So we broke out the drill and hammer and took down all the unsightly ad hoc shelving made from leftover decking and old chipboard (mmm chipboard) etc. and filled the holey walls.
Although this is a very modest 1860's weatherboard cottage of around 90m2, its creators decided to devote around a third of that precious acreage to a bizarrely capacious central hallway, presumably to convince the casual caller that ten toothless rickety brats and four dogs were not being made to share the same bathwater out back while the other five were being trafficked dockside in exchange for molasses or moustache wax or some shit like that. The hall is bloatedly oversized and completely fucking useless, which can only mean one thing: it was born to be a gallery. That coupled with our love of collecting shit we have nowhere to actually put just felt like destiny.
A gallery it would be!
We haven't (only) been sitting around with our thumbs up our arses over the last week or so.
I woke up the other day, stumbled into that darkest portion of the hallway that had been partitioned off with shitty curtaining and transfigur'd over the years into a sort of ghetto walk-in wardrobe and decided enough was eeeenough. No more trying to find really important shit in the dark with the aid of a half-dead craft lamp because there was no actual lighting. No to stubbing my toe on the edge of the homeless old sewing machine. No to shoving things into the fucking black corner of eternity behind the racks of clothes and knowing they would be lost in space and time. No to fending off clinically obese and half-sentient industrial dust bunnies that seemed increasingly cognisant of having outgrown the vacuum cleaner lumen.
No to fucking all of it.
It's true that high-end glamour comes at a price. Just ask the Duchess of Cambridge.
I sent R down to the service station with the $20 we had left til payday and a very strict brief. But I needn't have worried; the entire project came in under budget thanks to the magic of pooling all the various dregs of claggy black acrylic hanging round the house, using that old half-tin of outdoor white on the ceiling (Solarguard's superior water-resistance hurrah) and by just not doing anything at all to the shitty timber floor.
There are a couple of 'good' pieces here, but most of the items in this tableau were obtained for very little money from auctions etc. and many have no particular cachet beyond our personal enjoyment of their rustic or exuberant exoticism- just in case this comes across as our being materialistic wankers.
Now OG Rangda can repel all the inauspicious spirits and the Iban baby carrier and Kohistani head dress have a place of their very own instead of squatting unsatisfactorily in the lounge. We love to sit in the adjoining bedroom and peep in on that which we have wrought when the evening sun glows through the fanlight. One day soon we will actually have time for that, perhaps when the decadal spring clean we're halfway through is finally finished. Normal blogal transmission will resume next week.