ALEXANDRA SHULMAN'S NOTEBOOK: My bathroom dream? Just locking the door
ALEXANDRA SHULMAN’S NOTEBOOK: My bathroom dream? Just being able to lock the door
In the latest issue of House & Garden, model and author Sophie Dahl describes her dream bathroom. It would have a sun-drenched view, an armchair and a door that locks
In the latest issue of House & Garden, model and author Sophie Dahl describes her dream bathroom. It would have a sun-drenched view, an armchair and a door that locks.
I’m with her on all of that but I would go further. It should be yours alone.
We have a lock on our bathroom door that is rarely used, if ever, because somehow it has become ingrained into the culture of the house that we don’t lock it.
When I suggest that it might be nice to have a bit more privacy in the bathroom, David declares mockingly ‘But we have no secrets between us’ and carries on barging in whenever he feels.
I’m not prudish, but I do hanker for a bathroom where I can do my bits and pieces in peace.
That is a very spoilt ambition, but it’s one that has been exacerbated by lockdown, a period of time when, with all of us in the house so much, it’s not only bathroom privacy that is out the window. It’s personal space of any kind.
Gone are the days when you could have a good old natter on the phone in an empty house, where no one flings open the door and huffs ‘Oh, are you in here then?’ as if you were trespassing. Or when you could rummage in the fridge for something to munch on, without the sound of the fridge door opening miraculously summoning all others in the vicinity, like flocks of starlings coming together in a murmuration.
How long it is since I could enter and leave the house unnoticed and unremarked upon. Our days are so much more observed than ever before.
I’m writing as someone who is lucky enough to live with others, and I am well aware that what I am carping at would, for people who have suffered this period alone, be an existence they can only wish for.
Loneliness has been one of the biggest evils of the pandemic.
A craving for domestic solitude is a luxury and, no doubt, if each time I left and returned to a silent house, where everything was in precisely the same place, where nobody noticed anything I did, where I could colour my hair and tweeze my eyebrows in total privacy, I would be miserable.
But when it comes to the company of others, isn’t it always so easy not to know what you’ve got until it is gone?
How long it is since I could enter and leave the house unnoticed and unremarked upon. Our days are so much more observed than ever before
Carrie’s put my style in the dustbin…
It’s a bit depressing to realise your taste is old-fashioned. It doesn’t seem that long since we moved into our home and the place was pretty ‘of the moment’.
But time moves fast in interior styles, and our 50 shades of white, mid-century Scandi-style is now on the trend dustheap.
Instead it’s all the colourful mash-up taste that Carrie Symonds is reported to be employing in her renovation of the Downing Street flat.
Dark paint and ornate textiles, decorative overhead lights and cushions, cushions, cushions are as stereotypically her generation as the Habitat pine table, duvet and chicken brick was of 1960s Islington young marrieds.
Actually, I envy her the opportunity to play dolls’ house. I crave the exotically wallpapered downstairs loos of my younger friends who, amazingly, all appear able to do up their new homes from top to bottom, rather than make do with a new bath and a lick of paint as we all did when we moved house.
Carrie is typical of her gang in finding it completely acceptable to rip out the really nice job that Sam Cam did a whole decade ago, which was a bit minimal and clean and simple – in fact, remarkably similar to my own home.
Dark paint and ornate textiles, decorative overhead lights and cushions, cushions, cushions are as stereotypically her generation as the Habitat pine table, duvet and chicken brick was of 1960s Islington young marrieds
Our great green idea has gone up in flames
One of the only recent changes to our interior has been the installation of a wood-burning stove.
It was said to be healthier for the environment than the open fire we had previously (and which, legally, we aren’t meant to use), and also because we imagined it would be easier to run.
The stove has been a great addition and one of the things that’s got me through this lockdown winter.
I spend hours tinkering with the airflow, gazing at the licking flames and marvelling at how, at the end of a long day’s burning, nothing but a small tray of ash remains. Not to mention the warmth it throws out for our nightly TV binge.
So there we were, feeling pleased with ourselves and thinking we were doing the right thing, when I suddenly read that wood-burning stoves are in fact the devil’s own spawn, spewing out polluting micro-particles and contaminating our bloodstreams. Did early man have to worry about such things when they lit their fires?
The manufacture of paper decimates the rainforest, shampoos contaminate our water supply, and my cashmere sweaters have laid bare the tundra on the Mongolian steppes.
Is there nothing enjoyable that won’t endanger the planet?
Amazon delivers a little hope for shops
I don’t much like the sound of some sinister charge-card CCTV following me around the new checkout-free Amazon grocery store in London. But I’ll put up with it in the hope that the fact that the biggest online retailer in the world thinks there’s mileage in bricks and mortar will mark a new optimum about opening real shops.
BBC brings back one of its greatest hits
Three cheers for the Beeb. Yes, we all know they can get it wrong, but at least they’re prepared to backtrack, as they have over BBC Three, which is returning as a fully fledged channel rather than the lower-status online-only.
BBC Three has provided some of the best TV of recent years, such as Killing Eve, Fleabag and the lesser known but equally brilliant This Country, and clearly deserves to be seen by all.
If this were government policy, the change of heart would be denigrated as a flip-flop, but I prefer to think of it as the more complimentary enlightened.
Why are Covid tests suddenly so great?
Around Christmas, when we were all trying to find ways we could gather with family, we were told that lateral flow testing was far too unreliable to use – they were only about 65 per cent accurate.
Now they’re being heralded as the solution to schools reopening, with families asked to swab their kids weekly. What’s changed?
Share this article
Source: Read Full Article