I keep a cardboard box under my bed that is filling up with homewares and kitchen supplies for when I move out. I have martini glasses, embroidered tablecloths, measuring cups, a cocktail shaker, three egg coddlers, and an old tea set that was given to my granny during a cruise to Indonesia she went on when she was around my age. Each piece has a hand-painted orange and gold dragon wrapped around it; the teapot and milk jug have ceramic dragon heads for spouts that elegantly vomit out the liquid inside them. When you hold each teacup up to the light and look inside, you can see the shadow of a geisha’s face. I also have four hip flasks in this box.
I used to draw designs for my future house. Some of the rooms were a cinema, a pasta factory, a helicopter pad (not actually a room, very much an exterior feature), and one of those multi-level playground labyrinths that you would go to for your friend’s 6th birthday. It was at one of those sorts of places that I lost my first tooth, because I nosedived into the rubber floor. I lost my second tooth when I bit down on a chicken drummy. To return to my original thought; I’m not sure if those sort of places exist anymore, probably for good reason, because it was near impossible to go backwards, so if you couldn’t defeat an obstacle then you had to cry in this net-encased prison, 15 metres in the air (3.5 metres) until some unimpressed worker would carry you out, and you got your snot on your nice party shirt. I also wanted to have a room in my house like the one that Mia gets in Princess Diaries 2 when she goes to Genovia and has the big walk in wardrobe with all the remotely opening and closing draws. Very cool.
I’m hoping to move out of home within a year or so. I would like to live somewhere with an oven and two toilets, but I feel like that might be asking too much. I also don’t know which friends I will move out with, because all of my friends that haven’t already moved out are happy at home. I am not unhappy at home, but I would like to have a room that allows for a bigger bookcase. I would like to live in my own home because then I wouldn’t have to clean the hotplate every time I cook, because I think it’s redundant to clean a hotplate when you are going to cook on it again later that evening. It’s a once-a-day job.
I don’t want to design my own house anymore; I’d rather live somewhere old, with ceiling roses with peeling paint, and an avocado and flamingo pink bathroom that was renovated in the seventies. I would like the ceiling of one room to be covered in those multi-coloured light bulbs that hang off of the patio beams at your great auntie’s house. I would find an old cabinet at a verge collection, and fill it up with all the tea sets that I get given. In my bedroom I will have all of my postcards on the ceiling and a whole wall set up as a bookshelf. I will ask for a pasta machine for my birthday.
Words by Hannah Cockroft, art by Clare Moran
Hannah is Pelican’s 2017 creative writer in residence.
This article first appeared in print volume 88 edition 4 GIRL.