Gemma is a designer and James is a Digital Archivist. They have both lived in their garden flat in Peckham for three years. He’s tidy and she’s not. She loves a bit of thrift and has found lots of the stuff in their home at car boot sales.
WIYB: What does your bedroom mean to you?
Gemma: I’ve lived in house shares for years. Well since leaving my parents home. I used to have everything in my bedroom, you know, all my stuff and my TV - like when you’re a child. When James and I moved in together we spread our things out into the rest of the flat. Because this is our first proper home together, I didn’t want any clutter in the bedroom, despite the clothes on the chair.
James: Yeah, I agree really. That’s pretty much the same for me.
Gemma: James is a lot tidier than I am. He has put all of his CD’s in alphabetical order where as I’m not bothered about things like that. I know the clothes lump in the bedroom annoys him, but over the years I have really tried hard to consider him and curtail my messy habits. We met at Uni when I was at the height of my messiness. Literally couldn’t see the floor in my bedroom. Once I smashed a glass and rather than pick it up I just placed a piece of paper over the top of it. I don’t know what he must have thought of me?
James: I didn’t care.
WIYB: That’s love…
WIYB: Have you always been a tidy person?
James: Hmm, suppose I have. My brother and me shared a bedroom right up until my late teens, my Mum would constantly tell us off for being untidy. But it wasn’t me; it was my brother who was incredibly messy. And it wasn’t until I finally got my own room that my Mum believed me.
WIYB: So maybe you’re subconsciously avoiding being told off?
James: Ha, yeah, maybe.
WIYB: What would you save if your bedroom were on fire?
James: Nothing. There is nothing in there that I would want to save.
Gemma: I feel embarrassed about this. Not sure I really want to admit it…I would save my comfort blanket.
WIYB: Lots of people have got comfort blankets. Does it bother you James?
Gemma: I’ve had four blankets since the age of two. They eventually end up disintegrating. My last one ended up the size of a postage stamp... I like a rough silky type fabric... It started with a blanket I had in my cot - wool with a silky edge. It’s funny because my mum said ‘You won’t be able to have that when you have a boyfriend’ I said ‘Yes I will’
WIYB: Ha, I used to have one until I was 19, the boyfriend at the time suggested that I get rid of it, so I did. Do you have a name for it?
Gemma: Well this is another embarrassing thing because I’ve always called it Bitty. And obviously Little Britain ruined that!
As I was leaving I noticed how nice the chair looked that the clothes lump lives on.
WIYB: Nice chair…
Gemma: Yeah my sister treated me to it from a car boot sale. £12.
WIYB: £12!? Bargain.