Despite the best efforts of her most excellent mother, Betty has the tendency to be badly brought up: she is messy, forgetful, easily distracted, and too often content to let things lie where they have landed. She also leaves for work early, gets home late, and lives in a tiny (Teeny-Tiny, according to Apartment Therapy) apartment.
While the actual rooms are quite spacious, there isn’t room in the wardrobes for everything that should really be put away. The kitchen is built into a cupboard, the tiny scullery into another; the pantry is smaller than the average bar-fridge, the fridge is a bar-fridge, and the freezer doesn’t. The dining table doubles as a counter, which works well since the bed doubles as a dining table. The bathroom, oddly, is huge – but the clothes rack that lives in it is almost permanently up, both as a storage device and to cope with the laundry, which has to be done upstairs in the landlord’s house. The landlady skinny-dips at all hours, so the husband person refuses to do the laundry any more; the landlady is in her late eighties, and the husband person has led a relatively sheltered life.
Betty is not trying to insinuate that there is anything wrong with this living arrangement, though: far from it. The apartment is lakeside in one of Auckland’s nicest beach suburbs, and when local people hear the name of the street they raise their brows and become jealously subdued. In less than ten minutes Betty can walk to work, to the lake, to the sea, to a little forested gully, or to any number of beautiful sitting-spots; she can shop at the supermarket, the organic supermarket, the bakery, the even nicer handmade bakery, or the French bakery; she can buy fresh vegetables and fruits on the way home from work without any trouble.
The point Betty is trying to make is that the time has come for some serious homemaking. To this end, she has acquired a copy of Hidden Art. Over the next several weeks, and also the rest of her life, she will attempt to transform the apartment into a haven of homely goodness and stop putting rubbish in the breakfast-nook. Stay tuned.