Sunday, 26 September 2010

Domeztic Zqualor

So, how do you furnish your rooms?  I do it with books, the Sage with pictures.  I would like to be less cluttered than we are, but I lost the battle a long time ago.  If there's a space, the Sage fills it.  I'm not saying I like to be tidy, I'm a bit uncomfortable if it's too tidy.  The Sage doesn't notice anyway.

I think, in most marriages, one party does the tidying up?  Or grumbles if it's not to their liking, anyway.  Unfortunately, that's neither of us - well, I do the tidying up in the end, but only because the Sage never would.  This is quite all right, it's his house and his choice.  I wouldn't care for him to fuss around telling me to put things away and I don't do it to him; I'm not his mother-figure.  I do occasionally tell him that the level of squalor distresses me, and he wrings his hands and promises reform, but I know he doesn't mean it for a minute.  When he leaves something lying around, it's usually not for a month that I politely mention it and he immediately puts it away, assuring me that he was going to do it that very day, in any case.

Anyway, rooms - I don't see the point of chairs that are stylish at the expense of comfort. My mother would choose style over comfort, but I wouldn't.  But I'm not that practical.  I like a bedroom that looks like a sitting room that happens to have a bed in it, so there are Victorian chaise longues and settees in there and no dressing table.  And the bathroom, cloakroom and kitchen are all wallpapered.  Nothing clinical at all, no gleaming tiles.  Bare floorboards in the bathroom, that haven't been sealed and are, once in a while, scrubbed.

Mostly, comfort and togetherness.  When my children were young, their computer was in the drawing room.  A cluttered corner and sound effects from games was preferable to them being franked up in the hold of a far-away bedroom.  I played the games too, until they got too graphic and too difficult for me.  Just as I read children's books; we were part of the same family, until they reached the age of teenage (mostly) distance.

Now, my own computer is in here, in the drawing room, and a messy corner that is too.  I don't care, it's where I work.  And where I am now.  I could be in the study - and before wifi, I would have been, but that's hardly family-friendly (though actually, the Sage would probably be in there with me).

The only essential in every room is books.  I can't do without, even when I'm not reading them.  Like Rog, the internet has taken over to an alarming extent, though I still become engrossed if it's a good enough book.  I'm afraid that few newly-published 'literary' books are worth bothering with.  I've read too much well-reviewed, even prizewinning, dross and I'm not up for that much disappointment any more.  The most recent book I have bought for myself is about old vegetable and fruit varieties, which is really interesting.  'Forgotten Fruits', it's called.

The other thing I really like is the washing machine in a room of its own, with a drain in the floor.  Once you've had one flood in the kitchen, you don't want another.

I like clocks, but I don't like the ticking, so they're never wound up.  And I like a big table so that lots of us can all eat comfortably together.  And I like nice silver, but I'm not bothered about the glasses.  They always go cloudy from the dishwasher in the end, or else I break them, so I buy cheap glasses.  And I don't bother about matching mugs.  They are quite random, but at least I'll give myself the chipped one.  The matching cups and saucers are late Victorian, quite without value but delicate.

14 comments:

martina said...

Your home definitely sounds happy, cozy and welcoming. If you were next door and had fresh carrot cake I'd be over there in 5 minutes.

Z said...

I've flattered myself, then. It's generally rather shabby and scruffy, in fact. Those who feel at home here do so because it reassures them that their house isn't so untidy, after all! However, you'd be made very welcome.

Dave said...

I must admit that I like my house tidy, with everything in its place. It's almost OCD.

Your home feels comfortable enough to wander in and sit down after bricklaying.

Rog said...

One of the joys of our ebay business is that possessions have become more transitory and enjoyable - we have rotating pictures, prints and paintings on the wall for each season and move them on. The fun of buying!

On the negative side we used to have a lovely dining room but now when you open the door there is a Tsunami of stock.

When I was younger I used to love walls and walls of books but I was really just waiting for Timber Nosely to invent the interwebs.

wendy said...

