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Growing up, my bedroom was my sanctuary. Admittedly, I shared it for some years. Those were the earlier days when my sister and I often impersonated twins, so it seemed fitting. We had, and still do, (as is natures way) a birthmark above our left knee, round and dark (unfortunate really) and we pretended this amounted to a secret umbilical cord that joined us together. We trolloped round in our identical frilly swimmer bottoms, terry towelling jumpsuits and whatever else our mother scratched up with matching abandon. What’s a twenty month gap we thought.

By the time I was about 15, that 20 months was a gaping chasm. I was a moody teenager and she was a clarinet playing insomniac. However, I digress.

The twin share room had a large floor-to-ceiling yellow wardrobe – canary yellow! It clashed nicely with the flecked brown carpet. But inside that wardrobe was a secret world . Standing inside the cupboard with the door closed I could face a shelf that topped the drawers . Here, I created a haven. There was no doubt it was best enjoyed by torchlight or my Einstein – a battery operated game that lit up in a ‘Simon says’ kind of way. At times the cupboard- tardis could be airless but that was the price of solitary confinement. This was where my treasures were kept. My jewels and my precious gifts. There were pictures on the walls and nicks and nacks that pleased my eye. I spent many a moment quietly digesting the canary hole.

It’s no surprise to me now, that I take great delight in making my children’s rooms appealing. In a fortuitous twist of fate, they each have their own and I have quietly beavered away, transforming them, with thrifty buys, hand me downs and EBay bargains, into individual retreats that I hope reflect them and my love of using what’s at hand.

However, as I write this I realise that perhaps on more than one occasion my children’s birthday gifts were things I would like for their rooms. But hey, if they don’t like it I’ll install a canary yellow cupboard.

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