Monday, 28 January 2013

How I met interior designers

Case One

My cousin's girlfriend is one. I guessed, based on her appearance, that she has that sort of very showy taste but one day, I asked her for some superficial study of my place. I told her that I like natural wood, white walls, I would like to preserve all of my current furniture, that I need more bookshelves, bigger table and some sort of cupboard for my perfume collection.

I don't have the pics of the result.

I got one wall in quite acerbic green (something like acid green but not so much), one wall in deep purple, very extensive shelving of thin plyboard in dark brown and purple, something in the size of dressing table... One room was divided by a partition "to break the space, it's uncomfortably big", and the partition had mirrors on one side "to make the space look larger". My (as owned by me, not made by me) artworks didn't match the colour scheme so they were replaced by some Ikea art. There was some wallpaper in quite acerbic green, too, with some vaguely floral motifs because "I like flowers".

I remarked that the shelves are brown and I detest brown as previously stated, and that they're too small and too thin for any actual use. "It's just a sketch", the designer said, "the shelves will be custom made for the books." "Arglebargle? I think I entirely miss your point." "You know, books 30 cm tall will go in one shelf, books 28 cm tall will go to another," the designer elaborated. "Eh... there's a problem. I don't sort books by size but by general theme," I protested. The designer didn't hesitate a second. "Sorting them by size will save space." "I prefer my working order to saving space," I insisted and then I added, "You know, I have the books for certain practical uses like study, not for decoration or else I'd just get a metre of greens and two metres of blues, don't you think. Also, whatever the height, I fully intend to keep my bookshelves, they're lovely." The designer missed the snerk and the point entirely. "Oh, blonde wood is so out. You don't need to throw the shelves away, you can move them to the basement and use them to store marmalades."

Obviously, I coughed up around 2000 euros for great furniture which I love only to move it somewhere to store crap. And I'll sort books by size and colour because they're just decorative bricks. Yeah, sure, whatever.

Case Two

For some reasons which are not exactly important, the Boss invited an interior designer, allegedly specialized in restaurants and places of this sort, to the hotel. Because she did stuff for Boss' buddy who runs a restaurant. Been to the restaurant and I must say that parquet ceiling and dark blue walls coupled with very small windows and chairs made of wood that looks like plastic didn't really impress me.

The hotel was built in the late 1970's and all the owners failed to destroy the once very modern and for the time and place extremely luxurious interiors. Wood and stone panelling that would be worth a damn lot of money these days, those few original chairs that remained cost half of an average monthly wage back then and despite some damages and less than tasteful additions, the place looks great.

The designer gal was suspicious to me on the first sight. Anyone who wears lots of fake jewellery and a Vuitton bag along with sweatpants is suspicious when it comes to questions of taste.

When she started pointing at the panelling and explaining that wood is so out, that the best thing would be to paint it white, or maybe purple or green would do, and that the white walls are too sharp and bright, that toning them down to beige or taupe would be cool and that all that stone is too rustic...


WTF. Also, I got me a real architect, with 6 years of college, not just some weekend course plus diligent study of Elle Maison, with a real diploma and some brains. When she saw the panelling and stone, she was delighted and ran to check everything about the 1970's interior. Normal people exist somewhere out there.

Saturday, 26 January 2013

A can of worms

I got a new job in October. It wasn't a particularly defined position, in fact, it was a pretty nondescript position of Someone who does databases and various things for a hotel. I was peacefully doing various sorts of data entries, untouched by education or experience, struggled with the software in many ways but it sorta worked. I made a database of some 300 recipes as requested, created files for materials that were not listed as on stock, submitted the database, went on to do some research and digging in stuff, created a menu. And it was tough. The baseline was low. Very low. The hotel as a whole wasn't earning much and it was because the kitchen was deep in red numbers. Not that I'd wondered why after I was poisoned by salmon here back in summer, so the brand new software for tracking everything was acquired... One cook went on a sick leave to show who's the boss. She was heard saying that she's not going to follow some fucking recipes, she's cooking foods that taste well (okay, the salmon made me sit on the bathroom floor, waiting whether there'll be projectile vomiting or not but it was not that bad taste-wise) and she wanted to show the management that she's indispensable. The manager was messing around during the New Year period and in January, she decided she needs a break. In the peak season, obviously. The Boss said Okay, but in January, not February when we're packed up to the roof. So, I'm subbing.

Monday, 7 January 2013

Mother Nature is a bitch

It's January 6 or 7. I went to toss something to the compost heap and noticed my croci (or crocuses, if you want) sprouting. The same thing happened last year. Warm winter, no snow, croci, hyacinths and what else sprouting... and then the temperatures fell to around -15 and killed my plants. The bulbs recovered but my Madeiran Selaginella which happily lived through a bit of snow and frost died despite mulch and a heap of spruce branches. Warm and snowless winters suck in the business but personally, I could live with spring starting tomorrow. I will not hurry to claim that I've recovered from my winter depressions but this year, I'm okay. Or, to be exact, not going through the depressive downs. I'm not happy and I have a constant itch to make the things turn green and run outside among them. Damn... I haven't dealt with the herbary backlog from the previous season yet. And I forgot to sow some stuff that needs to be exposed to cold. Gardening is a winter job, too.