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Our regular readers may recall that Crazy D recently had a ‘bed situation’. With the machinations of moving home to live with me, the subletting of his city apartment, the breakup with his girlfriend and the bedbug incident, he has gone through at least three beds this year. I have gone through two new mattresses and L’il Sis has likewise gone through two…partly a result of the bedbug situation, partly the inability to distinguish between ‘hard’ and ‘soft’ while thrashing around in a bed showroom under the critical gaze of a pushy salesman. But we now have good beds…

Gill, with her move to Bristol, is going through the same issue with her new flat. She was crippled (and for her, with her arthritis, this is saying something) after the first night on the bed that came with the flat. This all begs the question, when renting a furnished flat, why the renter feels shy about investigating the state of the mattress. After all, it’s a crucial part of the deal. I also get why one might not want to explain to the current tenants why the bed is crumpled, sheets are pulled out and boot marks cover the duvet. There could be many explanations, none of them good. Proper etiquette dictates that one doesn’t invade another’s bed without a REALLY good reason. And so, Gill ended up renting a crappy bed with a flat around it.

What to do? Since she has had this problem before, she knew exactly what was needed…a trip to Ikea for a futon. But, not being in Canada and therefore not having immediate access to a car or truck, the problem of transportation was an issue. Now, given that Gill is something of an expert when it comes to moving house, she has dealt with beds many times. Sometimes it’s a large mattress rammed into the corner of a truck with furniture, sometimes it’s a large mattress lashed to the top of a too-small car on a freeway during a rainstorm…or sometimes it’s a futon bent double in a small taxi. For her Bristol move, it was the latter. I was given to believe that there was just enough room for the cab driver. Gill may have been, after she managed to stuff the futon into the cab, forced to run behind it, giving directions. She didn’t say. I didn’t ask. Sometimes, as a mother, it’s better if you don’t know the details. The picture in my mind’s eye is of a slowly inflating raft-like thing, ever-expanding, threatening to cut off the driver’s oxygen supply (never mind field of vision), making its way erratically down the road with Gill waving her arms frantically and screaming:”Go left!”

But somehow, Gill and the futon arrived at their new flat and settled in.

Enter a guest for the first weekend visit. Her thoughtful friends had given her a blow-up air mattress for just such an occasion. The only spot to lay out the mattress was in the main room. So by the end of the weekend, the flat took on the look of a hostel…a messy hostel. But Gill reported that she didn’t care. Why? Because it is the first time in years that she has lived by herself. Catlady wasn’t demanding that she tidy up, get out of the way, let the construction crew in. The cat wasn’t covering her with fur –literally ‘giving her the shirt off her own back’. The new flat might have been messy…but it was hers. All hers. Pure bliss.

I don’t have the heart to remind her that she and the canaries might be sharing quarters at Christmas. That’s okay…they entertain with their trilling and the only thing they shed is feathers…and seed.