On gluttony and a new suit of clothes
When I first stumbled out of the sensory deprivation chamber that was Psychoanalysis, I sat about in my pyjamas for a full two months, gorging myself mindless (that was the hope – mindlessness) on images of colour and design. It was a sort of deprogramming, a need to plump up the membranes. I am not exagerrating, btw – one goes into an analytical training variously hued and emerges a greyified creature. I still remember a shawl some woman wore to a conference – orange bleeding into magenta, a form of cashmere tequila sunrise that had me in a drunken swoon all day. I remember it precisely because of its rarity – a mirage of life in a desert of ideological battles and political agendas.
During my two months of pyjama time I was fairly indiscrimate in my viewing – if it had sudden flares of colour and solid shapes, more or less I filed it (hence all the pictures with no attributions). Now that the house has arrived and my feeding frenzy has somewhat abated, my viewings are a little more focused. I still have no idea how the house will be dressed when its bones are set and its wounds mended, but there are a number of sartorial styles constellating.
When we interviewed various architects I asked each of them what their preferred aesthetic was for old houses. I wanted to get an idea of which direction they might try to steer things in (though I am not generally a very steerable boat). One was non-commital, another favoured sleek white and modern in honour of the Age of Enlightenment, another had a fancy for the Shaker style. Having recently emerged from my own decade of minimalism, I find myself bored by that reduced intellectual look (seemingly so beloved of architects) and have been longing for a bit of flounce and furbelow, a splash of dash, a dash of verve. Visions of chinese silk paper dance at the periphery of my vision and the architect rolls his eyes.
But anyway, my mind went from Shaker to Spitalfields though it’s not the same thing; the houses being smaller and older and altogether more sober. I don’t think it would do and I don’t think I want it, but I put it in the compendium, anyway.