Friday, 20 April 2012

This is not my beautiful house

I looked away earlier when I spied a familiar face in town. I couldn't have just smiled and said "Hi!".
It required questions; "how are you, how's work, are you still married to that man who wears suit trousers even on the weekend (his name escapes me)?"

I was consumed with guilt immediately after walking past, and considered cutting my jaunt short, lest I'm faced with the far more awkward scenario;  "I didn't see you earlier when I gave you eye contact, but now I've LITERALLY bumped into you, I suppose it's time for us to  chat"

Of course, the other person always feels exactly the same, but the Human Traffic bar exchange scene (above) never takes place.

I couldn't go home though, it would have caused upset.Ricky is convinced that wishing wells really work, he saw it on TV, so it must be true. When Ricky wants to do something, it invariably ends up happening, his nagging is probably akin to Chinese water torture. We were to source a well and throw pennies in.

This is the best I could do

It went down well as you can imagine. Not a well, no water - it had to do.

As he complained, I looked up at the market roof, the patched-up panes of glass looked like little works of art to me

I knew how Ricky felt. I remember my brother wanting to ride on a magic carpet, he thought they actually existed. A stall opened on the market when he was about 6, it sold rugs, and was called Magic Carpets - he thought his chance had finally arrived.
 It was a crystal ball for me, I couldn't imagine anything more fascinating. I also wanted a musical jewellery box with a ballerina inside who would come to life when I opened it and tell me nice things.

I imagined when I was an adult I'd have one of those large wooden globes which opens up to reveal a selection of spirits,  a cabinet with glass shelves and lights housing a selection of crystal oysters, teddies, dolphins and flowers (just like my 'posh' friend). Maybe a fibre-optic lamp too, and an ashtray on a marble stand, the type which  crushes the cigarette butts, because of course, everyone smokes when they're older. Oh, and  Jacuzzi bath - that'd be essential, and a swinging seat out the back.

As I grew up, I wanted a phrenology head, an antique dressing table,  Kenwood food chef, a sub-woofer in the car, a walk-in wardrobe, a traditional Welsh dresser full of junk, a dishwasher.

Steerforth's post this week showed a selection of post-wine consumption purchases that have been languishing in his wardrobe. At some point, an item will catch our attention, and  it ends up in our possession even though, deep down,we know there is no 'need' for it.

So, I look around my home - there isn't a  globe drinks cabinet, phrenology head, Welsh dresser, or Kenwood Chef  to be seen.  In their place is what could only be described as stuff.  I can't remember wanting, needing or buying the majority of it, I've acquired it.

At no point did I say "what this house REALLY needs is a low quality table with 3 chairs instead of 4. At least one chair should collapse every time someone weighing over 5 stone sits on it. In the kitchen, I'd like a 12 pack of Andrex toilet roll to rest on top of the units, and for this to be a permanent feature. In the boys' room, I'd like the wardrobe, which mum's neighbour gave to me, to display 40 hideous teddy bears, gifts from the older family members. They'll collect the dust perfectly".

Perhaps I should have kept my visions alive and made those purchases, particularly a Welsh dresser.

Of course, I did bump into that person again, and exchanged the required pleasantries. 

"I wanna move to be honest Luce, the house is getting me down"

I ALWAYS wanted to live in her house since learning about their history at  primary school

"The furniture looks all wrong in there Luce"

I doubt her furniture looks as wrong as mine.

Maybe I'm best carrying on as I am. No regretful purchases as yet. 

Have you bought something you always wanted?

"this is not my beautiful house"


  1. Funnily enough, there is a globe cocktail cabinet in the house clearance shop next to school. I know this because a friend spotted it, and knowing I'm after a cocktail cabinet, texted me a picture. I decided it wasn't large enough to hold my extensive collection of local spirits cousins have brought me back from holiday. I do have 6 boxes of cereal on top of my kitchen cupboards though, I've just counted.

    I re-watched Human Traffic the other day, some of it is really really well observed and hilarious, other parts are unbelievably cringey. I seem to remember that exchange ends 'Die!' instead of 'bye'.

    I have wanted a pair of battered brown cowboy boots for many years. I have never actively pursued them as I realise they only really look good with very short skirts and very brown legs.

    Have a lovely weekend, hopefully speak next week xx

  2. I have a terrible problem with the eye contact business with some of the mums from school. I have been known to pretend to talk on my mobile rather than engage in boring small talk and suffer awkward silences because I literally have nothing in common with them.

    Anyway, whaddiya mean "At some point, an item will catch our attention, and it ends up in our possession even though, deep down,we know there is no 'need' for it."? Virtually everything I buy, I have no real "need" for. Terrible habit.....


  3. I know...this stuff just seems to roll into our lives!
    Throughout the years of just obtaining things without it must be said and awful lot of consideration, I did buy and Airstream caravan. I'd always wanted one since I was a kid and I love it!
    Have a top weekend.

  4. I am thinking of ordering myself a lovely pitcher full of roses, and chocolates for Mother's Day. I doubt that they will come on their own, at least not EXACTLY like this set that crossed my email today. Does that count? Glad to see you out and about Luce.

