14th September 2022
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Well it seems to be getting more complicated as the days go by. Today was meant to be a sponsored feature but it has been postponed. I can’t decide if all the cancelling and rescheduling is respectful or annoying. I’m not sure the Queen, who was, by all accounts, an immensely practical woman (well, as practical as one can be when living in a palace surrounded by servants) would have wanted everyone to drop everything and freeze. It’s a bit like musical statues when the music stops at the moment. And while I appreciate the stillness from the lack of advertising, should sport stop? Small businesses, shops and restaurants?
I have to also acknowledge that my feelings towards the Monarchy and its future – especially in relation to its past – are complicated. I stood behind a barrier and watched the Queen drive past my primary school for her silver jubilee in 1977. Twenty years later, as a journalists at The Independent, my Mad Boyfriend (yes him who became the Mad Husband) and I saw the flowers laid for Diana at Kensington Palace. So yesterday, following a meeting with my publisher when my route home took me via Green Park I decided to have a look at what was going on. Whatever your feelings – and mine are not straightforward – there’s no doubt that these moments have been part of the background to growing up in this country and I felt a need to at least see it for myself.
So that brings us to today’s post. A last minute swerve from what was planned. We’re deep in house move stories (and let’s be honest it doesn’t feel right to talk about shopping this week) so firstly can I say thank you all for all your comments and ideas on the new place. I’m going back with the builder next week to discuss some plans and some budgets so we’ll see where we get to.
Then I will be making full use of my own planner to help me through the months of renovations ahead. And lest you think this is a post about selling a book it isn’t. This is intended as a thank you to all of you for inspiring the books I have written.
As I said, I had a meeting with my publisher yesterday and, as I prepare to leave The Mad House, my thoughts turn, inevitably, to those three books that have been centred around it. One to find your style, one to answer all the questions that might arise when you renovate and one to document and plan those changes. They contain illustrations of the rooms here and many of the pages were informed by the renovations, and mistakes, we made when we converted it from two shabby rental flats to a single dwelling.
As the Mad House part I comes to a close, I wanted to mark those three books and their connection to it and thank all of you who have bought one or more of them and written to tell me how they have helped you. Without you and your questions this blog and those books would not have happened.
And perhaps now is the moment to also tell you that as the Mad House II begins so there will be another book out next year. It’s currently being typeset and I’m very excited about it. I think you will find it beautiful, practical and relevant. And that’s as much as any of us can aspire to.
I'm a journalist who writes about interiors mainly for The Financial Times but I have also written regularly for The Independent and The Daily Mail. My house has been in Living Etc, HeartHome and featured in The Wall Street Journal & Corriere della Sera. I also run an interior styling consultancy Mad About Your House. Welcome to my Mad House.