Saturday, 17 March 2007

More Interior Décor Tips from Homemaker Harlot

Last night at the pub, a Jesuitical gent, with a beer, asserted that Thornbury would never gentrify. He did this with all the emphasis of a man given to speaking his mind and thoroughly up on the vagaries of the property market. Not especially fancying a rent rise, I've no desire to object to such prognostications, only I can't help thinking that a suburb boasting this much Greek pastry, stocking "fresh delicious tripe", and smack next door to Melbourne's latest real estate prodigy, ain't long going to hold out against bourgeoisification, boutique cheese merchants, and blithe young couples keen to get a piece of the federation cottage action.

In the interests of low rents and community diversity, of forestalling the bourgeois creep along High Street, I've been keeping Hôtel Harlot as ungentrific as possible. But tomorrow night I'm having my Carltonian friend round for supper, and - not that she's one to impose her style standards on we feckless Thornburians - I've felt moved to spruce the place up a bit.

So, Style Tips for the Stingy.

Bare table? Why not dress it up with this tasteful Thai eggplant and brussel sprout arrangement? Cheap, colourful and biodegradable.


Don't waste money on original artwork or another Gustav Klimt print. Sticky-tape wrapping paper to your wall. Cheap, colourful, and almost biodegradable.

Tomatoes looking a bit lacklustre? Dress them up for the night with your favourite brooches. Remember to remove jewellery before cooking.

Conceal unsightly musical instruments under piles of hats. "My, so many chapeaux," your guest will say, oblivious to your cunning ruse with the harp.

If all else fails, clutter. It's a décor genre all its own.

23 comments:

TimT said...

Some people like décor, but I prefer de apple.

Karen said...

With all due respect to your bagpies, I must ask: do you give private harp recitals?

Of course I clicked on the photo of the bookshelves and tried to read the spines, because I always go through people's bookshelves, followed by their record collections.

TimT said...

Then again, two posts ago you were appealing, so I suppose you had to get down to décor sometime.

alexis said...

I like to think I'm always appealing. (Hm.)

Tim, you have outdone yourself, pun-wise. Must be all that time you spent in the Big Apple.

K, private harp recitals can be arranged, provided I'm given due warning, for string-tuning, hat-removing purposes, etc. I'm not very good, though, so I wouldn't make a trip down to Melbourne especially. I've been slowly exporting books from home to the office, which has about 80 metres of shelving to fill.

TimT said...

On cursory inspection, the picture there seems to indicate that you pile your dictionaries in Indo-European language families. An excellent idea! Do you have separate dictionary shelves for the Germanic, Persian, and Grecian families?

alexis said...

Indeed I do. They don't call me "Lexicon" for nuffin'. As all Classical Greek scholars know, the last word in Greco-English lexica is Liddell & Scott's dictionary. It comes in three sizes (small, medium, and enormous), which my old pals in Greek class liked to refer to as the Little Liddell, the Middle Liddell, and the Great Scott.

Karen said...

I do enjoy a private harp recital, not that I've ever had one, but I know that I would enjoy it, so I will take up the opportunity, should it arise.

Eighty glorious metres! I feel a little queasy with jealous. I'm stacking horizontally on top of the vertically arranged ones- and on the floor. I am also green that you got to do Ancient Greek at school- we only had Latin (not that that isn't marvellous enough on its own).

Karen said...

Jealousy, I mean. God, I hate a typo!

alexis said...

I know. I have been unconscionably privileged, education-wise. I think there were 13 of us, in NSW, sitting the HSC Classical Greek exam, and only 2 of us were gels. Of course, by dint of subsequent sloth, I have forgotten three quarters of whatever I learnt, but I can still translate "Dikaiopolis is an Athenian farmer" with the best of them.

Karen said...

It's funny how quickly it goes, isn't it? With Latin, I remember the structure/grammar, but not the specific vocabulary, even though I loved it so much I did 3 unit (5 in 3 unit, I think about 10 or 11 in 2 unit at my school, which was, apparently, the largest Latin class in the state that year). I like to think it goes into the way you write- subconsciously at least!

In my year (1995) we had Pro Caelio for 2 unit prose, which was fabulous, as you could choose to do all these essay questions on the position of women in Roman society. And once a week we'd have a party after class.

