I am not normally tearing about like this I assure you. The reason I do this job is because I am actually very domesticated and a real home lover. Of course when I heard about the Living Etc House Tours in London, I was eager to go and requested my press ticket and when they asked if I could be an usher. I was delighted of course.
I then realised that my daughters school leaving Prom was the day I came home – relieved it did not clash completely, I thought I could easily travel home on Saturday morning and see her off that evening… I was then invited to an Abigail Ahern Masterclass on Saturday in Glasgow. Gosh this was turning into a squeeze. I booked a first class ticket to Glasgow on Friday evening at 7.30pm, knowing I could still enjoy a couple of Living Etc House Tour ‘after drinks’ and it was perfect: jumped into a taxi from Hackney to Euston, just as I had sort of had enough (my capacity for ‘after drinks’ and chat is somewhat limited these days, I had started chatting at 9am). You are given a complimentary supper on the train and more drinks, so absolutely no complaints – honestly!
The workshop was in the Citzen M hotel, in the centre of town. Arriving late at night in Glasgow, there is no sight more welcoming that that large lit up M sign…
The rooms are simply furnished, but utterly luxurious. The shower phenomenal, the bed and bedding perfect. Travelling alone you do not feel lonely. Maybe the ghostly figure in the window helped? (I think that might be me!)
The communal areas are genuinely communal, beautifully decorated and generous.
And the breakfast – say no more…
I arrived for the workshop, in the hotel, very, very refreshed and ready to learn as much as I could about Interior Design. Abigail knew I had my daughter’s prom and had to leave early, I had alerted her in advance, so I just had the morning and it did not disappoint. Quite the contrary – my goodness – the amount I learnt in that two hours is incredible: rein in your colours ie 3-4 in one room is enough; use something ‘too big’ in every room; circles and ovals soften rooms, which, obviously, are almost always square or rectangular. Gosh – so useful – my living room is terribly boxy – something round would really help…
She believes your home should be 80% beautiful and 20% ‘edgy’ – soooooo true… bring it on NOW. Crumbs, the amount you must learn if you are there all day!
I was a bit stressed scuttling off because it is actually a two hour journey home and I had the classic ‘Mum guilt’ where you feel you are under achieving at work but failing wildly as a Mum as well… I arrived home at 2.30pm, friends of my daughters were arriving to photograph us at 3pm (What??? I thought – why?)
But it was actually quite nice.
Then Pimms in another friends garden for a few more mums and daughters and then ‘Pres’ at a local hotel… more photographs, then we waved them off. I personally needed a walk along the beach and a fish supper after all that!
It was actually last weekend and being close to my Alma Mater, Glasgow School of Art, where I met my husband, I felt very at home and very contented in my Citzen M hotel room. Of course this would not have been the case this weekend. I woke up stunned yesterday. I cannot believe this tragedy. Charles Rennie Mackintosh did have quite a tragic life himself actually, he became disillusioned with architecture well before he retired and turned to art at the end of his career. He was way ahead of his time and his work was not celebrated as it should have been during his lifetime. Only after his death was his genius really recognised.
The Glasgow School of art was his masterpiece, Scotland’s first modern building, the fact that it had a lift when it was built in 1897, for instance, was really significant. So, so sad that it was so inadequately protected.