The former is the joy of having four bedrooms, three public rooms, two bathrooms, two toilets and a cloakroom (and cellar) spread over three floors and two mezzanine levels.
The latter is the comfort of the security afforded by the personal space that is home.
When I close the door, even although the outside world continues without me, only metres away from my front door, all around, I'm safe.
When the front door closes so, to, do I lock myself away from the oppression of daily working life.
My space, my terms, my self.
At a social function earlier this week, someone I knew told me a story.
He was cruising on Gaydar, and struck lucky. A hot young thing wanted fun with him, and was desperate to come round to his flat. He couldn't believe his luck. Some Über-hot 21 year old wanted to come round and play. Play with him. Even though he was (probably) over 15 years older. Über-hot 21 year old was open to all sorts of fun he suggested. Über-hot 21 year old turned up. As he said he would. Even better. This was going to happen. Hot Über-fun. It was real. He took Über-hot 21 year old to his bedroom. He undressed. Über-hot 21 year old unsheathed a knife. Über-hot 21 year old took his money, his mobile and his watch.
My first thought was how stupid.
My next was how awful - to be violated, in your safe space. I thought how I would feel. It would destroy my safe space. Totally. Perhaps forever.
As to the stupidity, I asked if he reported the incident to the police. He did not. The profile, he said, was gone. Besides, he had a boyfriend....
This, he explained, was last year. He now only goes out, and no longer accommodates.
Why stupid? I remembered my rules for Gaydar, pre-Xfe:
- if it's too good to be true, it's too good to be true
- swap texts and numbers; that way at least I felt if I disappeared there would be some trace, and less chance of it happening
- how many profile views - high good, low less so
- valuables hidden, watch off (my watch is very precious)
- meet in public, then take home - point out the CCTV camera to him, mention the public who have seen you together
- escape route always - whether that is window ready to open
- less chat more risk; the perp wants to get there and steal