While looking for something else, I came across these photos of a diplomat’s residence in London. Um, wow. Calm..serene…neutral… everything that my diplomatic home was definitely not. At least, it didn’t feel that way to me for a long time because we hit the ground running on a number of things, and the house was perpetually on the list of things that just weren’t getting done. Only recently did our house feel truly lived in, with things hung and organized just the way we like them.
The article doesn’t specify where the diplomat is from, but I’m pretty willing to bet that said diplomat is not with the American service. First of all, I don’t spot a stick of Drexel anywhere in there. Second, not even appointed ambassadors drop this kind of change on renovations (at least not that I’ve seen). But the biggest reason is the third one, which is that as American diplomats, our posts are usually about two years in length, sometimes three. If a post is dangerous and unaccompanied, it’s about a year, and if there is some sort of extenuating circumstance, occasionally posts are approved for four years, but it’s rare. And these photos, seems to indicate to me that this person is likely not going anywhere anytime soon.
That’s part of the danger of living this life though – this life of two to three year increments around the world…you start to feel like you’re everywhere temporarily so you never do anything permanently. We made the decision at the start of this gig to travel with some of our furniture pieces, and our art and photographs are dear possessions because they help us feel at home once we set up house in a new place all over again. It’s tempting sometimes not to bother hanging things, or arranging things just so, but when you’re always an outsider, you need a place where you feel like you belong.
As beautiful as these photos are, there was something off about them to me – just a little bit. I had to look at them a few times but realized that nowhere does there seem to be a picture or any other personal item. Perhaps that’s what the owner prefers, but it seems like a personal touch here and there could go a long way. I can with some certainty say that any of our diplomatic houses will likely will never look as “nice” as this (and this nice in London no less!) But it doesn’t mean they won’t feel like home.