Well since I'd been burgled it seemed like kinda of a good opportunity to focus on the apartment a little after asking the landlord to kindly install a security door.The detective that called me to discuss the crime suggested it claiming they "take an entry team to get through" (I really like the sound of that) and personally I'm hoping the landlord will go for it. I had a porte blandé (sp ?) in Paris in my apartment at Chateau Landon with steel bars that would chunk mightily from the steel door into reinforced holes in the ceiling, floor and sides when you locked it and I have to say it is the most secure I've ever felt behind something in my life. Not that I'm worried about anyone getting in while I'm here. I'd actually feel sorry for the unarmed fool that might try. But I do like feeling that when I lock the door in the morning, it stays that way until I get home. After being burgled I now know why all archaeological crypts have super fancy booby traps to kill, maim and otherwise fabulously curse intruders. I'm still considering one if the landlord won't give it up on a security door.
Now my place is small and quirky but has a certain charm. While I've lived in smaller places (my boat, the Neilali, springs to mind), the fact is those places accepted the fact they were small and worked around it somehow. On the boat, thing were cleverly designed to get things out of the way and maximize free space. The same with other apartments I've been in. Here though, the landlord for some crazed reason for a small, very tall space (my ceiling are a good 15 feet high) bought short, squat furnishings which completely don't work for the place. A broad glass table taking up about 10% of the living room and a short, thick chest of drawers as well as a super fat TV (with a small screen however) are amongst the worst offenders even after we get past the problem of the two-seater "pimpin' couch" which is both ugly and virtually non-functional other than as a big chair (thanks for SlowNewsDay and GiantLaser for their characterization).So, really the problem redefined is not about the apartment which is adequate size wise, but a problem of how that space is used. The solution really was mad tetris skillz (and a big thank you to my Gifted Children program schooling which made me rotate things in 3D in my head endlessly in grade school). First off, I dismantled the TV stand and placed the DVD, TV and its stand in the sole mini closet available to me. I've done without TV for over a year and a half now in Canada and it was one of the wisest things I ever did in terms of freeing my mind and helping me get real stuff done. Besides, I don't really want to pay a TV license anyhow for something I'm never going to use. It fit like a charm and freed up so much space that I knew I must be on the right track. I swapped the pimpin' couch over to the small niche alcove where the chest of drawers had been which accomplished two things... it put the couch near the radiator which is much nicer as it is starting to get colder and the apartment is a bit chilly and also keep s me from having to snake powercords across the apartment as the sole electrical outlets and cable connection are in that corner. Slowly, slowly my fiendish space plan was taking shape. As mentioned, the glass table which is really a funky piece of rebent freestanding glass sheet couldn't be moved anywhere. This is where Tetris really came in, rotating the table on its side, I could fit it beneath the counter in the kitchen and fit everything else underneath it. Table gone ! The space this frees up is amazing. Seriously, it has got me pumped about fixing up the apartment a bit more when I was considering if just a short time place before I could find something better (provided the landlord puts that security door in). The fiendish master plan now consists of moving the single seater (damaged in the burglary so it might have to go) or getting rid of it and dismantling the marble topped table that I assume the old landlord used as a desk (albeit an uncomfortable RSI inducing one). This should free up more than enough space to bring in a proper 3 seater (if not chaise lounge) sofa like the one I had in Vancouver which was excellent and super comfortable for guests coming over to stay. Add a small desk against the former fireplace niche and I've got a workspace. And then add a thin, tall wardrobe in the bedroom and I have actual space to put things and clothes away. It may still be a pinch to figure out where the snowboard is going to go when my things get here, but the fact is the place is comparatively inexpensive (which means I free up money for travel, part of the big reason I am here), the neighbourhood is quite poshy (and my best chance of hooking up with some rich supermodel... ;-) ) and it's only four stops away from work which is a little too fine to beat. I also like the proximity to Camden Town and my gym. Not only that, smaller is better. I buy less, use less, and leave a gentler footprint on the planet which is really important to me considering its current state. Really it's all a matter of adapting to your environment.