Chris took this photo.
We had never used the fireplace before. It was one of the things that I liked about the flat before we bought it – the fact that maybe, someday, we would be able to light a fire, and sit in front of it and do all kinds of things that are better when in the atmosphere of a room with a "crackling fire" in the fireplace, things such as reading books about love and death, or watching episodes of "Downton Abbey" while curled up with a dog. Certainly not a place for the television (in the basement). The only thing stopping us, really, was the fact that we were lacking a fireplace screen. One would think that this would not be so insurmountable. Yet we only had our first fire this week, a little over a year since we officially became homeowners. The tiny Meyer lemon tree Chris planted in the backyard now has its first yellowing lemon.
Lately I've been obsessed with the idea of homemaking. Of making this place home. I want nothing to be sterile, I want to feel cozy, I've begun to invite people over for dinner – the idea not to cook something extraordinary, but to have people eating at our table, the table that I love, and which currently has dead flowers in a vase, the dead flowers looking better than they did when they were alive. The front room is where I spend most of my time. It is the most lived-in. In the bookshelves you can find silver packets filled with Polaroid pictures tucked among speakers, a small box filled with free bookmarks accumulated from bookstores, the skeleton of a frog mounted on wood (the frog's name is Franklin Toad). The mantle, which deserves its own post, is a strange and shifting thing, with a fair amount of room that allows for accumulation. Discard and add at whim.
A heartfelt thanks to all of you who got in contact with me about my recent ailments. I am starting to feel better. You are all wonderful.