You might have heard that I recently moved house.
I think everyone has heard about the Terribly Long House Move; the move that has taken half a year or more with all the hanging about waiting for this chain and that chain, and oh-my-God-isn’t-buying-a-house-the-longest-thing-ever. People I have never spoken to at work keep making enquiries at the photocopier about how the house move is going, and have I settled in yet because the last they heard it was a total nightmare.
I still haven’t settled in. Sometimes it feels as though I am making excuses as to why I can’t actually spend a night there. There is no washing machine so what am I supposed to do, hand wash everything like it’s 1760? OK so now there’s a washing machine, but no fridge, and yes I know it’s cold outside, but surely there are foxes and what did people do in the olden days before refrigeration, if it’s not too traumatic to ask? OK so now I have a fridge, but there’s some weird thing going on with the nearest plug socket being inside a cupboard, and I can’t deal with this right now. Does anyone have a drill?
Anyway, soon I will have no more excuses. All white goods, bar a tumble dryer, are now present and installed. The pantry has been painted and has even been cleaned, and best of all, there are actual beds to sleep in.
However, there has been a heavy price to pay. Literally every waking moment that is not already accounted for by work or the meagre few hours sleep I am permitted to take is spent at the new house, decorating, primping, buying everything in the local “factory shop,” stocking up on pointless wooden boxes with hearts on the side and gigantic boxes of washing powder with the instructions mysteriously printed in Portuguese like they fell off a container ship bound for Brazil and mysteriously ended up in the back streets of Bristol.
One of the “projects” that has so far been pushed to one side as I embark on my quest for the perfect kitchen, courtesy of some interesting ideas from the Great Interior Design Challenge (thank you BBC2. Who needs Bake Off when you can watch people fearlessly tearing up people’s spare bedrooms, shamelessly stapling net curtains onto lampshades and doing doodles of the Clifton Suspension Bridge all over the walls and it looking ABSOLUTELY FINE) is Piglet’s bedroom.
“Do you want a Thomas and Friends duvet and pillow case set?”
My mother is thundering down the Whatsapp, live from Wilko, where she has strict instructions to purchase only boring cleaning products that she cannot possibly get wrong, and not under any circumstances to buy anything remotely decorative and which I might want to align with the overall “mood” of the house.
I answer in the negative, to be met with accusations that I am a “meanie” who does not care for my child’s preferences for his own bedroom.
I beg to differ.
Piglet’s bedroom has a theme. It is a theme that must not be spoiled by garish Thomas and Friends/Paw Patrol bed linen. It is tasteful and understated with a hint of vehicle chic. In short, it is the sort of place where one might find this.
Now the overall theme for the room is “rustic/tasteful meets vehicles,” which may sound like the mood board of a particularly insane property-hunter on Escape the the Country with a classic car collection, but which basically means that pictures of vehicles are allowed, as long as it’s just the odd hot air balloon shaped mobile and embroidered bunting with cars on, not car-shaped beds (I considered it, but very quickly vetoed the idea as the work of Satan’s own interior designer) or Thomas and Friends duvets (I may live to eat my words next time we pass one in a shop if Piglet is present and in switched on tantrum mode).
Anyway, to cut a long story short, the bunting is from Arty Apple and is embroidered with Piglet’s (real) name (I did consider “Piglet” but thought he might take against it once he learns to read), and is car flag bunting with cars on, as Piglet’s official Favourite Thing.
So Piglet’s room is not quite done, and as yet is but a bed, the bunting, a chest of drawers and some very long curtains, but we are getting there. Is my place on next year’s Great British Interior Design Challenge assured yet?