Years ago, when I was a callow youth in London, a flatmate and I visited a fortune teller in Covent Garden.
It was the perfect storm: a wet Sunday, a hangover, boredom. It was also a lark and, predictably, most of what this faux gypsy predicted was a load of old cobblers; a waste of a tenner but an entertaining waste.
Actually, the only thing I can remember her telling me was that I was a magpie, a collector of shiny baubles and pretty things: "Your surroundings are important to you and you're always seeking to surround yourself with beauty," the charlatan said.
She was right on that count: it's not for nothing my nickname is Martha Stewart (minus the jail-time and dubious political leanings, of course). Wherever I live, I love to 'nest', as the glossy interior magazines I write for like to call it.
Sadly life and work have conspired to rob me of my nesting instincts this year but I've managed to redeem that over the past few weeks. The Animator finally finished painting the banister at the rear of the house black (begone, wood!) to match our efforts with the main staircase over Easter. I also had a gorgeous linen cover made for the leather-is-so-last-year sofa and we finally collected these two pics from New York from the framer (check out the vintage map of Manhattan - I'm so in love with it which is just as well, given we miscalculated the exchange rate and got a monster of a fright when the credit card bill rolled in!) But whaddya gonna do, right?
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