland in early august 2010, our neighbour across the hall (to whom we had given keys to air the place) had scavenged left-over furniture from the empty apartments and created our first conventional looking bedroom, complete with bed-base with springs so slack we both spent the night exactly in the middle and (yes, again) a mattress larger than the base. This was crowned with mint and peach cushions. So, of course, we were very grateful, while at the same time calculating how long we would have to live with this arrangement. It has to be said that our neighbours daughters were mortified by this interference and also that we were very touched.
However, luckily (for us, not them) on our corner we are not the lowest in the furniture chain. The house opposite should look like this:

The house as it was designed
The house as it was designed.

It actually looks like this:

The current state of the house
The house at it stands today.

Kurdish construction workers live all year round in the shell of a house that may never be finished. Many of them have families they have to live apart from to provide for and they live in this house so as not to spend any of their earnings. So, the hob with one ring working that we threw away a long time after we got good at one pot meals, snapped up! We even cleaned it well, knowing this would happen. The bed base we waited an appropriate interval before binning, was requested as we passed it over the balcony to the street.

Mmmm... I hope this post doesn't sound self-pitying. Having everything that money can't buy, it's been fairly easy to cope with this time of relative austerity, especially as it might be over for the time being.

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