Saturday, July 17, 2010


For the first three weeks of living in our new flat, the front entrance was boarded up while renovations took place. I was hoping that afterwards, a shiny gold doorway would be revealed, startling in both its magnificence and its crassness.

In the meantime, we had to go into the apartment block via the back entrance, along with an army of cockroaches, semi-feral cats and mystical beasts from thw outer darkness. Thus when the boards were removed and the front door was opened, I was relieved.

But at the same time disappointed; my Midas-like expectations dissolved. No plan survives contact with the enemy, and no hope for renovated entrance halls can cope with encountering a bunch of 1970s wood panelling, rescued from a skip somewhere and stuck to the walls. And I don't think the management company are being knowingly ironic with this choice of decoration. It's not that the fortieth anniversary of the Seventies means we can revisit a decade that taste forgot. No. I think somebody thinks this looks classy.

However, the cabling to open and close the front door has been taped to the wall, rather than put in before the veneer was added. This gives me some small hope that they might need to rip it all out before they fit the front door controls, but if they do replace the wooden veneer, what will they use instead? Flock wallpaper? Imitation leopard skin? Tartan paint?


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