We visited the flat last Friday and we loved it, although it needs some freshening up. A new coat of paint in the living room and the bedroom, that's all it requires. Apart from that, it's in prime condition. Well, it should be because the complex was built only 7 years ago. It's located at about 400 metres from the house my mother has been living in since her marriage to my father in 1950. Moreover, her brother-in-law and sister-in-law live in the complex too.
They occupy a flat on the ground floor, while the flat we visited is located on the first floor. The former resident was an elderly lady who died last month at the age of 99. She was the only previous resident, which probably explains the good condition the flat is in. I didn't take any photos as we weren't the only visitors. When we arrived at ten past two, there were at least a dozen of people already waiting in the main hallway. Most of them were considerably younger than my mother and some were so young that you could tell that they were representing a senior relative who hadn't been able to come.
Close-up of the fresh roses that currently adorn my dining room cupboard.
A tall youngish-looking - somewhere between 35 and 40 - guy, bald head, 48 hour beard, casually dressed in jeans and a grey flannel shirt, introduced himself as Geert, caretaker/janitor of the complex. In a loud and clear voice he asked everybody to come up to him and mark our presence on a list. When I saw the number of names that were on it, I almost lost courage. My mother didn't stand a chance! This was so not what I had been told in August last year when I had put in our request ....
At the time, the same Geert had told me that there were over 40 people on the waiting list, but that only the top six would be invited to visit a flat when one became available. When it came to designing the new resident, the person who was highest on the list and who said 'yes, would get the flat. My mother couldn't possibly be in the top 6 after the mere 16 months that she had been on in the list.
I secretly tried to get a glimpse of the list, in an attempt to find out my mother's position. My heart missed a beat when I saw that she was actually on top! Until I realized that the names were put in alphabetical order. And as my mother's surname starts with an A ....
After some preliminaries - practical stuff about keys, security, support, dustbins, services in general, Geert suggested we'd move to the first floor and the flat. Most people took the stairs, I accompanied my mother and a few other people with mobility issues who took the lift.
(to be continued)