In which I confess that I designed my home for a hermit and that I now intend to mend my ways in preparation for an almost inevitable old age.
OK. My awareness of hazards within my home has been raised, and no doubt I’ll carry on making it safer.
But shareability is just as important if I want to stay in my apartment forever. Later, when independence becomes an unrealistic desire, it might be a rather good idea, just an idea, to share this apartment with another person. An old friend, a new friend, a nurse — someone who would notice if I didn’t appear for breakfast one morning.
I made my apartment unshareable on purpose
Now I have made it shareable by accident.
Because I now had a second bathroom, I decided on impulse to move upstairs. The tiny upstairs bedroom is in a sort of corridor on the way to my office, where I spend most of my working day. Sleeping there feels like playing hooky from real life, or camping under the stars. Up I went. More expenses followed, alas: in the office now I added a splendid built-in Lundia wardrobe-cum-office shelves. A big fat old couch in the corner and hey presto! this excellent study doubles as a private sitting room. Who’s a lucky girl?
Fix one thing and another needs fixing
Oops, the bedroom and bathroom downstairs need tidying up. New shower, mend a broken mirror, and boom! Now this is a guest-room with ensuite.
At that point I realised that I had a home that could easily be shared. Tons of usable, private space for two people or one plus a couple. I test it out with paying guests and yep, I could handle company, if carefully managed.
Slap me—I love living alone
This is a stupendous change in my mentality. I adore living alone. I choose to live alone. I love my people but I need buckets of privacy. I’m in no rush to share my space: I hope I can live alone for many many years. In fact my original design decisions (top bedroom in a corridor, for instance) guaranteed that nobody would dream of trying to share my space. It would be just too awkward. I did that on purpose, believe it or not: I put my own privacy ahead of my guests’ comfort, so they wouldn’t stay too long. So kick me.
But now, to my surprise, I feel confident that my apartment is arranged in such a way that sharing happily is possible, even for me. Meanwhile I practise on the occasional paying guest.