White walls and waterfalls


Many things have happened since the last entry: Timmy eats loads of blueberries and sleeps in a “big boy’s bed” (which is just a mattress on the floor). Daniel is happily formula fed and sleeps in a cot. I drink loads of coffee and sleep in the same bed as I did before.

We’re in a new house. Husband enjoys his much bigger home office. And at the end of each day, starlight sprinkles our lawn in silver dust while fairies sing us to sleep.

That’s not all true. Timmy hates blueberries.

Timmy binned my keys at the old place, and I didn’t discover this until after that week’s rubbish had been collected. Suspicion of his nefarious deed was confirmed when I still hadn’t found them after boxing the entire house. So until I can get new keys organised, I’m having to borrow Husband’s keys whenever I need to use the car.

The reason this vexes me is the same reason getting a replacement car key is taking so long: I need remote locking. Not just because remote control of anything is super cool, but because when one is carrying a petulant toddler, a deadweight baby, a bloated nappybag, handbag, plus anything additional, finding a hand free to manually unlock a car is difficult.

A recent attempt resulted in Timmy breaking free and bolting off toward a busy road…and while all I could do was flail, drop bags and scream, “Timmy!”, a kind stranger intercepted and kept him from becoming sparrow food. But, also importantly, remote control of anything is super cool.

I’m gradually making our new place look less like a warehouse and more like a home, as boxes turn into carefully arranged contents. (Even if they’re just carefully tossed into the back of a linen cupboard or wardrobe.) The kitchen still looks a bit hatchet — our landlords tell us we’re getting a new counter in the next couple of weeks, but until then we have two pieces of old countertop, of separate design, that don’t quite fit the cabinets underneath.

It works well enough as a functional horizontal surface, but does tend make me feel disorganised and dysfunctional while I’m in there. The tin of baby formula usually sits next to the coffee jar, and this morning that almost ended badly for Daniel. Or extremely well, depending on one’s perspective.

Every wall of our new house is white. Empty and white. Capaciously empty and white. Thus, they give me the same disconcerting discomfort as does a blank page. (Nature abhors a vacuum, and all that.) But as we’re only renting this house, I’m severely limited in plausible decoration possibilities.


Can anyone offer some non-destructive decoration ideas? Pinterest is conventionally a popular source of decoration inspiration, but it seems to think everybody has the option of repainting and remodeling their rooms. Also that a toddler’s bedroom is the size of a commercial airline hangar.

The foremost decorative challenge is the toilet — that is, the room it’s in, separate from the bathroom — because that doesn’t need to be decorative, per se. It doesn’t need to be pretty, relaxing, harmonic, ethereal, or any other floaty word that describes a centre spread of House & Garden, because a person shouldn’t be spending a lot of time in it.

For the same reason, I don’t want any book compartments or magazine racks in there. We only have one toilet in this house and I don’t want it turning into a library, where a person can vegetate, reading — meanwhile nobody else can use the…library.

I’d initially thought if I left it spartan, sheer boredom would get people out of there as soon as practically possible, but soon realised this was naive. If there is nothing to occupy one’s mind, one brings their own engaging activity. Like a book. Or iPod. Then there’s the same ‘library’ dilemma. (Or they’ll forget to bring their iPod, and within 5 seconds their brain has cabin fever and panic attacks. It’s probably a good thing I didn’t have a Sharpie in my pocket that time, or we might have never get our bond back.)

Even just a poster would do, I think. But not tedious calendar-esque upchuck, of some generic waterfall running over some generic rocks, next to some generic trees. All at exceptionally uninteresting low-resolution.

I had a thought I’m not sure what to do with: how about a big Where’s Wally? poster, at least A3 size? Even if not a Where’s Wally? item itself (and I’m not sure a Wally/Waldo poster that big exists anyway), it would be fun to have something of that ilk, for its cognitive engagement. And it’s just plain fun. Waterfalls aren’t fun, folks. Not on posters.

Then it also doesn’t matter how many times one looks at the poster (which would be many times, over a year, if there’s nothing else in the room to look at), one will always see something new and interesting. And probably ridiculous. And more’s the fun.

Scavenger Hunt task for you all, boys and girls: direct me to your idea of a poster for our toilet wall. Bonus points delivered for ideas for the rest of the house. No waterfalls, flowers, or babies in flowerpots.


(2) Comments

  • Naomi
    03 Feb 2014

    For the boys room you could look into wall stickers, they are removable and leave no marks. there are many different themes depending what they like, I did Tess’s room in winnie the pooh. if you want to hang pictures on other walls I would get those reusable tab stickers as they just come off as well without leaving a mark and you can get them in many sizes

  • Rebekah
    03 Apr 2014

    I know I’m late… but I have an idea.
    The poopsmith. Relevant, accessible, versatile, popculture reference.

    For the rest of the house, various representations of your fandoms. Maybe an Impala decal on a wall, a Stargate sticker around the mirror, a vanilla bear and a chocolate bear wearing scrubs hanging on a corner hook…

    Also, a Where’s Wally themed thing will create the “library” problem. So possible in the house, but not in the toilet.

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