They also took down my friend's own pictures and replaced them with generic, arty, black and white shots of waterfalls, flowers and the like. All very "tasteful", but somehow it annoyed me. I would much prefer that the art in a house should reflect something of the people who actually live there. My own house is not interior-designed. The pictures don't all match, and we have ornaments and photos in odd places - but it's us, and that's how I like it.
Anyway, all of that is a preamble to the latest entry in Michelloui's Where I Live series over at The American Resident. The subject this week is "Indoors".
Our house contains pictures and objects from all stages of our life, including my early years in Hong Kong. This cat is one of a pair that my parents owned; they sit on either side of our fireplace. They're a little chipped now, after several moves around the world, but they remind me of my childhood and they'll always come with me.
This picture is also one of a pair of Chinese embroidered artworks my parents bought in Hong Kong. The two pictures are supposed to represent sunrise and sunset, although there has always been debate over which one is which (maybe a Chinese reader can tell me what the characters say in this one?). I loved them as a child, and still do.
This black and white print of Siena was bought on our honeymoon in Italy; we had it framed with the purple border to match the then-purple walls of our dining room in London.
This painting hails from Cambodia; we bought it on our round the world backpacking trip in 2004, and had it sent back to the UK by courier. We think the elephant is carrying the builders and stones required to construct Angkor Wat, which you can see in the background.
This one was a wedding present, painted by The Doctor's cousin, who is an artist. The birds are pecking at a Mulberry tree; she has one in her garden in London.
And so to Long Island. The Doctor bought this map for me as a Christmas present the first year we were here. Everyone always remarks on it when they come to the house (the one that made me laugh was the friend of Littleboy 1's who asked: "Is that England?")
And here's our most recent acquisition, a wooden carving of a Cardinal that I bought last weekend at a local craft festival. These birds are always in our garden, so it will be a nice memento of our time here.
But where, you might ask, are the Littleboys represented here? Well, of course our house is filled with photos of them; but it would also not be complete without their own art. Here's just a selection of the many masterpieces that come home from school; I don't keep everything, but some of these will definitely be packed up into boxes for the trip back to London.