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2017 April 25
by Gordon Reid

After two years in my loft apartment, I’m moving. There are several reasons, but the main one is that, much as I enjoy the loft space, there is no access to open air. Till I moved here, I didn’t realize how much being able to sit outside, or even work (gently!) outside gardening, meant to me. I have almost always had large houses with either gardens or at least internal courtyards.

In Gibraltar, the Deanery garden was superb, shaded by three full-grown palm trees and filled with bougainvillea, hibiscus, plumbago etc. And inside there was a spacious court yard. St Clement’s Rectory also has an internal courtyard, plus the lovely gardens by the church. The back garden of the Provost’s house in Inverness was full of lovely flowers (thanks to high walls which kept the  north of Scotland wind off, most of the time!) including masses of a wild but sweet-smelling purple sweet pea.  In Milan I had a huge balcony and a roof terrace and a climate that would encourage almost anything to grow.

So I’ve been missing that, and the new apartment, though smaller in floor space than the loft, has a fine little courtyard garden off the sitting  room with the side facing the garden consisting of glass sliding doors. It is at Pine and 12th Streets, on Antiques Row, so very central and accessible by public transport. There’s no need for a car while I live in Center City. The other advantage of the new apartment is that it is all on one floor, which my arthritic hips will enjoy. It’s been fun sleeping on a shelf in my loft, but climbing the internal stair 10 to 15 times a day (yes, I counted one week!) is not something I’ll miss.

My moving date is three weeks away, so I am in the midst of packing stuff again. I’m also thinning it out, as I’ve done in every move I’ve made. The AIDS charity shop will benefit from everything I can live without.

Fear not, cocktail parties will resume as soon as possible – indoors and out of doors!


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