Without me quite paying enough attention to catch it, sometime this month I passed my ten-year anniversary in Europe.
I’ve lived away from New Zealand for ten years. (I’ve been back less than ten times: four, I think? Or five?)
I’ve spent more than stopover time in ten countries: The Netherlands, Belgium, France, Germany, England, Ireland, Scotland, Poland, Czech Republic, Sweden, and of course Greece.1 (Yes, that’s eleven: pick any two you don’t like and make a joke about how they aren’t really different countries at all, are they?)
I’ve lived in nine houses (temporary student housing → condemned farmhouse → atelier → garden shed → apartment alone → houseboat → housesitting → apartment with my love → moved in with the parents-in-law) and we just rented the tenth, in Thessaloniki.
I’ve played ten instruments (in roughly chronological order: piano, guitar, djembe, doumbek, Irish bouzouki, baglamas, tzouras, mandolin, bouzouki, lavta) again with competence all over the place. (Ney is the latest challenge, and I left my drums in New Zealand so that’s ten years without numb fingertips also.)
We’ve cleverly clustered a whole bunch of life-changing events into one year, so the next round of anniversaries (insha’Allah) will be huge:
- Manu’s tenth birthday;
- ten years married;
- two fortieth birthdays;4
- ten years in Greece?
Keep your eyes peeled for some serious partying in 2023, is all I can say.
- That this list isn’t longer is something of an embarrassment. [↪]
- If I’d kept count, I’ve probably had ten unrequited love afflictions. Ah, the energy of youth! Ah, the misdirected energy of youth! [↪]
- No, my love goes to eleven. [↪]
- Yes, these are a bit earlier, but we’ll cook the books to make them match, don’t worry. [↪]