In this household, Monday nights are spent running, then crashing out in front of the TV. I’ve got the flat to myself for the evening and have my viewing schedule all lined up! A rather grown up selection (well, a step up from Come Dine With Me marathons and endless E4). Masterchef: The Professionals, followed by Inside Claridges, which I can’t wait to see. Now that’s a real “behind the scenes”: not only a British institution, but a notably smoke-and-mirrors industry, that’s all about making sure that the customer sees nothing but pure perfection. Looking forward to lifting the lid.
The weekend felt rather grown up too. I spent it down in deepest, darkest Cornwall with two of my very best friends, one of whom has just moved into a beautiful, underfloor-heated, double-height-living-room converted barn. It’s gorgeous. It’s simply gorgeous. It’s like being in a John Lewis Christmas advert, especially with the perfectly styled, six foot Christmas tree we helped decorate. It made coming back to my Ikea blank canvas flat a little… well, flat!
Fi is exactly eleven days older than I am, but is definitely the most “sorted” of our group. She’s a grown up. She has stuff. Bookcases, and reading lamps, and picture frames and mixing bowls, tea cosies and tumblers, place mats, a milk jug. Fair enough, she’s lived on her own for a lot longer than I have, and didn’t have the chipped, leftover detritus of student days to linger around her kitchen like I do. But it made me realise, I am a grown up now. I want stuff. I want to accumulate things. I want to feel sorted, feel like I match my age.
It’s bizarre how symbolic a milk jug can be. But I do tend to fixate on kitchenware – not just the milk jug, but what it stands for. She’s grown up enough to have a milk jug. She has the inclination, the disposable income and the maturity that makes something more than just pouring straight from the fridge an option. She has different types of glasses – tall ones for squash, tumblers for G&Ts. She has gin for G&Ts! We have 4 value pint glasses, and 4 squat little wine glasses that I really don’t like, but our tall Ikea ones broke in the move. They were only £1.49; I shouldn’t have expected much. We have a few cans of Fosters in the cupboard, from when my boyfriend had his mates down, and a bottle of Champagne that I’ve had for a year, saving it for The Right Moment.
But, I have my Le Creuset casserole dish and a cooling rack for baking, and a rolling pin that I bought today (for making mince pies), even if it was 49p. These aren’t mere functional items, they’re signs, to me. They show I’ve transformed. I’ve grown up a bit. I have use of these things now, and (sometimes) the disposable income to buy them. I have a bookcase, and a couple of paintings, and my own Christmas decorations. I’m getting there.
And it’s good to aspire. It makes you work harder – to try for the things you’ve always wanted. Even if it is just a milk jug. Because it’s never really just a milk jug.
Some pictures from my (grown up) escape to the country:
One of life’s great pleasures: lemon butter icing:
Oh Christmas (advert) tree:
Beautifully bleak Bude beach:
Polaroids are better sometimes :