Neale Whi­taker: On how to love the home you live in

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - TASSIE LIVING - Neale Whi­taker


I’m ei­ther a glut­ton for pun­ish­ment or I’ve been ex­tremely care­less with what I’ve wished for, be­cause in ad­di­tion to writ­ing this weekly col­umn, I’m cur­rently edit­ing a mag­a­zine and film­ing not one, but two tele­vi­sion se­ries. Just think­ing about it re­quires a Bex and a good lie down. But with­out giv­ing so much as a sker­rick away at this stage, I can re­port that quite pos­si­bly the bestever sea­son of The Block is play­ing out in a well-heeled Mel­bourne sub­urb, and that Shaynna Blaze, Dar­ren Palmer and I are in feisty form, if I do say so my­self.

And then there’s my on­screen bat­tle with fel­low Pom and real-es­tate guru An­drew Win­ter air­ing later this year on Fox­tel. Love It Or List It Aus­tralia is the show’s name, and no prizes for guess­ing that Whi­taker = Team Love, while Win­ter = Team List. In the new show I’m more judged than judge. I guess that’s karma.

So please don’t get me wrong. I love my job but while re­al­ity TV is a lot of fun, there’s a down­side. Let’s call it Ob­ses­sive Cri­tiquing Dis­or­der. It’s been par­tic­u­larly acute since my part­ner and I moved into our new apart­ment, and if left un­treated could cause a nasty bout of dis­con­tent.

The symp­toms are cu­ri­ous. While I would never, ever judge any­one else’s

home (in the un­likely event of scor­ing an in­vi­ta­tion in the first place), I can’t stop judg­ing my own. Like the power point on the wrong end of the is­land bench the mo­ment I open the front door. It’s ugly.And while we’re on the sub­ject, the bench is more islet than is­land. It’s way too small. Then there are the dou­ble basins in our en­suite that are just too far apart. Shaynna would die, al­though she’d love the gen­er­ous mir­rored stor­age above the van­ity. There’s no power point for my phan­tom hair dryer (see how ridicu­lous this is?) and the

over­head light­ing would never pass Dar­ren’s make-up test. It’s just wrong.

Yet I love our apart­ment.All the qual­i­ties that at­tracted us in the first plac are still there in spades. I just wish I could stop judg­ing it. Per­fec­tion is ex­haust­ing and who wants to live in a flaw­less state any­way? The dogs have scratched the paint­work, but I view it like a dot­ing par­ent ad­mir­ing their tod­dler’s doo­dles. Yes,the devil might be in the de­tails, but you don’t want him as a house guest. Neale Whi­taker is ed­i­tor-in-chief of Vogue Liv­ing.

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