Through a combination of coincidence, synchronicity and blind faith, the Artist and I landed on this Paradise Island seven years ago. We bought a turn-of-the-(20th)-century cottage, ideal for our needs and structurally sound but requiring more than a touch of magic to make it truly ‘ours’.
Having given up ‘proper’ jobs – or having them give up on us – we accepted part-time employment as evening cleaners in a nearby high school, because it gave us plenty of free time to tackle the substantial list of things that needed to be done to the house (installing central heating, a new bathroom and kitchen, landscaping the front garden, creating raised vegetable beds…) whilst earning us just enough to pay the council tax and purchase materials and labour.
We’ve been working steadily and are almost done. But – while we’ve been living in the space, moving through it and doing it up – we’ve taken it for granted, not really looking at it properly. when you are truly immersed in a project, focusing in on specific tasks, you lose sight of the whole. So, after work on Friday, we kicked back, with a beer and a glass of wine, to review our progress.
And suddenly – like a 3D Eye image, coming into focus – we could see that we have created a perfect ‘picture’. Although chosen randomly – over many years and with no obvious coherence – the furniture, mirrors, artwork and ornaments that we’ve collected complement each other. The rooms have evolved, organically, to reflect our combined and separate tastes and passions. There is balance, flow, warmth and calm and one or two accidental triumphs – echoing curves, surprising reflections, interesting shadows and subtle effects of the light.
Our home is a Scrumble! And – now that all the disparate elements are in place – we can simply enjoy living in it. And I’m sure I’ll have copious free time, now that I’m no longer dreaming up brilliant ideas for The Artist to execute.
But, seriously, what am I going to do now?
Actually, have an idea. Something I’ve always dreamed about seems to be coming together, all of a sudden, when I least expected it – in fact I’d almost forgotten all about it.
What is it? Ah! You’ll just have to wait and see.