Sample Memory Palace

We’ll move through the palace counterclockwise, starting in the living room, then moving to the dining room, the kitchen, around to the office on the left, through to the master bedroom, through the bathroom, and then end in the second bedroom.

The living room has six wrought iron bars over each of the windows that face the street. There is a brown chaise lounge, a hickory coffee table, and two Queen Victoria chairs. The table is lined with bronze, and a tea platter is set upon it. A book on the American Civil War and a book on the transformation of ladies’ fashion in France are stacked next to the platter, which holds a large chunk of brie and wheat crackers. A fireplace crackles in the corner with several candlesticks lining the mantle. A large portrait of my great-grandfather, Robert E. Traill, hangs above the fireplace. A giant chest is tucked between the lounge and the wall, overflowing with gold coins (symbolizes Ottoman pirate Barbarossa), and a snake with an apple in its mouth is coiled around a chair leg (symbolizes temptation). An ornate little elephant carved out of wood (symbolizes India) and a poisonous tree frog (symbolizes the Amazon Rainforest) made of quartz is perched between the candles on the mantel.

The dining room has glossy mahogany floors and purple, green, and gold- (the colors of Mardi Gras) panelled wallpaper. The dining room table is white, rectangular, and marble with gold (represents an altar in church). The eight chairs surrounding the tables are mauve and made of steel. A Leonardo da Vinci painting is hanging at the head of the table along with a painting of the horn of Africa. Pi starts at the kitchen door at the ceiling, and the numbers wrap around the room continuously. A swan is nesting in the chandelier with feathers floating down onto the table.

The kitchen has a classic 1940s stove. A pan is over the fire, and liver is cooking in an inch of butter (symbolizes Julia Child). A bunch of azaleas (state flower of Georgia) are stuffed into a glass vase. A magazine on Fortune 500 companies sits by a cutting board near the sink. The tap is running and the drain is clogged, so water is overflowing and gushing onto the ground (symbolizes a tsunami). A large deadbolt and padlock have pinned a shirt with a triangle painted on it to the door (symbolizes the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire).

The office has a drafting table with geology notes strewn across it. There’s a snow globe paper weight with Putin standing in the middle of a little flurry (symbolizes KGB) resting on the papers. A charm bracelet with crosses and clovers (St. Patrick) and a black ring made of bone (the Bubonic Plague) rest on the desk. A mug of beer has been spilled on the floor (Oktoberfest) and a tall top hat (The Gettysburg Address) hangs on a hat rack. A child has decorated the windows with light blue plastic snowflakes (Great Blizzard of 1888). A leopard skin lays on the floor like a rug, and a framed photograph of Charles Darwin (evolution) hangs between two windows.

The master bedroom has a comforter printed with hearts on a king size bed (King of Hearts) across from a giant white talking armoire (Beauty and the Beast). A copy of the New York Times (William Safire) and a tube of red lipstick (Revlon) are set on a vanity table. A bottle of Glenlivet whiskey is on the nightstand next to a Rolex watch. A large panda sits alone in bed (endangered species) while watching National Geographic on TV. A pair of dirty work boots sit under the desk next to a hammer (construction).

A clawfoot tub in the bathroom is collecting rain from a leak in the roof. A stained glass lamp (cathedral) hangs from the ceiling. Lavender oil sits by the tub, and the wall is painted with a red cross in a white field (city of Milan). A monkey in a yellow hat (Curious George) plays in the water. The floor is a bright glowing orange that moves about slowly (Mt. Vesuvius).

The second bedroom has bunk beds covered with vines that stretch across the ceiling and walls (Jumanji). A wind-up toy car drives into the wall repeatedly (collision), and a little boy a perusing Webster’s dictionary. The blinds are made of licorice, and the dresser drawers are pulled out like stairs (ascension). A little girl on the top bunk is eating cotton candy (plantation) next to a husky dog. There is a staircase that leads to nowhere and hits the ceiling (Winchester Mystery House).


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