My mind feels mangled. It's been one of those slightly surreal weekends where nothing fits with reality, and yet at the same time everything feels very real and chaotic. Hours passed by in a blur, and frantic conversations dwelt on plans for the future. Somehow, when events in the wider world occur that shock us, we begin to consider our own approach to living, and whether we've got it right. Striving for a simpler lifestyle has been at the forefront of our minds for some time, but now more than ever there's the desire to hide away and live segregated from a harsh reality. Of course, that's neither possible nor practical, yet this urge is, for us at least, indicative of a disconnect with the masses that has been building for a while. It seemed only apt, then, that this weekend - despite being the windiest of the year so far - was earmarked for putting up the bell tent.
We picked up our new Frontier stove first thing on Saturday morning, and I felt a thrill of excitement knowing it would soon be our source of warmth and our sole method of cooking. After setting it alight outside to make sure all was as it should be, we set to work trying to decipher the instructions for the tent. Thankfully, it was relatively straightforward, and before we knew it our new home was formed. We peeked our noses in through the doorway and exchanged bewildered glances; on first inspection it looked very small. But once we got inside it felt quite spacious - helped, to a large extent, by the ability to stand up in the centre.
We left it overnight to battle the elements; unsurprisingly the guy ropes were flapping wildly in the wind when we returned the following morning to check if it had survived the night. The pegs that came with the tent are evidently not designed to withstand such conditions, and although disappointing, Dan is convinced that the new pegs he has ordered will do the job. I shall wait with bated breath. It's important with canvas tents to allow them to stand for a while and shrink slightly before moving in (this happens when it rains), as this allows any spots for leakage to close up - or at least that's the idea. So stand it will without occupants for a little while yet.
Meanwhile, packing is becoming a hellish process. There are boxes everywhere, and Bella doesn't know what to make of it all. I'm lighting candles and keeping the kitchen box-free in a desperate attempt to still regain some sense of calm, but I doubt it will last long. I find myself hoping not to hear a knock at the door for fear our pyramids of cardboard boxes and piles of packing material will engulf the visitor; so far we've been lucky.
The wedding seems aeons ago. After the initial flurry of photographs and cards the dust has settled and we're almost back to normal. It's strange though; I do feel as though we're more of a team now, as if we can face anything together, and on evenings when everything gets a bit much, we think back to the memories and everything shines just that little bit brighter.
In many ways we're starting afresh, taking our first steps as a married couple, taking those first steps to begin a new adventure, walking hesitantly and with trepidation, and while I'd hardly recommend doing everything at once as we seem to do frequently in our lives, it's invigorating nevertheless.
When the winds of change blow, some people build walls and others build windmills.