If you come to stay at our house you have a choice of several rooms to sleep in. There is the moose's room, named in honour of the genuine, reflective, full-size triangular "Kill Your Speed, Not a Moose" road sign stolen for Confabulation from a genuine Norwegian road side by a genuine Swedish fan. (Anders now has to live with his conscience, knowing he alone is responsible for an infamous moose road kill black spot but that's another story.) Anyway, the moose's room has three single beds in it, and all mod cons, i.e. a carpet, a light and curtains.
And there's the boudoir. I've always wanted a boudoir, and when Steve decked out the study in industrial grey, with five computers, a filing cabinet, office chairs, two printers, a scanner and a LAN then I decided I was damn well having a boudoir, painted pale pink and co-ordinated in shades of cream. It's always had a light, a pink one, it recently acquired a carpet, cream, but it has never had what you could really call curtains. It does have a curtain rod, a length of dowel hung from two loops of brass picture wire on hooks in the ceiling. A bit of a Heath Robinson affair really, but delicately swathed in about ten yards of unbleached muslin. It frames the window nicely, hiding the holes left when we removed the wooden strip nailed to the wall from which the previous occupants' nasty Venetian blinds hung.
What it doesn't do, however, is give you any way of actually shutting out the light, as Steven Cain found out when trying to draw the curtains one afternoon to encourage Marianne to sleep, and ending up festooned with yards and yards of decorative muslin.
This has never been a problem before as any of the Plokta cabal who sleep in that room usually need all the help they can get in waking up after a night's excesses, and the midday sun serves this purpose rather well. However, encouraging Marianne to sleep is an aim the entire cabal supports wholeheartedly, so Something Had to be Done.
Since there is no need for curtains in the boudoir at any other time, it had to be something which, ideally, could easily be attached and removed from the existing swags of muslin without messing up the carefully-arranged arty festoons. I had a piece of fabric which would do, the right size, a cream brocade on one side and a dark green weave on the other, and if that sounds familiar, Rhodri, yes, it is the bit your waistcoat was cut from. The great virtue of this fabric is that its two-sided design makes it extremely opaque without needing to be lined. All I needed to do was work out a way to hang and remove it easily.
I thought about this for a while and eventually came up with what I thought would be the best way to do it. What I can't understand is why everyone else found this so funny. I mean, it worked, didn't it? It was cheap and easy to do. I thought it was obvious, really. A pack of half a dozen teaspoons from Woolworth's, bent into the right shape and sewn along one end. They're easy to hook over the dowel, they don't catch on the muslin. So you lot can just stop laughing right now.
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