By Our Bedsides is a new evening series in which we share the books, beauty products, and whatever else it may be that we’re winding down with at the moment. In this edition, Rory talks us through the items on her nightstand that help her relax.
I don’t believe in order. My tiny apartment is always in a state of disarray. The books are on the couch, the cushions on the table. Don’t ask.
But there is one space that is sacred for me, and that’s my bedside. I’m never able to relax unless I have all that I need neatly organised. Starting with my beauty products, a hand cream is essential and nothing’s better than Kiehl’s Ultimate Strength Hand Salve. For the body, I recently acquired Caudalie’s Baume Gourmand Corps and I am in love with it – it’s how imagine cloud must feel like.
My glasses always have to be close by, in case of emergency readings in the middle of the night. The two books I am reading (or trying to) are Oxford’s Short Introduction to Dante – I have actually studied Dante but I find it comforting to have a quick read next to me. The second is an impulsive take-out-of-the-library-before-it-closes-for-the-weekend book. I attended a conference on Ovid’s Metamorphoses and after that I basically came back for more: Ovid’s Ars Amatoria is the perfect mix of classic and a little bit naughty.
Next to me I also have my favourite queens. A small cut-out of Elizabeth I stands behind the greatest woman that ever lived, Anne Boleyn (given to me by my best friend Olivia). Then Judith is perpetually cutting Holofernes’ head in this small print of Caravaggion’s masterpiece. A quote of Elizabeth I’s herself is featured in my favourite golded frame: ‘There shall be but one mistress here and no master’.
I got the small alarm clock from Ikea because someone once told me not to sleep with my mobile next to me, so I thought I would acquire another form of alarm device. Alas, I never use it because I do literally sleep with my phone.
The loveliest candle I’ve ever owned is Bellora’s ‘Talco’ – it does smell of talc, between a newborn baby’s perfume and freshly pressed linens. I am never going to get tired of it!
I use a small dish that features a golden crown to put the jewelry I take out at night so that I can pick it up again in the morning. On its right, there is a very small ceramic statuette called a ‘Pumo’ or ‘Pomo.’ It’s a symbol of fertility and good fortune that is manufactured in and is really characteristic of my hometown. I especially love it because it represents the cultural resistance of my territory: it was first attested almost two thousand years ago and was dedicated to the Roman goddess Pomona (its name is a pun of the goddess’ name and the pomo/pumo which also means ‘blossom’).
Finally, now that is Christmas (it is Christmas already, do not let anyone tell you otherwise!) I have added a small decoration I got last year at Disneyland’s Paris. It’s a small white tree with Mickey and Minnie Mouse, Pluto, and Chip & Dale – it fills me with joy just writing about it!
And, that is all from me! Let me know what you think!