I have bought Living Etc magazine. I do this occasionally and it is invariably a mistake. Normally if I buy a home magazine I buy Your Home, in which the Homes look – and I say this carefully – as if a normal person has decorated and perhaps had a bit of building work done, then gone on a spree around Home Sense: i.e. they mostly look achievable, and what my house might conceivably look like if I made a bit of an effort. The homes in Living Etc are not achievable and it just depresses me. They normally have one of the following:
- A woman with 5 children under 7 whose home is absolutely white, with a white Terence Conran suede sofa. ‘No it isn’t impractical!’ she trills, brightly. ‘You just have to be organised!’. Somewhere in the house is an antique tailor’s dummy with a silk dress from Alice Temperley hanging from it. It is subtly conveyed in the photographs that the children have all passed their Grade 7 Oboe, are the most popular children in their respective peer groups, and enjoy eating broccoli.
- A couple who taught themselves to be electricians and builders while working full time jobs as Barristers/ Senior Television Executives, and thus renovated their house in Notting Hill on only £500 and a Heal’s gift voucher from Daddy.
- A man who gave up his job as a Barrister/ Senior Television Executive to make pointless things out of reclaimed wood, instantly brought in the equivalent of his previous salary, and has hand carved his kitchen out of an old crate. Which he found at the side of the road. And he has also adopted the cat he found sitting in it.
- A woman who ‘sources adorable little things’ from flea markets in Paris and has a display of manky little bits of lace above her bed, along with a framed shoe from when she was a child. Somewhere there will be a winsome line from a winsome poem stencilled on something, and a chest of drawers that she has distressed with sandpaper and the application of dabs of white paint. I am trying not to gender stereotype with this one and if I ever see a man in Living Etc doing the same I will come back and edit this post.
Anyway, this month there is a woman who lives right in the middle of Borough market and ‘just loves the bustle’, and another woman who has put lots of balls of wool in a big glass vase ‘to make a colourful display’. Readers, I do not think that woman can be a knitter, although perhaps I have overlooked the decorative possibilities of that ball of turquoise fun fur I never quite know what to do with. So I am going to quietly put Living Etc away before Partner finds it and makes fun of me (Partner calls such magazines ‘Better Homes Than Yours’, after a magazine Marge was reading in The Simpsons), and I am going to go and wash up, then read my catalogue on tiles. Tiles! Who knew there were so many different kinds! Shall I be let to sleep,/ Now this perpetual morning shares my bed?
(By the way, I’ve got another interview tomorrow, with Heloise Toop, who is a Cambridge artist who paints the most fantastic portraits – so do check back ;-) ).
The fox returns and life continues
2 days ago