Good post title. Neat. And the subject matter is one I identify with.

Just this morning I finally mentioned to M the mountain of clothing piled high (in 3 piles) in his corner of the bedroom and wondered if he had any thoughts about perhaps putting them away sometime...they've been there for about 6 weeks. He said yes. But he won't. So I will, in another week or so. Because it is starting to take over and upsetting me a bit.

Generally, our house is very untidy with piles of books EVERYWHERE you go, and lots of pictures, some even propped up against the wall.

The floors need to be vacuumed, they look fluffy. Maybe tomorrow - I have nicer projects planned for today.

The only thing I am a bit uptight about is the bathroom and kitchen but even there, it wouldn't win any awards.

You'd fit in here Z.

Z said...

And there's no awkward feeling that you need to check your shoes for mud, Dave. It's so evident that it doesn't matter.

Can't use our dining room table either, at present, Rog. And the Sage sees no reason to put away packing material between auctions. Or anything else.

Of course, as auctioneers, the stuff never belongs to us, so when something makes it on to a wall, it's going to stay there.

The Sage would be better if I nagged, Wendy, but he might not like me so much. I certainly wouldn't like myself.

Mike and Ann said...

Hello Z. As a horologist I must take exception to your attitude to clocks. Clocks are like us, they last the better for being kept at the work they were deigned for. Clocks having a long pendulum (grandfathers, etc.) tick at the rate of a beat a second, which is a nice, restful, companionably human speed.
This is a personal view (as you'll have guessed by now) but a dead clock hurts (well - offends). They should be going.
Hope I haven't offended you - love, Mike.
P.p.s. They're your clocks, of course, but you are responsible for their welfare.

Mike and Ann said...

P.p.s. Sorry, not 'deigned' but 'designed' intended.

Alienne said...

I like the sound of your house - it must be a bit like mine. One of my daughters said once that she like the comfortable all my odd bits of furniture fitted together and that she thought she would go for unmatching things when she had a house, You can't eat at my dining room table either - there is too much stuff on it, so we squash up at the kitchen table (though there are only two of us now, sob!)

Eddie 2-Sox said...

Forbidden fruit sums you up perfectly. And your house is ace. Swap?

Z said...

Mike, we always used to wind the longcase clock in the hall, but the strike started to wake me up so we stopped it (which is no good reason now, but was then when I was awake worrying every night for hours). And the other longcase clock goes with the house - it's been here about 100 years, maybe more - but it has to be wound twice a day. We don't leave the weights down low, it's wound up, but not too tight, and stopped.

My mother had three clocks in her drawing room and the constant tick got to me in the end, never mind the noise when they all struck the hour a minute or so away from each other. You're right, of course, but 15 years of listening to the three of them in one room, all ticking at slightly different speeds, has spoiled the pleasure. I'm not fond of background noise, I find windchimes, for example, positively uncomfortable. But if it's any consolation, you have given me pause for thought. I'll tell you if I relent and get them going again!

Oh, Alienne - I'm long used to it now, but I remember well the hole when the first child left. Mind you, 5-year-old Squiffany looked round yesterday and, quite without rudeness, said that the kitchen was a bit untidy!

The house is ace, you're right. Like the clock, the Sage goes with the house, Simon. I'm sure you'd make a lovely couple. He doesn't snore and he loves a cuddle.

Mike and Ann said...

Z- if you have any difficulty starting them (which sometimes happens when they've been stopped for a while) give me a yell - I'd be glad to help, and we're not too far apart geographically.
Regards, Mike.

Z said...

Thanks, Mike

badgerdaddy said...

That reminds me of something my lovely wife said when we were getting our boundaries squared in the bedroom shortly after marrying. And that's no euphemism. I had a lovely wind-up clock I'd bought from a charity shop, and she graciously allowed me to keep it in the bedroom, but insisted on sleeping with the door open in case, as she put it, "the clock starts ticking uncontrollably, then I can throw it down the stairs."
Well, she's still around, but the clock is now idle, in the office.