Life Home & Garden

Thursday 12 December 2019

Angela Scanlon: 'Moving house can be a funny old thing'

Unpack the wine first and don't throw away any allen keys. Ever.
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Angela Scanlon

Moving house can be a funny old thing. A time for newness and clearing out. Packing up and looking forward. It's supposed to be the most stressful thing you ever do, well, the third most stressful thing, after death (of someone else) and divorce.

That's pretty high up on the life list, so I should have been prepared, but in my naive little skull, moving into an unfurnished apartment two floors up in an old warehouse was romantic. "The opportunity to make it feel like we own it" - that was the thinking.

When I was younger, I imagined at 30 I'd be set. Sorted. Living in an ivy-covered gaff in Sandymount with a sprog en route and an empire. I would host dinner parties because they are the ultimate expression of adulthood.

Of course, now that I've passed that figure, it feels laughable but I try to fulfil that fantasy on occasion. Except, instead of serving "signature cocktails" in heavy-bottomed crystal glasses, when we have people over I spend the morning in charity shops bargaining over 50c glasses I can serve wine in.

On the second night in our new home I had a friend over. I had promised to cook but with boxes to unpack and Twitter to check, well there was just no time. There was also no cutlery. I served whole carrots with homemade hummus on paper plates. This was not how things were supposed to go.

But I love my new place. It's one of those rare gems that has actual space and high ceilings and natural light. I find myself furiously scouring IKEA not to buy (although I did), but it's the storage solutions that really get me.

I spend embarrassing amounts of time creating Pinterest boards that show a living room much bigger than ours filled with stuff that's way too expensive. It's all white-washed walls with exposed brick and industrial finish, a Moroccan rug here, some fabulous personalised print hanging from the wall.

In reality I have given up buying anything that hangs. I pick frames that stand on their own or can happily lean against a wall. We have a giant antique mirror that's so heavy I'm pretty sure it could kill me if it wobbled in the wrong direction. It's also perched. I will not regard myself as a fully-fledged grown-up until I have a painting hanging from my wall. But who the hell buys paintings any more?

I did buy slippers that cost me a hundred quid. That is the most hideous sentence you'll read today but in my defence it was with a voucher so they were practically free. I was told they're alpaca wool. They look like the hoofs of a Shetland pony and this makes me happy. On evenings when I'm sipping gin from a mug and eating 20c noodles from a golden bowl I stole from a friend, I look down at my furry little feet and, although it's not quite what I imagined, it's kind of perfect. For now.

You snooze, you win!

Sometimes you just can’t be bothered. You mean to, you want to, but you hit the snooze button one time too many and you emerge in desperate need of a bottle of dry shampoo. Lash it on, layer it up, dust off the powdery residue and you’re left with what’s essentially a wig. That, incidentally, is a positive thing. It looks like it’s had a good time, like it could tell stories and it does exactly what you ask it to. But the thing about looking effortless is it takes a lot of damn effort. That wig usually requires careful teasing, coiffing, and a ton of product.

If you want a shortcut, grab this pricey but amazing product.

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Irish Independent

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