Thursday 17 September 2009
I'm Not Normal - Official
The decorating is done. Normality (or what passes for it in this house) reigns. The tidying up is done, the fripperies are in place in the newly-tarted-up dining room. The dining room was cluttered and old-fashioned. It was painted sunshine yellow with lots of dark green and terracotta bits. It was jumbled with old furniture (Elle always called it The Dead People's Room because everything had belonged to someone else) and piles and heaps and cascades of mementos and shelves and shelves of nick-nacks. It was, according to most people, a hell hole health hazard.
Now it's cream. And white. And silver. And tidy and neat and uncluttered and has NEW furniture and looks like other people's dining rooms. Em-Next-Door-As-Was's brother did the decorating business. Brilliantly. It's a spectacularly professional job which has brought oohs and aahs of appreciation from everyone.
And I hate it.
See - I'm not normal...
It's not my dining room any more. It's perfect. Beautiful. It's pale and minimalist and spotlessly clean and uncluttered. It's like something out of a catalogue. It scares me rigid. I tiptoe in in the mornings to pull the curtains (very carefully because they're cream silk - oh God! I knew I should have read the label - and show every mark) and feel like I've stumbled into someone else's life. The cats, who loved to snuggle up against the radiators and lined the window sills to watch the world go by, hover in the doorway then run away.
The Toyboy Trucker, Elle and The Doctor all think it's amazing. There's talk of doing up the rest of the house to match. Lordy! Over my dead body. I'm a messy person. I love colour and crap and everything on show. I'm useless at cleaning and tidying (never have the time to do it properly) and I love cluttered and cosy. The dining room is one thing - the rest of the house? No bloody way!
And I cried when I had to chuck out the crumbling, dirty, useless stuff. Cried! It was like losing old friends. Okay, the dining room table and chairs and bookcases belonged to my Gran (and she didn't get them new) and were falling apart, and the chiffonier was eaten with woodworm and leaned backwards because the legs had disintegrated, but they'd belonged to my childhood and I loved them. The new stuff is smart, practical, lovely - and soulless...
Yes, it was my idea to "do" the dining room. No-one forced me into it. I was really enthusiastic to start with. But now I just want the old room back again. The Toyboy Trucker says I'll soon get used to it and love it - but I'm not holding my breath...