Whenever I'm living in one fantasy I'm dreaming of another. Take now, for example. I live in a bustling, giant house, built from recycled materials by my landlord - who now lives with his family down the street, in the second house he built. When I say he 'built' the house, I don't mean it in the upper-middle class sense of having had some say in designing it and bringing in the master builders. I mean, he built it himself. It's quite awesome. It took seven years.
My Mom said "wow, like a phd."
And I said "yeah, but way more useful. And almost definitely more fulfilling."
Apart from being a great landlord, he also came over the other day and fixed my car for me. I watched, his hands covered in grease and my car spluttering from the cold. And he said, "you know, it's probably a good move to know nothing about cars.."
And I said "what? I'd love to know about cars."
He looked at me, and said "really? well, it's unpleasant, cold work that you should really get someone else to do."
I apologised profusely and he laughed and said he didn't mind.
Aside from this idyllic life I find myself in, quite by mistake as always, I am spending increasing amounts of time day-dreaming of elsewhere. Of me, of my life, transplanted to somewhere where obviously I'd be so much happier.
So, it has been a good touch of perspective to be reading a French novel, where the characters are young and successful and living in Paris and just as miserable as me. I don't know if I should find those sorts of things 'uplifting', but it helps me place things more realistically.
For example, there's probably someone sitting in their little apartment in Paris right now thinking, oh God, I'd be so happy, if only I could live somewhere like New Zealand. Yeah, New Zealand. In a sprawling old semi-castle in a forest. Maybe near a beach. Yeah, on a hill, above a bay. And I want the house to be recycled.