How cosy does this look? Got my tree up and here, for the benefit of those of you who aren’t going to make it round, is Christmas Usual Shop-style. This isn’t a styled scenario (obviously): just an honest point-and-shoot as-is.
Centre-stage is the £10 Indian coffee table (found in July).
To the right, various retro-print, velvet and embroidered cushions made from jumble-sale fabric or found ready-made; a couple from my grandmother’s.
Cream leather sofa, £60 from Brighton station car boot sale about 10 years ago.
Woven paisley-pattern cashmere throws over sofa, 10 euros each from flea market in Brussels seven or eight years ago.
Cream leather armchair and (in foreground to the left) matching footstool, £40 from Brighton station car boot sale, seven years ago.
Wicker log-basket, pottery, fake flowers and candlesticks: all from jumble sales over the years.
Rubber plants: one donated by C, the other an offcut from that plant, plus yucca from my granny’s neighbour.
Sheepskin rug, £5 from car boot sale, time immemorial.
Feather eiderdown over back of armchair, car boot sale, ditto.
Cream curtains, from another neighbour of my granny’s. I’ve tried patterns in the living room, and darker colours, but cream is the only way to accommodate all the other textures and patterns and still maintain a semblance of sanity.
Purple flower fairy lights on the tree: inadvertently stolen by D from the wonderful What’s Cookin’ club when he played a gig there. He claims that they were wrapped around his pedal-steel and he packed them by mistake. Sorry, Ali. Tree decorations also include red apples bought at a Gothenburg craft market (whilst playing truant from a corporate event at the Volvo factory), a few oddments from the family collection and pieces from a broken glass chandelier.
Caramel-coloured ceramic bowl on coffee table: a present from my friend Mary. It was made by a potter who exhibited at the Kensington Church Street gallery where we both worked at the time (around 13 years ago: a whole lifetime away). I have long since lost the card that came with it detailing the potter’s name and credentials, but all I know is that it’s not a Grayson Perry (the only contemporary ceramicist I could name) and therefore it’s probably OK to store finger-picks, capos, guitar tuners and bottlenecks in there.
Hidden from view but lighting the tableau: a 1950s glass chandelier (£50 from Martlets Hospice charity shop, six years ago) and the Anglepoise lamp I found in the street.
So there you have it: just about the only things bought new in that scene are the log-burning stove and the double bass. And the garden-centre tree – I’ve never managed to keep rooted trees alive for reuse in subsequent years, to my regret.