Just three days ago we moved into our new home for the next few months, a lovely little house in the quiet cove of Colomb Bay, nestled neatly between the well-known beach of Palolem and her quieter neighbour, Patnem in Goa. We stumbled upon it serendipitously last week whilst out for a drive on our moped. As the tourist season has yet to really begin here we couldn’t see any signs for houses to rent, so stopped to ask a woman if she knew of anywhere nearby. She quickly ushered us into her garden and around the side of her own home, behind which was tucked a lovely little traditional Goan house. Our house.
It already feels like home, and I didn’t realise just how much I needed it to do so. These past few days have been like a slow unravelling as we gradually find our groove. We wake up and boil water in the tin saucepan we bought, then make coffee with Nescafe and powdered milk, and sugar kept in a little tin pot, safe from the menagerie of insects we share our home with. Lee found two lovely ceramic mugs with Goa written on them, and I drink in the spirit of this place with every sip, feeling it waking me up along with the caffeine.
I take pleasure in the simple things, like sweeping the front porch with a long feathered brush, and making the bed in the mornings, carefully lining up the edges of our patterned bedspread like a chronic OCD sufferer.
Our backpacks have been emptied and tucked away under the bed, their contents folded neatly on the shelves in yet another display of my inner neat freak, and our toiletries are carefully lined up in the bathroom. It pleases me to see our things fit perfectly into place, like we were always meant to be here.
Our office area has been set up, with our MacBook on the desk, and books and photos and my growing shell collection lined up along the wall. The little white cat we seem to have rented along with the house follows us from room to room, and stretches out at our feet once she is certain we have settled for a while.
We are travelling with a movie projector and spend our evenings watching films. The night before last we watched the new Matthew McConaughey movie Magic Mike, with six foot six-packs beamed onto the wall of our living room.
Currently my favourite spot in the house is the ‘sofa’, a handmade mattress we bought from a man on the side of the road. From here I can gaze out of the open front door, across the porch and out into the lush, well kept garden. Lazy days pass by in a blur of green and terracotta as my attention span wanders from the pages of my book to the tropics on my doorstep.
It’s all kinds of beautiful here. Every day there is something new to look at, some new shade of green amongst the palms, or beautifully coloured butterfly previously unseen. As the days pass by I feel more and more that I am not necessarily here to do, but to see. To absorb all that is around me, soak it in, and allow it to settle in the nooks and crannies of my soul.
The power cuts off regularly, leaving you dripping with sweat in minutes as the ceiling fans slowly grind to a halt. Without their constant whir the sounds of the neighbourhood are exposed, and the house is filled with the murmur of nature and families and delicate bells ringing in Puja ceremonies. We can hear the landlord’s teenage daughter giggling through the walls, the constant mewing of our attention seeking cat, and the sea breeze gently shifting the palm fronds. There is movement and noise everywhere, and yet I have never felt more… quiet. More still.
Herds of cows wander freely into the garden and feast themselves on the flowers and grass. Chickens scratch around in the dust, and dare each other to creep up onto our porch, before hurrying off as soon as they realise they’ve been spotted. A black and white dog happened upon our doorway (and the cat’s food) yesterday and has hung around ever since. It makes me happy to share my home with them all.
And I would like to share it with all of you too, so Lee spent hours yesterday learning how to use Final Cut Pro and putting together a little walk-through video for you. It’s pretty great for a first attempt!
So welcome to our home. I hope you like it as much as we do.