Sunday, July 25, 2010

Order in The House

Some years, my birthdays are tight little fizzers that last as long as a bit of cake.  Other years, I have what I call "birth weeks" - great rolling celebrations with new friends and old, massive shakeups, and sunny daffodil weather.  This year has been a corker.  The latest bout of inspiration has generated some great work, and resulted in complete domestic mayhem.  Living and working in a converted grain shed, with a lot of open plan spaces and not a lot of storage, makes minimalist calm a very distant dream.  One of my many presents to self this year was a fabulous shelf and sorting trays from Toole's Disposals.  Designed to hold 11 rolls of fabric, it will stand me in great stead should I ever learn to sew straight. In the meantime, it has allowed me to shelve my projects in full view and work a lot more efficiently.  We stay-at-home mother creators often battle piles of stuff mixed with kids toys, groceries and laundry - this system has helped me achieve a degree of separation.  A dedicated studio would be impossible for me right now.  The challenge is to work without shutting my little darling right out.

The upshot is, however, that Joseph's wonderful broad floorspace, generally occupied by the massive train set and soccer pre-training sessions, has become inaccessible.  The solution was to change bedrooms.  For a couple of years now, I've been occupying the mezzanine, which was designed as a master bedroom space.  When I mooted the idea of giving the space to Joseph I got a lot of comments about sons of single mothers and the dangers of elevating them to "man of the house" positions. Allowing them to dictate.  Truth be told, the space had never quite worked for me, something to do with the feng shui and neccessary placement of the big bed (first bed and mattress I have ever owned).  I had been thinking that the sense of discomfort was something to do with the fact that I haven't lived in one place for more than 18 months since 1984, but it was probably more to do with windows, roof angles and entry placements.
My dear friend Dawn visited yesterday and played volunteer Domestic (Joe and I both agree that a maid would be a great addition to our family). Thanks to Dawn,  Joseph's now upstairs in a fabulous little fort, with the dresser that belonged to his father and massive cupboards for sweeping the clutter right off the carpet.  The cupboards remind me of Japanese space philosophy - in traditional Japanese house, the cupboards are about a 1/4 of the room space, the beds are tucked away during the day and the living space is far more workable.All the hot air rises up to that room, so I no longer need to check for kicked off-quilts in the middle of the night.  (Joe has a tendency to shed pyjamas and thrash about like a little helicopter .)
To keep us going through the process, I fortified the maid with her favourite cocktail:
The Domestic (fruity, bitter, fizzy, frosty)
Ice frozen flat in a shallow tray and smashed to look like shards of glass
30ml frozen Absolut over ice in large glass
Italian grapefruit soda
20ml Campari plunged into the centre
Squeeze of fresh lime juice and 1/4 lime to garnish
10ml Cointreau dropped on top
swizzle and top up with blood orange juice 
Dawn reckoned pineapple thyme would be a nice touch, but I haven't got to the herb garden yet.
Now I have a neat little bedroom, with a big bed, block out blinds,  a functional wardrobe and the perfect place to hang Katsuya's Tomatoes.  I still haven't decided whether or not to peel the glow in the dark stars off the ceiling.
Just a little more de-cluttering and everything will be perfect.  
We head to South Melbourne on Friday, to house sit for two months. 

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