While I was struggling with my novel, my housemate came in with a meter measure for me to take measurements for a new shelf in my cupboard. When I went downstairs another housemate was in the process of making a shoe rack with some spare logs and a handsaw. Another one of them was fixing a new basket onto a bicycle. I went into the kitchen, put on the kettle, and brewed some Chinese tea for them. The shoe rack was done when the tea was ready. Now they are preparing the space for a children’s art workshop which is taking place in 5 minutes. Such are the simple pleasures I found, away from my troubled home across the seas.