Walls and woodwork in twenty years of wear and tear from me and the weather inside and outside this flat have accumulated signs of stress which needed to be dealt with but since there's never going to be a right time to attend to it, I thought: why not now? In times past I would have tackled it all myself but since I've been told I'm ageing, I've taken the soft option and called in the workers. Soft option my foot. I deliberately forgot the fact that I'd have to move everything - every single thing - all the pictures, books, records, hundreds of things out of the way, off the shelves and off the walls and off the tops of cupboards covered in ancient dust. I've declared my attic studio out of bounds but my study is where I've piled high many of the innumerable books. Here's a shot of one corner - on the top right are my desk and computer, where I huddle as I type this.
old shower curtain dust-sheet
But you know what? There's something liberating about this disruption of my comfort zone. The clutter is a different kind of clutter from my usual one, which is passive. This clutter challenges me to act, to get rid of stuff, to clean up and make space. I've chosen to have all the walls painted white and the flat is looking bigger already. And letting the workmen in at 7:45 every morning forces me to change my night owl routine. Who knew there were so many early morning hours every day? Who knew that if you get up at 6:30 you're starving hungry by eleven o'clock? And who knew you can get so much more done in daylight than you can in the middle of the night?
Do I hear scoffing from all you early risers?