I’ve never really been into reading biographies. With the exception of pretty much anything about the life of Kierkegaard, I generally stay away from true stories and read either academic non-fiction, or novels.
But this year quite a lot of biographical accounts have ended up on my reading list, and several of them were amazing enough that I decided to do a whole new Reflections post for them.
I’m defining ‘biography’ quite loosely here, to mean anything where the author draws on personal experience (either their own or someone else’s) to discuss the central premise of the book.
The floor fitter guy stood in my bathroom. In his hand, he held a piece of cardboard on which several samples of colours and textures were stuck.
He handed me the sheet.
“I think I can guess what colour you’ll choose” he said.
I lived in private rented accommodation for most of my twenties and it wasn’t always fun. If you get a good landlord, it’s great, but often they’re demanding or just downright horrible.
One of the main things I disliked was that you’re not allowed to put pictures up or paint the walls. This seems a bit draconian, even if I do sort of understand why it’s a rule. I get that you don’t want to have to redecorate every time a tenant moves out, but at the same time staring at magnolia walls that someone else painted gets old very quickly.
So I came up with a solution: Saris. Any long sheets of material will do, but I found saris are a particularly useful one, because they tend to be cheaper than buying metres upon metres of fabric, and they’re guaranteed to have pretty patterns sewn on. Plus, they’re not too heavy and if you use them as curtains you can still see a little bit of light filtering through, which is nice.
If you’re not allowed to nail things into the wall, use drawing pins on the ceiling instead. I can pretty much guarantee that, as long as you remove them when you move out, no one else will ever know they’re there. And most ceilings will take a drawing pin pretty well, as long as you push it hard enough. You can create a nice tent effect by tying the ends of the saris around the wire that hangs down for the light, which is usually in the middle of the room. Here are some pictures of my old apartment for inspiration: