Monday 16 July 2012


A group of people can develop their own system of names for things surprisingly quickly. When somebody coins an apposite and funny name for something it often sticks. At the weekend I did a little bit of gardening for my mum, I trimmed The Willy-cat Memorial Bay Tree. Anybody but my family would probably just call it "the bay tree", but it was planted next to the grave of our dear and long serving cat.

My home life is perfectly moral, but when you stand at the top my stairs the doors open into what my friends would call the Bathroom, my Bedroom, the Porn Cupboard (which contains no pornography), and the Sex Room (which to the best of my knowledge nobody has had sex in for many years).

I bought my house when it was just a muddy plot on a building site, and I had to read the plans to see what I was getting. The two bedrooms were shown separated by a large cupboard that opens onto the landing. I asked my friend what he thought it was for, other than acoustic isolation, and he joking said that if I kept pornography in it, then houseguests could borrow it without the embarrassment of having to rifle through my wardrobe. That joke was over 14 years ago, and the place where I keep my hoover and ironing board still resolutely refuses to be called anything other than the Porn Cupboard.

I live alone in a house with a double and a single bedroom. I moved into the single room when I split up with a girlfriend, and stayed there when she moved out. There was a lot of discussion about what I should do with the double bedroom that was lying fallow. I said that I would leave it as a bedroom for guests, and use it myself in the unlikely event that I should bring a woman home. From then on it has been called the Sex Room. As I have so seldom used it for that purpose, it's more and more being called the Theoretical Sex Room, and once, during a bout of bad pronunciation the Theatrical Sex Room. I actually store sound equipment and laundry in there.

Richard "nomenclature" B

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