I fear I am becoming an arse.
We moved into our home about a year ago. It is a great love story, this house and us. It is like fate gave us a handshake, a thumbs up and bunged us a tenner. Whilst it is not a very big house, with just one bathroom, a wee little box room that Blake calls home and one reception room, it is beautiful. The couple who lived here before renovated it so so well. It is stylish and elegant and exactly what I would have done with it myself had I any artistic talent or vision (Not so. Cannot draw a pencil).
It took three days from a drab, discouraged me viewing it for the first time having just had a purchase that was four fifths complete fall through; to having an offer accepted. Even Blake loved it on sight and shuffled around happily opening cupboards and trying to slam them only for this to fail because they are those slow closing hinges that prevent little fingers getting trapped (You see? THE DREAM HOUSE).
All that was needed when we moved in in a blaze of glory 2 months later with a cheap bottle of Pinot and a takeaway Dominos, was the addition of a few furnishings here and there. Which was carried out successfully because even I can gift wrap a fabulous present that someone else put all the work into.
I adore this home of ours. But what I have noticed creeping into my consciousness over the past few months is a need to add to it with little things. I am always intrigued by those houses that have the little things – the designer candle burning on the mantelpiece, the fancies in the bathroom, the coffee table books adorning the lounge and the sundry little touches that pull it all together. And this is what I covet, on a part-time working Mum’s budget. Because once our sweet little home’s mortgage has been paid, and our energy provider has ripped us off, and I have stockpiled nappies and wipes and expensive pouches of fruit puree because they are the only way to get fruit into my toddler, I am left with limited resources for such fun. Please don’t think this is a winge about money – I choose to be a part-time worker in the full knowledge that this means I must bypass certain things for the here and now. Where I turn into a total arse is in my botched attempts to fabricate these little things when ultimately I AM ONLY KIDDING MYSELF.
The texts I read at University during my English Lit degree are proudly displayed on the bookshelves in the Lounge. No-one need see my Kindle, which is bulging at the seams with terrible chick lit and Phillipa Gregory’s back catalogue.
I leave fancy cookbooks, which I learn about through food blogs and subsequently request as gifts, tactically placed around the Kitchen if I am expecting visitors. NO-ONE CARES.
I pilfered all of the Molton Brown miniatures from the hotel James took me to on my 30th. If we have guests staying with us, I arrange them on the towels I leave out for them and hope against hope they won’t actually use them, because then what will I do?
I once refilled a Molton Brown bottle, which was a Birthday gift several years ago, with Aldi’s knock off version of the same.
I signed up for the My Waitrose card purely for the free tea and the free copy of The Times, which I display on our beautiful (inherited) dinner table over the weekend but never actually get further than a cursory flick through.
I order the mini Boden catalogue. The majority of Blake’s clothes are purchased in batches each quarter when Sainsburys run their 25% off Tu promo, but I still leave the catalogue out around the house.
I’m sure I’m not far off melting down all of Blake’s white wax crayons (why do they make white ones?! To go with all the black A4 paper we buy for our Children to scribble on?), with a bit of vanilla extract and refilling my lovely Seychelles candle from The White Company which was also a gift but has now burnt down to the end of the wick, rather like my patience with myself.
I am not disparaging lovely candles and fancy soap and people with great cookbooks. I am just bewildered by my need to try and fabricate them in such foolish fashion. Our lovely house is home to a toddler who has a sandpit, two massive train tracks and a Little Tikes car. Whilst it is lovely, it also has to be functional, so why I have my knickers in such a twist is beyond me, but there you have it. I AM SUCH AN ARSE.
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