Most of this morning was spent hanging paintings and other decorative things on my walls.
It's almost exactly two months since I moved into my new apartment, and this task has been hanging over me all this time. I haven't really felt settled, or able to invite people around, as paintings and other works were propped precariously against walls or still stored in a carton in the living room as I decided what I wanted to do with them.
With nothing hanging on them, the walls of the apartment looked so pristine and the lines of the paint finishes beautifully neat and angular. There was such great attraction in the minimalist aesthetic of bare walls that I seriously considered leaving them that way. But my paintings and wall hangings of various kinds have been gathered over years and remind me of people and places. Most of the paintings, etchings and works on paper I have were done by artist friends or people I've known well - discarding them would have seemed like discarding part of those relationships.
As for most things with this move, when in doubt I consulted Heather. We spent a very pleasurable few hours a couple of weeks ago trying out all sorts of combinations and deciding what could go where. Then this morning the picture hanger came to do his thing. It seemed like a great indulgence, but the pictures have been hung just where I wanted them, the damage to the walls is minimal, and the picture hanger had a ladder that enabled him to do the high hanging safely.
I winced as the drill punctured the wall for the first hanging and doubted (yet again) whether I was doing the right thing in reintroducing so much potential clutter to my space.
But the instant the hanging was done - seventeen things in all in my small space - I felt so much more at home. I am much more comfortable surrounded again by the patterns and images that have been part of my life for so long. An added benefit is that many of them have been reinvigorated by their new neighbours or new locations or the background of different colours, and I'm seeing them afresh.
Reluctantly, I have to admit that a neat, minimalist aesthetic is just not me.