Only recently has this room been populated with the miscellany that makes it my room, previously being just convenient storage for sleeping bodies. Spacious enough for a double bed, wardrobe, keyboard, desk and an enormous 70’s egg-cup chair – but scarcely enough space to move among them. Teal walls are artfully described by Dulux Chemical Industries as ‘blue reflections’. An ornate crown-moulded ceiling hints at opulence Morningside had before Falcon Hall fell and grants faux-class to an unkempt student lair, there’s even a mantelpiece, though the mantel-clock is made of cardboard and the only ornaments beside it are six pairs of aviators. Cupboards conceal shelves storing fine taste in literature and base taste in b-movies. An incongruous blend of objects blanket all other surfaces, including the floor; swords, flags, iron busts of famous Marxists – each scars the room with the memory of an event or journey, even an oversized sombrero commemorates the infamous ‘Tequila Tuesday’ of 2009.
The window’s view is held back by two knackered and yellowing blinds which are almost certainly not the colour they once were and make a habit of rising and falling at their own whim. Once open, they reveal a greyer sight. Far from the noise and colour of Morningside road and the Canny Man, regimented grey stone buildings enfilade a quiet street scarcely ever intruded upon by pedestrians or cars. Even those few cars present rarely move for fear of losing the hotly contested parking spaces or offending the militant traffic wardens. With a stretched neck it is possible to see hills quieter than the street and greyer still. with the tourist trap pathways hidden under the snow, masts and weather instruments used by the local observatory are the only sign that humans ever venture there. All told, this greyscale storage place for parked cars is bleak as any artic wilderness and less inviting.
Venture onto that same street and your eyes are opened, closing the distance from the third story window allows for experiencing the rows of individual gardens – each with their own selection of tasteless, but loved, ornaments. The neighbourhood cats flit between these cells of acquired taste, engaged in the important business of nothing much. Fat and beetle-like old men shuffle towards the church, a sandstone Mexican-looking building that’d be at home in a spaghetti western. At end of the street sits the dominion, an art deco cinema, and at the other end is the local school; between them a whole neibourhood of friendly conversation – only not right now, weather’s a bit rubbish.