Every now and again, I go into what Eoghan calls a “nest-feathering” phase, when I would rather buy something pretty for the apartment instead of say, new camera gadgets, new music, or new clothes.
As we’ve settled into apartment-living, we’ve slowly creeped up the nest-feathering ladder, so much so that our former college student selves really wouldn’t recognise the place we live in now.
It started with practical things – a cheapo Argos boookcase which we had great fun making, a TV stand, a frying pan – and developed into a full-blown addiction which sees me standing in Stock holding the €36 photo frame that holds two pictures or the €70 grill plate that would be great for cooking steak on, all the while eyeing up a very handy looking cheese holder thingy for the fridge. Luckily, in that particular instance, I put all of them back…
But there are plenty of non-essential things that I do find myself splurging on – pretty Habitat candle plates (for the record, I bought ONE candle plate in Habitat, and happened to find the rest of the set in my local Oxfam), a random vase, a magazine rack, a cookery book holder, and most recently, a giant Habitat book case that took poor Eoghan hours to assemble (it also took us almost three months and lots of frustrated phone calls to receive; no wonder Habitat have closed down). Basically, we have accumulated a lot of stuff.
But one nest-feathering thing I haven’t minded forking cash out for are our lovely and lush window boxes. One of the crappier things about living in an apartment – and one on the fourth floor at that – is that you have no garden.We have two decent-sized balconies, but attempts to buy and plant window boxes have failed miserably in the past, mainly because the water drips down the glass walls and possibly down to our neighbours below, and also because we both know feck all about flowers and just picked up the ones we that looked nice (like so many things in life, the pretty ones turned out to be the most difficult to look after).
But then we found Amanda, of Amanda on The Veranda. She not only sells these very handy Scandanavian-imported window boxes that have a self-irrigation system, meaning the don’t drip, but she will even PLANT THEM full of gorgeous flowers and herbs, in a colour scheme of your choosing.
We got one ‘cool’ one, above, filled with purples and blues (although it just looks a bit green and leafy at the moment) and one ‘hot’ one, which has hot pinks and reds. There are also some herbs – the Rosemary gives off lovely smells on warm evenings. Chive is planted there too. My inner hunter-gathered very much enjoys being able to go out to the balcony, chop off some chive and add it to to a potato salad or mix some Rosemary and olive oil together for a yum steak. Not that there was much hunting involved in chopping down defenseless herbs…
Every week or so, we have to go out and water them and pick off the dead flowers, which Amanda says a lot of people find very therapeutic; me, I usually think even the dead ones look pretty and end up running back into the apartment to get my camera.
But getting things like flower boxes, along with steak knives and garlic presses, only serves to drive home the point that yes, unfortunately, we are turning into grown-ups. Boo.