There’s something about reading Saturday’s paper on Wednesday that makes your whole week seem shorter.
I was trawling my way through The Spectrum section of last Saturday’s Sydney Morning Herald today (I always save it, as my favourite section, til last) when I came across Lenny Ann Low’s list of ‘stickiest’ design blogs. Most I’d visited. My house may not be a palace, but that doesn’t mean I’m not looking longingly at the turrets across the street. But there were also some new-to-me ones.
I was particularly taken with lovinglivingsmall.blogspot.com, all about living large in little spaces. (Literally in some cases – the image here is from a post about creating a huge calendar for a tiny home, making the most of unexpected scale.)
I wish I’d found this blog years ago when I was living in a studio flat in The Big Smoke’s trendy inner east. It was one of three that had been fashioned out of a terrace house directly across the road from the Showground. The lady in the front flat played 'Blue' by LeAnn Rimes, loudly, every weekend for the entire time I lived there. She was very sad. I was very happy once I got to a place where I never had to hear it again.
The last agricultural show ever to be held there took place not long after I moved in, and I spent a delicious couple of weeks watching cows of large proportion and cockies with large hats traipsing in and out the gate directly opposite my door. During the day, the cows made a hell of a racket (good training for my tree change). At night, the cockies outdid them.
I loved my little flat. It was the first and only time I ever lived on my own. I had one large(ish) L-shaped room, the world’s smallest kitchen (complete with Lilliputian fridge) and a shower room. It was decorated with typical rental style – institution grey walls, carpet of a questionable beige, and an, um, eclectic assortment of furniture that I’d begged, borrowed or stolen over the years. (I am a Gen X, share-house renter. Our sofas tell stories.)
It was a flat with secrets. My brother TICH spent a weekend there once with 14 friends. He was in year 12. I didn’t ask.
I once lay awake all night, quivering with desire for a male friend who’d crashed out on the sofa, wondering if I should throw caution to the wind and make a move. I didn’t, not that it would have mattered as our friendship faded away not long after. So much for respecting the friendship.
My friend J, who lived up the road, spent hours discussing our ex-boyfriends over several thousand bottles of wine. My freelance career started to take off: I wrote the infamous Hairy Armpits story within its walls.
I met The Builder while I was living there. In some ways I think it gave him the wrong impression. He may have imagined briefly that I was much cooler than I actually am. But he’s still with me, in a Fibro no less, so that worked out all right.
The studio and I didn’t work out as well. It wasn’t that I didn’t love it. More that I got sick of the rampant mold that climbed all over my shoes. And everything else. I also realised that my phone bills were huge – like, Everest huge. I needed someone to talk to face-to-face. It would be cheaper that way
So 18 months after I moved in, with the décor unchanged once I removed my oversized Betty Blue poster from the wall, I moved out. To share a modern, airy flat with my dear friend M, a man who does not eat vegetables and will not eat egg whites. (Or is it yolks? Can’t remember. There are some details best buried.)
When I find a blog that specialises in two-bedroom units in 1970s buildings, I’ll tell you all about it.