The wheels are turning and hoarding is back in fashion. We have seen a minimalist madness in recent years. That trend, I devoutly hope, is fading. In our panting enthusiasm to keep up with the minimalist designers we threw away our most precious possessions, emptied our wardrobes, scraped and polished and painted our houses and started living in soulless, white washed boxes. There were television programs of overweight ladies going into people’s houses with their gloves on and making them out to be criminals because they had their life long possessions with them. Well, the designers have made their money and moved on in search of new inspiration; and we are left with an emptiness to fill. I for one like to have the things that comfort me, around me.
Youngsters live solely out of their phones, keeping their music their identity, their letters, diaries and books all in their phones. Phones could be lost, clouds could bought up and closed down. We live in a free market society when everything is for sale. What if an emerging Rwanda buys up your cloud and empties it of its content? You don’t own that cloud. It belongs to somebody else. The young generation were not alive when the banks stole all our pensions and pretended it’s one of those things. People were angry but there was no one to complain to. So they bit their tongue and started saving again. If your pensions and your savings can go at the flick of a wrist, so can clouds which are ephemeral in the first place. But then when you are young you can pick yourselves up and start a fresh diary and download fresh music or start a fresh correspondence with your loved ones. But when you are a certain age like I am, (‘ahemm’) you are, as they say, shafted.
Besides all that, I do like the physicality of things around me. Minimalist houses are good for estate agents and for magazine photographs. I like to get my favourite cd and put it into the machine and press the trigger. I make a ritual about listening to my music. We rush around working all day for the man and when it comes to our leisure we do the least amount of work, like depending on fast foods, playlists, pre-selected channels etc. Why not enjoy our leisure and make it fun? That is our time; not the man’s.
I like furniture that smells of polish; I like quirky lamps that glow in different shades of orange and white; I like random photographs on walls and books piled in corners; I like startling objects that surprise visitors to my home. I was recently in a flat. Apart from the glass table on which a laptop stood and a rubbish bag in the corner there was absolutely nothing to look at. After the initial wow at the clean floors and the clean lines, I was left hovering with nothing to do, nothing to look at or admire.
But I am glad to say the tide is turning. Youngsters are becoming aware of the thrill of possessions. My son is going to occupy a flat in a large converted mill. He has plans to cover one wall with his many coloured guitars, to store his electronic accessories in a 1950s ammunition box and to light up the place with quirky lamps such as the one he has, one mounted on a functioning telescope. Now that, I applaud.
It is essential to life and happiness to choose which way you would rather live, not leave it up to designers. Neither designers or scientists or doctors or lawyers or estate agents or even the governments are loyal to you. They are loyal to money. Remember that and make your own choice.