Yes indeed. Latin was a riot.

TimT said...

'Eighty glorious metres' sounds like a description of a line in a Gerard Manley Hopkins poem, so long as you add the rider, 'And not one of them is used correctly.' As for the Great Scott, I quite enjoyed his first Waverley novel, his 'Letters on Demonology and Witchcraft' and even his poetry, although the latter is quite silly, really.

GoAwayPlease said...

Dear Alexis did your knowledge of language cause you to snort with derision at The Interpreter where Nicole kidman played the multi-lingual tewworist ?
(word disguised to thwart spybots)

I have just come from Health And Other Rants blog which links to a report claiming 'clutter is directly related to immensity of intelligence'.
Maybe it's just that people with lots of books have read them and know stuff.

and ... "Karen said...
Jealousy, I mean. God, I hate a typo! " - I dunno Karen, I LOVED 'bagpies' in your first comment.
You could hang more hats on a set bagpies than on that very impressive harp though.

I wonder if a typo in a book has ever driven a Translator insane.
(as Knotted Paths blog just said - "blogs are a great place for rhetorical questions")

Great to meet you the other night Lexi ... xxx

alexis said...

Brownie - I am EVER SO PLEASED that you've dropped by - and almost as pleased by that line about clutter. Minimalism schminimalism.

Better bagpies than bagpopes, I always say.

And lovely to meet you too.

Wool Spaniel said...

Another musical instrument is the bogpipes. They too make one unpopular with the neighbouring apartment-dwellers in the small hours of the morning, especially when accompanied by loud water-hammer.

Bogpipes are not recommended as hatstands.

alexis said...

Hawdy haw haw, WS. Hope everyone had fun at Balmoral yesterday.

Karen said...

"Bagpies" I didn't even notice that! You have to be tolerant and not make too merry- I'm yet to graduate to two fingers and I'm so clumsy I had to go to coordination therapy as a child (which is my excuse for a multitude of sins).

Thank you, Timt. Now I can say my bookshelves are a Hopkins' poem and not simply a godawful mess with items stacked this way and that (particulary the collection of empty moisturiser containers in front of Gore Vidal). I suspect I feel about the same way about Walter Scott that Alexis does.

It's a relief to hear that I am a genius and not simply a lost cause who, in the grand tradition of my family, can ever throw anything away.

alexis said...

I had to do remedial P.E.!

TimT said...

One of Walter Scott's influences for the Waverley novels were the researches of one Sir Joseph Train, who I'm happy to claim as an ancestor of mine, even though he may not have been.

alexis said...

Claim descent!

Karen and I both taught Waverley to a bunch of underdrags who hadn't read it in 2004. I remember reading it at home, while my Austenite housemate was in the next room watching the BBC Pride and Prejudice. Austen and Scott wrote at the same time, and it was extraordinary to hear that crisp, economical English coming through the wall while I read Scott's big bow-wow boy's own adventure, with its deliberate archaicisms and romantic hyperbole.

TimT said...

I love Jane Austen's writing, but her style may be different to almost all of her contemporaries.

Scott is a weirdo - it's not clear if he wants to be an intellectual, a historian, an 'antiquarian', or a simple writer of fiction. Nevertheless, he made huge contributions to literature and the arts through his collection of border ballads, his translation of Grimms fairy tales, his scathing account of the witch trials (in his letters on demonology), and his voluminous (in every sense of the word) novels. I personally love every word of his I've read.

But he is often, to use a modern expression, full of crap.

Karen said...

I think I probably fall somewhere between the two of you re: Scott. Reading him is a slog, but afterwards you're rather glad you did because you can see all the connections with other things. He is quite important from a literary history standpoint. And he's quite enjoyable in retrospect! I was amazed at all the neat little things I was able to do with it when I had to give my two-hour impromptu lectures (in the absence of any students who had read it). He's also very important for Ruskin.

I think I had about 4 or 5 out of 90 actually attempting it, not counting the anomaly of one young man who was quite a Scott enthusiast and had read them all before.

alexis said...

Oh no, I don't dislike Scott, I just think he's a little extravagant in the plot department. But nothing wrong with that. He was a great admirer of Austen's, and recognised in her what he lacked, which is rather to his credit.

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