Love, Blue Rooms and Hemingway on Valentine's Day

I feel sorry for my partner. Imagine having a design journalist manage your household? ("Are you putting green and purple sheets on the bed? Together? Are you really going to do that to me?") 

Seriously. No wonder he drinks. 

(Side note: He deliberately switches the towels and bedlinen around when I go away for work, just to be wicked. I come home and the house looks like someone's vomited Pantone's mis-tints everywhere.

Anyway, I realise he lives a very difficult life with me as a partner, and so every now and then I try to make it up to him with marital rewards. (No, NOT that kind.) If you've been in a relationship for a few years you'll know these keep the peace. What's that old adage? "A marriage is less like love and more like a business arrangement where you both try to balance the books and keep an eye on the competition."

So, as a gift, I gave him this (above). It's a Fishing Pass. For 12 months' of Guilt-Free Fishing. 

He used January's pass last weekend, and has a February trip to King Island this weekend. A group of his mates have chartered a plane and are flying down to the island to do Secret Men's Business. When he comes back, I'm going to Sydney for a girlies' week. This is how you keep a marriage together, you see. It tends to work beautifully.

While he was away on last weekend's Bloke's Bonding Trip with the political boys, I decided to turn his bedroom into a 5-star, hotel-style suite. As a treat.

(This is our bedroom, but when he snores, I sleep in the Maid's Quarters in the back. So I call this his bedroom.)

The 'theme' was 'Hemingway's Boat'. The book of which I read over summer, and loved.

Repainted the walls, which were splotchy from the last painting effort.
(WHO hung those wonky pix?)

Then re-painted the butler's trays. These were spray-painted with gold paint, then lacquered over with a Feast Watson Choc-Walnut finish, so they resembled the side of a boat. 

The curtains were $20 at Spotlight. Love those Spotlight sales. Hate the navy and gold fabric but it does look masculine and we can't afford Manuel Canovas.

The padded bedhead was a DIY job with leftover Ralph Lauren navy pinstripe linen, bought for $12/m.

Made a little Hemingway side table. We already had the replica of Hem's house in Key West and the bestselling book Hemingway's Boat by Paul Hendrickson, and then I found the boat on sale – the closest I could find to Hem's beloved cruiser 'Pilar'. (Just ignore the dubious painting job on the table.)

The finished product. 
The Hemingway Suite.
(Sorry about the bad hospital corner on the bed there. The whole bed looks dishevelled! I had to get back to work!)

This was my helper. He likes to oversee things. When he's not emitting gaseous smells and humping his Jack Russell sibling.

RR loved the new bedroom. He loved it so much, he decided to write a poem. This is what he wrote:

Our love is like a Hemingway boat.
It always manages to stay afloat...

When he gave it to me, I had to try not to laugh.

"Is that all you have for me?" I said eventually, with a solemn face. "Love is like a boat?"
"Well, I agree it's not Keats," he said.
"Perhaps you need to revisit it?" I suggested. "Perhaps it's missing a verse, a stanza, or something...?"

(Actually, this is the replica card. The original was damaged after the dogs trod on it.)

"I'll write you another poem on February 14," he said generously.

And that, my dear readers, is how we keep the magic going in our house.

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