I love London. It’s architecturally stunning, a bitching session in the smoking area during a night out in Soho is the best therapy you could ever get and I can get a doctor out to my house on a Saturday afternoon to inject my ass for a back spasm. The latter was followed up with an email offering a 10% discount off my first ever Botox session which has left me wondering about the state of my backside. Our laundry pick up and drop off can be scheduled via an app and within 24 hours I go from having no clean knickers to an abundance of clean clothing that I curse at while I re-fold it to meet my standards. If I’m making a special dinner but have forgotten a couple of ingredients, I just order them online and they appear 2 hours later courtesy of a man, who always drives a Mercedes, trying to quickly scurry away before you notice his “substitutions”. Potatoes instead of onions, anyone?
The convenience, diversity and excitement is all good and well but we can’t afford to buy our own place. If life hadn’t gotten in the way, we’d have our very own section of the property ladder by now but shit happens and we’ve come to realise that there’s no point in repeatedly whingeing about what you can’t go back and change. But…..we HATE our flat. Now let me be clear: the landlords are the best I’ve ever had. They aren’t the problem. The problem is its awkward, claustrophobic shape and a temperamental bathroom light cord that makes me want to rip the ceiling down with fury when I’m dying for a wee and have to pull it five times for it to finally work. The buildings were erected (har har) during the 90’s when new builds were thrown up anywhere and everywhere that there was a bit of clear square footage. The fallout of this makes itself apparent in the eau de turd that wafts out of the internal and external plumbing on both extremely hot and cold days. A property management company takes care of maintenance but their gardeners mow dead grass and the apparently repaired external postboxes regularly fall off the wall so they offer little to no hope. We also have a semi-open garden, which is very clearly ours and not communal, that entitled mothers allow their spawn of Satan children to run into. One even sat on our bench, which sits on our patio in front of our living room doors, and nattered away to her friend while her son grabbed at my plants. I was forced to go out bra-less and shout like an angry Charlie Dimmock.
As our focus is always on getting the hell up outta here, we stopped buying anything “nice” for the flat. It became very functional aside from some fairy lights and a couple of cushions. I realised the lack of personality was having a massive impact on my depression. My physical health conditions mean I spend all my time at home. Anthony is out the house from anywhere between 14 and 18 hours a day. I absolutely needed things around me to make me feel cosy and wosy, fuzzy and wuzzy and just less like we were always waiting to pack up and leave. So, I set about making this happen like Lorelei Gilmore on a caffeinated mission. I even bought a monkey lamp. If you know, you know.
My tastes are becoming increasingly eclectic as I approach my thirties and matching certainly isn’t my style. I’m all about how something makes me feel, does it make me laugh or does it refer to something I enjoy. Take Gilmore Girls as an example:
Note that this print is sat on a stack of ‘The Lady’ magazines which I purchase for purely sarcastic reasons. It makes me laugh so, so much. Not one other magazine out there will feature a Barry Manilow interview, tips on how to avoid cheap looking embroidery on your napkins and suggestions on how best to use wild elderberries.
Ensuring Anthony didn’t feel left out of the whole process and in a faint attempt to have him put away the tiny piles of spare change he leaves every-fucking-where, I bought this. The man loves Jurassic Park. And I love not finding 5p coins under the microwave. He hasn’t left a penny anywhere since.
The grass (dead grass) in our garden is owned by the property management company but we have a little patio area and I decided to do the best I could with what we have. When I say I knew nothing about gardening, I really mean it. I was convinced a perennial was a sexual term. But, I put in a few days of research and winged the bajesus out of it all. Surprisingly, to nobody more than myself, most of it worked. Things grew! Some little ornaments, a bench, table and a couple of little colourful plant pot stands have brought a lot of oomph to an otherwise soulless garden that was previously pretty sad for me to look at.
Finally, I decided to make the everyday items around the flat a little more joyful. I did away with the dull, stripey door mat and bought this little number. Still haven’t managed to train Patsy to wipe her paws.
We got a lot of other bits and bobs too and stopped punishing ourselves about spending a little bit of money in the grand scheme of life. Everything purchased has truly made me smile each day and makes the place feel a little more like home.