My bedroom is the nicest room in the house. The rest of the house is messy, lacking in storage space and currently has extremely dirty floors, since I am neither hoover nor mop fit, not to mention massively lacking hoover or mop inclination. It looks like shit, basically. Jose the neighbourhood totalitarian said as much when he came round yesterday, which is nice of him.
My bedroom does not look like shit. It is very light, airy and comforting and nicely furnished in pale, neutral colours. There is less intrusive salmon paintwork than in other rooms and I have put virtually all my nice art in there. It is peaceful. It is how I would like all of my life to be, whilst knowing that is impossible.
Look, here is part of my bedroom:
Ancient, delicate sofa covered in Neisha Crosland anemone fabric, intricate old brass fire guard, two beautiful Dufy sketches, one pencil, one ink, a Lubna Chowdhary tile that I love, my mad but wonderful box of fire, and, hang on, what's that?
Up there? On the ceiling?
What the FUCK?
Yeah. Meet the Ceiling Thing.
With his attendant greasy circle.
Do you know how long I have been sharing my sanctuary with Ceiling Thing? I actually went and checked this for you in my Big File of Invoices and I can tell you with absolute accuracy that I have been sharing my sanctuary with Ceiling Thing since THE FIFTH OF DECEMBER. The little rubbery bastard has been hanging on SIX MONTHS now. Not bad for a free cover mount from a crappy children's magazine, eh? For the first few months his whole body was splattered flat against the ceiling. Since then, glacially slowly, he has been slipping downwards. Firstly he was hanging from all four limbs, then three, and in the last week or so, a tantalising two. The children document his progress gleefully for me as we lie in bed on weekend mornings and I wish for room service breakfast. Look! He's barely hanging by his fingertips now! Surely it can't be long now? Every time I look at him he knocks a week off my life, so here's hoping. The ceilings in my house are so high that even Iris, the rickety ladder of certain death, cannot reach that far. It says "Iris" on one of her rungs. I am not the kind of woman who names her ladder.
The worst of it is that Ceiling Thing was not even the work of my children. No. The reason I can place his arrival with such accuracy is that he was hilariously thrown up there by the carpet fitters, obviously with some force given how long he's been up there. WOW. YOU GUYS ARE SO FUCKING FUNNY. Knobs. I didn't even WANT a fucking carpet, but it was that or the original beige lino. It was astonishingly expensive too. I was reminded of that looking up my Big File of Receipts. Jesus! The things I could have done with that money (got a cleaner?)!
Anyway. I have spent much of the week staring at the jaunty expression of Ceiling Thing And The Attending Greasy Circle. I note, now that I look at the photograph, that he is sticking his lewd, rubbery tongue out at me. I suspect if I were Alain de Botton I would find some kind of profoundly true metaphor for the human condition and our doomed striving for perfection. I am not Alain de Botton. All he inspires in me is a visceral hatred of Carpet Rite. This is probably why I am not the author of a series of tomes of popular, slightly whimsical philosophy, but an embittered crone. So be it.