Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Today I am ... in my bed

I believe that escapism starts in the bedoom. If this is where the proverbial magic happens, it should be a rather magical place to begin with.

In our bog standard 1960's house on a former council estate in Battersea, rain is hammering away at my window as we speak, sounding like the distant roar of applause - but in my bedroom, it's an Indian summer.

The heating's up, my sandalwood candles are flickering, my summer playlist is blaring and I'm sipping a hot, fragrant cup of chai while lying in bed, writing my first ever blog post.

Back in the days of MTV's dating show Room Raiders (like a cross between Blind Date and Through the Keyhole, genius), I used to wonder what one of these fine suitors might assume about me judging only by my bedroom.

Back then, I doubt it would have led to a date - it was covered in posters of Blue and N'Sync, and I imagine Lee Ryan's face is a bit of a passion killer. These days, at best, my room could be considered a somewhat chaotic tribute to the life of a born romantic... At worst, it's pretty gross.

But what might look like mess to the untrained eye is in fact someting of an exhibition. I don't put my favourite things away, I like them to be on display, like a museum. My azure blue velvet Carvela shoes have pride of place on the mantelpiece, next to a massive bejewelled peacock, who has no other role in life apart from to look pretty.

My sister recently asked if I deliberately chose my books by whether the covers matched my room. No is the answer, of course, at least not consciously. But the themes of the books probably lend themselves to beautiful, bright covers - classics, exotic adventures, historical romance, trashy novels, poetry. There does seem to be a tendency towards curly white writing and turquose and fuschia spines.

My surfaces are strewn with mementoes, invitations, postcards, birthday cards, tickets, random props mysteriously acquired on nights out... Look even closer and you'll see the telltale signs of someone who's not so hot on real life.

I frequently mistake pairs of squashed false eyelashes on the carpet for spiders. My 'life folder' is stuffed full of unopened bank statements. There's the faint but unmistakable biscuity smell of a fake tan enthusiast. Just yesterday, I felt inexplicably sentimental when I discovered two very old, dusty squares of Galaxy underneath a book on my bedside table, which presumably have been there since a decadent evening long ago, involving tea and chocolate in bed with a very dear person (I did throw them away, in case you're wondering).

But my absolute favourite thing about my room is the framed series of Lily Cole photos torn out from an old issue of Vogue, taken in Rajasthan by Tim Walker.

Photo credit: Tim Walker Photography
Photo credit: Tim Walker Photography
Full of lanterns, deserted forts, sunsets and couture gowns, these photos have been my companions for seven years now, through seven different bedrooms. And I'm still not tired of looking at them.

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