Saturday, January 30, 2010

Bedhead - not just a hairstyle

I love cast iron and brass bedheads; I'm an antique and collectibles freak anyway and had longed for years for a lovely old brass and iron bed before I bought one for myself in 1996. It's a double bed, more than a metre high off the ground at the top of the mattress, blissfully comfortable for a single woman and a cat or two. However... not big enough for two people who are used to sleeping on their own and value their personal body space. Aside from which men seem to generate a lot of heat while they're sleeping.

So when my husband-to-be and I moved in together 3 years ago, we used his queen sized bed and parked my beautiful antique, art nouveau bed with its brass filigree at my Mum's house. It's our bed when we stay there overnight and believe me isn't the same as it used to be. I used to sleep bang in the middle with Hamish MacFlea my silver tabby snoring gently on my right arm, under the covers with his huge head on the pillow beside me. Now I sleep perilously on the edge just to stay cool enough. Hamish has gone over the Rainbow Bridge (and I miss him dreadfully) and now we have Charley and Annabel jumping up and sleeping on my feet. Unlike Hamish they don't like getting under the covers. It's probably a blessing.

Anyway, back to the queen bed. No bedhead. Just a mattress and base. It felt wrong. Cheap, almost; my mother believes firmly in bedheads making a bedroom look finished and I think I've inherited that. I loved waking up in my old bed, putting my hands behind me, gripping the iron bed and indulging in a superb stretching session. Do that at our place with the queen bed and you bang your knuckles on the wall.

Until this week.

Yes, I now have an iron bedhead, courtesy of eBay. It's not antique (remember, they didn't exactly have queen sized beds a hundred years ago), and it's not as heavy, solid and classy as my lovely art nouveau bed, nor does it have the brass decorations apart from knobs on the top. But it's much nicer than most repro stuff you can buy. According to the seller it's around 25 years old, and there's not a mark on it. Not a scratch or a dent. It's like new. And my husband, who between me and the interweb isn't the most diligent DIYer (Mum still brings up the time he put her stereo cabinet together and had three screws left over from the flat pack), got it attached to the mattress base (with the help of Charley and I) without a hitch.

So here it is. Bedtime bliss. I can't wait to get into it tonight and reach back and feel it there. That's Charley on the covers, exhausted after "helping" us and sniffing every bit of it. If one of the bedside lamps looks a bit squiffy, it's because Charley broke it last year; we've mended it but it will never be the same again. However, Charley is beyond rubies; and at least he can't break an iron and brass bedhead.

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