I dont own any furniture.I have stuff like. I have a playstation, a laptop, a motor car, a framed picture of Laurel and Hardy, a couple of signed photos of celebrities (Gaby Roslin, Neil Buchanan, Michael Barrymore and, my favourite, Maggie Jones, the late Blanche off of Coronation Street) and some pots and pans and other kitchen paraphernalia. I dont know if any of that counts as furniture, as such. The Lady (for those who may be new to Mental Bulletins, “the Lady” is the name I have for my girlfriend) has, over the course of our cohabitation, bought some soft furnishings, and we have acquired some ornamental pieces and a particularly nice Edwardian lampstand. But I dont know if any of this counts really as proper furniture owned by us.
Dont get me wrong now, we arent barbarians. We dont sit on the floor whilst playing playstation or simply stand around casting handsome shadow puppets onto the walls that arent adorned by celebrity autographs. We have chairs and a sofa and that. We sit on them and watch telly like everyone else. We just dont own these things. We dont own the wardrobe in which the Lady’s clothes hang and against which I throw my ragged vestments. The table we eat our tea off (via plates we do own, but which were
given to us) isnt ours. The Lady and I, we live in “furnished rented accomodation”. In the near future, we very much hope this situation will change. We hope that soon we will pay money to acquire an unfurnished property, which we will have to fill with the kind of stuff that has, up to now, already been there when we arrived. This is excellent news, as we will find sofas and tables and wardrobes to suit our taste. Or rather, we will find stuff that a) we can afford and b) is to the Lady’s taste.
These are exciting developments. We will use this furniture we will have bought or inherited in this new house and add to it over time and become attached to it and begin to know and value its place in our home. You know when you get up for a wee in the middle of the night, it’s pitch black, you’re a bit unsteady on your feet, you’re probably in some form of undress, it’s not easy to get around. However, after you have lived amongst your furniture in your own space for a bit, it becomes increasingly easy to
negotiate, almost to the point at which you could comfortably pogo, drunk, with both eyes closed and carrying a litre of flourescent paint in an open container, around your home without fear of banging your knee or making your walls hi-vis.
Inevitably, however, the time will come when you wish to move on from this home. It may be you are moving to a bigger property. It may be that you are moving to a similar size property. It may even be that you’re moving somewhere smaller. Regardless, the place you end up in will no doubt be of different dimensions to the place you’re moving from. And, given the financial constraints and the infeasible sentimental attachment you have developed to your furniture, you will want to bring it with you to your new property. You will paint walls to tie-in with the sofa you bought, which you originally bought to
tie-in with the walls in the old place. You will remove a window to crane in the
chest of drawers that you found in a car boot sale, even though your new place
has adequate built-in storage. In short, you will spend ages trying to recreate the comfort and familiarity and sense of possession in the new home that you had
in the last. And, over time, those old possessions will become part of the new
place as much as they were part of the old place. And you’ll struggle to
remember them how they were when they first became important to you.
When we did the Golden Dragon in Plymouth, that was the culmination of a fairly
intense rehearsal period, in which we worked hard to connect to the “things”
that became part of the set, the characters and, without a doubt, became the
fabric of the production we were creating. And now, in readiness for our move
into our new home at the Traverse 2 in Edinburgh, we are having to take those
old possessions, those integral parts of the piece, and try to weave them as
seamlessly into the new space as they had existed in the old. It’s tough.
Because we had grown so comfortable with things as they were. We had, after a
lot of work, gained confidence in knowing where everything was- we were
negotiating obstacles as happily as the drunk, naked pogo-er going for a piss in
the middle of the night in the comfortable familiarity of his own home. We have
the same things, we are just having to find new places for them.
Unfortunately, we dont have a couple of months to get used to it.
See yis in Holt.