A list

No matter how thoroughly I clean up our kitchen table, there is always something left behind. An indefinable tangle of cords and adapters. During the day no more than an annoying speck in the eye, in the evening the bar that thirsty mobile phones drink.

But the annoyance grows. The dirt in the eye slowly feels like a pebble in my shoe. And let me say that the lockdown and working from home are not helping that. Either I pass by that table to get my much-needed shots of coffee, or I work at that table with that tangle constantly in the corner of my eye.

The combination of lockdown and IkPas turns time and energy into a kind of 'extended version'. Better than being bored is than letting go of that wagging creativity and letting it rage around.

So how am I going to integrate those devices into the interior of our everyday household?

I realize I've actually been working on this for months. In the back of my mind, but working on it. The designer I once was in a past life wakes up from a deep sleep and stretches. A charging station! A vertical place with integrated power strip and adapters. All that in a baroque frame. As 'over the top' as possible.

I log in to Marktplaats on my tablet. The right size with an exaggerated amount of frills must still be found there. The list of lists (!) seems endless. I scroll and scroll and finally find a suitable one. After some messages back and forth, it is not the price that is the stumbling block, but the pick-up moment. The seller is unexpectedly staying abroad and is not back in the Netherlands for the time being. 

This doesn't work for me. It itches and I want to get to work. In this fitting period without a relaxing drink, patience is even less my strong point…

My search continues and a second copy presents itself. Within acceptable driving distance and a good price. Unfortunately, it turned out to be much too big. So I'll pass on this one too.

The itch only gets worse and in the evening in bed I scour Marktplaats one last time.

I'm responding to an ad from someone close by, who is asking a nice price for his kitschy list. The contact goes smoothly and we close the deal.

The next day I drive into a typical Utrecht neighbourhood. Thirties houses left and right and the street narrow. When I get to the door I see the list through the bay window. I see that I was a little too enthusiastic. I was sober when I bid on this, I was certainly not clear!

It's one hell of a gold frame, so big I even wonder if I'll even get it in the car. The friendly salesman helps him to lug my car. With the couch folded down, he barely fits in it. 

"You're not going to put a mirror in it, are you?" When I share my wild plans with him, he nods approvingly.   

When I get home, my partner's gaze is pitying as I try to lift the colossus out of the car.

It makes me laugh a little. What was I thinking when I made an offer on this.

Inside it seems to grow from size L to XL. So it takes a while to find a place to park it.

One hand on my side, the other scratching my head, illustrating the slight desperation about my purchase. So unsuitable for what I had designed it for.

And now? 

Tightly balancing on the windowsill and secured with a hefty plug in the wall, the frame with an enormous photo hangs in the hall between the room door and the meter cupboard. Our boys artfully captured. It looks like an LP cover. And those printed in giant format.

There is still a stack of paper, cords and adapters on the kitchen table. That will be the nature of the critters that live here. I'm still a little grumpy about it.

But from simply walking down the hall, I can now become very happy…

Tip from Francis:

Make something, pick up something, do something new. A crazy plan, a creative thought, just look where the ship is stranded.

And don't be too hard on yourself. Perfectionism will only work against you in this.

A good pastime is guaranteed, especially during IkPas. 

But also afterwards





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