Monday, November 06, 2006

Breathing space 

Almost finished. Walls papered, woodwork painted, carpet laid, cupboards fitted – and one comfortable chair in the corner. Just one vital thing missing – the bed.

Every last scrap of my spare time this last couple of weeks has been spent redecorating our bedroom - that’s the main reason I’ve been so quiet here. We took the opportunity whilst one of our sons is away to move down into his room, giving me a clear run without the inconvenience of having to make the room semi-habitable every night.

I said we moved down – our bedroom is in the loft (okay, attic for you speakers of American English). Surrounded on three side by bungalows, we have clear views over the town from our eyrie; the main window faces the dawn, the shower room window faces the sunset – views from both have featured many times both here and on Flickr. Bright, airy, and feeling a little apart from the rest of the house, it’d make an ideal studio.

I moved the chair up there early on – a cream leather covered swivel chair, courtesy of Ikea's "casualty" stock and perfect for relaxed reading – so as to be sure I’d got the layout right. Sinking back in it for a moment’s rest, I appreciated the spacious, uncluttered feel the room has at the moment – freshly decorated, minimal furniture, no junk, an open expanse of carpet where the bed will go; unimpeded access to the window bringing outside and inside closer together, the room’s colours echoing the freshness of a spring day.

But all too soon it’ll be filled with all the paraphernalia of daily life; the clothes yet to be put away, piles of half-read books, abandoned shoes, every horizontal surface bearing its share of the detritus of a too-busy life.

I could appreciate a minimalist approach to living. Not only in terms of the living space but applied to the very acts of living themselves. Life gets as cluttered as I know that bedroom will. It’d be good to clear it all out once in a while; to have a clean sweep and only allow back in those things which really matter.

Manageable with a bedroom; trickier though with life.

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