#chezmoi is a feature in which people take a photo of somewhere in their home and discuss five objects in that photo: the memories they conjure, the importance with which they hold them and any other random comments they inspire. The idea being to get an insight into the lives of others. That and to invade people’s homes.
About a month ago I moved to Strasbourg, a town fit for a fairy tale. I squeezed 20 years of knick knacks into my car and now I live above an art gallery, on the edge of a canal lined with bee hives. Yeah. Im a student and I get to live here. Those 20 years of knick knacks (an accumulation of drawings, books, postcards and photos) now make up the most part of my room. They decorate it with a healthy dose of glitter and sequins, curing home sickness and all other ailments.
Welcome friends #chezmoi. Here’s my bedroom – so glad you could make it!
1. Tintin postcard (centre right) – This is a postcard which my Mum sent me after a teary phone call mid exam season in Edinburgh. It combines my two ‘plus grands amores’; french-ness and illustrations. This particular card arrived in the post with a deck of Tintin playing cards, a matching multipack of stickers (also commonly used to cure any malady) and a photo of my dog. You have got to give it to the woman, she sure as hell knows what a girl needs in a care package. Whilst none of the above made my exams disappear or my insomnia improve, I got post through the letterbox that was not from my bank (always a exiting moment) and I felt looked after despite being a couple of hundred miles from home.
2. The Chuckle Bumbles (centre, right) – During times of stress I procrastinate by drawing cartoons of a little alter ego of myself. Said alter ego is extremely sarcastic and, more often than not, a smug little bitch. She tells me off when I need telling off. In recent months, I’ve felt less of a need to use drawing as a means of telling myself off. The Chuckle Bumbles were the first cartoon I created outside of my alter ego. If you look closely you will see that they are two mustachioed* bumble bees trying to shift a bowler hat in the style of 90s legends the Chuckle Brothers.
3. Polaroid (centre, top) – This is a polaroid of the two french girls who made me want to study french. I met them when I was 14, they fed me pastries, taught me slang and made me feel wonderfully at home #chezeux. My french remains pretty terrible but my love of pastries grows everyday and to this day I’m still great friends with the girls.
4. Business card (left of the Chuckle Bumbles) – This is a business card I picked up from a restaurant in Venice. My boyfriend and I ate in that restaurant after he fell in a Venetian canal and badly cut himself on the calcified steps. Pause. Take that in. He. Fell. In. The. Canal. That can actually happen. It was hilarious, a bit terrifying and then hilarious again. We ate delicious seafood with a bin bag of bloody wet clothes at our feet. Some say he fully immersed himself in Venetian culture.
5. Books (bottom, right) – Mary Shelly’s Frankenstein takes a proud position on my bedside table reminding me of bitterly cold nights awake in Edinburgh reading about ghosts and ghouls and bumps in the night. In the same coveted spot lies One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. A novel so special that, when I told my dad I was reading it, he called me everyday onwards to recommend that I read slower because novels don’t get any better. Literary comforts ready to be perused at the slightest pang of homesickness.
There’s a snippet of #chezmoi. Thank you and goodnight.
PS. Yes, that is a pot of sequins.
*Moustached means adorned with a moustache. Moustachioed means adorned with an impressively bushy or luxuriant moustache. My bumble bees are most definitely moustachioed.
Livi is the Illustrator at PTL. She lives in Strasbourg and is in a long distance relationship with Earl Grey Tea. Livi has decided that, as well as taking this opportunity to reveal that she came up with the Prancing Through LIFE name, it might be sensible to advertise her work here. She can make a bee look twee, a fox look feminist and studying look…slightly less awful than studying is.
If you’re interested in getting involved with PTL – drop us an email on firstname.lastname@example.org.
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