My new flat in London

The thing about happiness is that you only know you had it when it’s already gone.

Sergey Faldin 🇺🇦

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Three days ago, my wife and I moved into our new London apartment. It’s a one-bedroom flat on the ground floor, with our own entrance, and a small patio, large enough to plant flowers and put some garden furniture. Nothing fancy. It came unfurnished. And, because we’re young and strapped for cash, we use two pillows to sit on instead of a couch and dine on the floor, while binge-watching Friends on my MacBook that sits on a stack of books I bought from Waterstones but never read.

This arrangement is temporary, of course. We plan on getting used mid-20th century furniture from eBay soon. My wife, Juliet, is a graphic designer and has an artistic eye for these things. “When things don’t match, it freaks me out,” she says, referring to her perfectionism around choosing not just the furniture, but also the little details around the house: carpets, bathroom mats, soap dispensers, coffee table, towels, toothbrush holders, vacuum cleaners, laundry bags, bookshelves, hairdryers, drying racks, iron boards, irons, fridge magnets, outdoor plants, indoor plants, and poster frames. Everything has to fit colour-wise, style-wise, or, at the very least, age-wise. Mid-20th century with its strict brownish-black and green, yellow, pink velvet colour palette means no bean bags, plastic, or fancy colours around the house.

No means no.

“As you say, honey.”

This is how it works around our house.

Last weekend, we went shopping at IKEA in Hammersmith. “I hate IKEA,” Juliet told me as we entered the store, her face expressing the same disgust she has when she spots a spider on the wall. “They have no taste.”

I smiled, nodding. One of the things I love about my wife is her honesty; the ability to say what she thinks; utter inability to fake emotions.

We walked around the store for several hours, me — running towards every shiny thing I saw, pointing eagerly, like a kid in a toy store (“How about this one?!”); her — saying, “No, this isn’t what we came for. Just stick to the plan.”

I trust my wife and know my spending addiction (last time I went to IKEA to buy a toilet paper hanger and ended up spending $1,000 on god-knows-what), so I obliged, giving up on glass vases, wooden spoons, and rose-gold boiling pots that I managed to hoard in our…

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Sergey Faldin 🇺🇦

Honest thoughts. Unpopular opinions. Not necessarily true or smart. | The Guardian, Al Jazeera, Meduza | muckrack.com/sfaldin | Subscribe: sergeys.substack.com