I’ve been renovating my flat since I moved in four years ago. It’s not even nearly finished. It’s exhausting and exciting and all sorts of other words I can’t currently think of because my brain’s so focused on waiting for an email from the builder who came over earlier today, made a sucking noise through his teeth and gave me such a long list of things which need to happen that I can only remember about 50% of them.

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The Munich Art Hoard by Catherine Hickley

We define ourselves so much by what we have.

Some people feel the need to “keep up with the Joneses”, buying bigger fridges and sports cars and filling their houses with the latest tech. Others buck current trends, preferring to demonstrate their allegiance to counter-culture with objects that the Joneses wouldn’t consider worthwhile.

And even if the decision to buy specific stuff isn’t as considered as those examples, we still define ourselves by our surroundings, especially if we’ve chosen them.

Continue reading “The Munich Art Hoard by Catherine Hickley”


Rarely have I felt so insulted

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.

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Decorating with Saris


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: