03 July 2008


One day in May when I was a captive in the house, procrastinating, I decided to count the number of mirrors we had on the walls - more than a dozen. Even I was surprised. I decided to snap them because I was going to write a blog about all of the things I had been thinking about while I was away from work. I wanted to write about how much I enjoyed writing this blog. How it had made me look at the world differently, seeking out different perspectives, making connections between what I saw and how I felt , reflecting on where I live, what happens, how quickly it both stays the same and changes from day to day.

The moment has passed, and I have not had the time to take any pictures today. In fact it's already tomorrow. But let's take a trip around the house anyway.

This mirror is in the passage way and it's one of my favourites. I bought it from a neighbour who is moving to Hawaii and is disposing of goods and chattels. I paid for it with a twenty pound note which John's mum gave me for my birthday last year, shortly before she died. Even though she was in hospital and very poorly, she remembered my birthday, and I was able to report back to her how I had invested my money. Apparently it came from a flea market in France somewhere - Paris perhaps. It's a bit bashed about, with some of the frame missing, but that, and the fact that it has a layered history, adds to its charm.

Peep around the open door and you'll see this on the wall behind. I like these bull's eye mirrors that reflect a whole room in a small space. There's one in the Arnolfini Portrait in the National Gallery which has always caught my eye. I rather like the austerity of this one; and the view around the room.

Come upstairs into the bathroom. This little mirror is tucked away in a corner. If you push your finger against the glass, you notice how thin the glass is, which means that it is old and possibly has mercury in the silvering. The reflected light is rather grey, not very flattering, but I suppose the wear and tear hides defects. Maybe we should use it more often.

You get two for the price on one here. Normally I would only look into this small mirror to brush my teeth and scrub my face at night. I'm surprised I'd never noticed that you could see the second mirror if you stood at an angle, the soldiers on the top put there by young John (he likes playing this game on me, to test whether I notice), beyond that the shells on top of the corner cupboard. All covered in dust.

Back downstairs into the room with my writing table. Another mirror, probably the prettiest.

Or is it these? Those balls should really be hanging in the windows to scare off witches.

Maybe you can see one. Or is it?


Anonymous said...

this post is masterful, really provocative and beautiful thanks.

colleen said...

dear pj
thank you so much for the comments you have been leaving over the last week or so. I've enjoyed rtoo evisiting some of these posts as you have left your comments. I'm particularly taken with thinking exactly why it is that we do love our baked beans and may very well have something to say about that... soonish. Come back soon.