  5. not something major but I've purchased lots of little things I've wanted for a while. I know what you mean about imagining what your house would look like when you grew up, mine would look something like a sylvanian familes house interior :S

  6. yeah, I understand entirely. I can't actually believe I have any grown up possessions at all. I still don't feel old enough, even at 47. There is a house, a car and a van, a banjo and even a chainsaw, which I always thought was cool, but it feels like a grown-up is going to come and take them off me in a minute and I will have to go to bed whilst they do serious grown-up things with them. except the banjo. Indeed sometimes a bewildered "How did I get here??" is the only response appropriate.

  7. Hello Lucy:
    How very wise never to have bought a Welsh dresser!

    When all is said and done it is, we believe, human relationships which matter above all else, certainly over all the 'stuff', but that does not mean, as in the first clip, that it is necessary to love, or even like, everyone. But, that said, tolerance and understanding must never be allowed to be sidelined.

  8. Human traffic! I watched this so many times with my friends back in the day, such a funny film - thanks for the blast from the past, or should i say "Nice on Bruvvaa!" ;o)

    I too have a house full of "stuff", the fact that im being nagged to sort it out so we can move is pushing to actually get a grip and cut the ties to the crap i really dont need (even if it is a vintage/pretty gem) Scarlett x

  9. Stuff everywhere, not artfully placed or attractive and lovely, just mountains of STUFF. That's my house. It's not how I imagined my "grown-up" home would be. It's a mess. Oh well.
    I have been wanting to feature this TH song for ages but didn't have the post that fitted it, but now you've done it for me, you star! I LOVE Talking Heads.
    I have just bought a mini phrenology head (chazzed, of course). Do you want it?
    I have fake-not-seen people when I'm not in the mood, but I'm getting better at being sociable. Not always though...
    I always yearned for a Soda Stream when I was a kid. Never had one, still don't. A dressing room, that's what I want. What I NEED! But a phrenology head - now you're talking!!! xxxx

    1. How I wanted a Soda Stream! All my friends seemed to have 'pop' as an option for refreshments, be it Soda Stream generated or bottled. Not my family, grr. I wanted Mr Frosty too, but he turned out to be shite when I bought him for Liam years ago.

      Phrenology head? Yes! Swap you something...


      Lucy x

  10. Oh yes, I often hide or quickly nip into a shop when I see somebody I know coming towards me. You know when you just can't be arsed to talk to anyone, even though it might be a person you happen to like? It's the same overwhelming feeling I get when I am very tempted to just collapse to the floor and lie there with my eyes closed when in the supermarket.....the sheer, mind-numbing tedium of it all. But maybe that's just me?
    We had a Soda Stream when I was a kid...they're bloody brilliant!!!!!

    K xx

  11. Well, Lucy, DESPITE the fact that you don't think I can do innocent... (I agree actually, I can't!) I am willing to send you my non-Talking Head! Cos that's just what you need, right? More random objects turning up in your house! Same as it ever was... xxxxx

  12. Strangely, we did go through the phase of buying ‘stuff’ we thought we wanted, then, when we moved here, we got rid of it all, and we don’t miss it a bit. The trouble is, well-meaning friends and relations now feel the need to feel the gap which the objects left, with more objects.

    We had a ‘what if’ game a couple of weeks ago, about what we’d take with us if we had to move quickly back to UK, the bare minimum. It was quite a surprise to discover what we each thought important. Try it, but you need a couple of glasses of red first, otherwise the ‘truth’ doesn’t come out :)

  13. We've only just got rid of our three chairs - two of which always seemed to be on the point of collapsing. When people came to stay for Christmas, we'd sit around our Ikea table on the three chairs, plus me on a piano stool and my son on an ex-classroom chair that had lost its back.

    It's remarkable how easily we get used to putting up with things - the blind in our bedroom has been broken for two years and every morning, I perform a feat that a circus acrobat would be proud of, squeezing the rolled-up blind into a gap between the ceiling and the brackets, whilst standing with one leg on the top of the radiator and the other in mid-air. I fell off the other day and hurt myself, but did that prompt me to buy a new blind? Of course not.

  14. I avoid people like the plague. I'm terribly socially awkward and I need loads of time to prepare my face into 'normal' before I can 'spontaneously' chat with someone.

    When is your book being published? I'll take fifty copies. I could read your writing all day long. It makes me want to put on my normal face.

    Sarah xxx

  15. But don'tcha know that the stuff you own says who you are? How is anyone to evaluate you and put you into a comfortable pigeonhole in their mind without your possessions giving them some clue as to your worth? It must be true: Adverts say so! They tell you that having a cool phone or car bestows the gifts of friends, admiration and an aspirational lifestyle of parties and exciting experiences. And they make you sexually desirable too!
    As for avoiding people: I am sure you would avoid them less in the street if you owned more spangly stuff. It's only shame at not having this year's gadgets and fashions that makes us shrink away into a shop doorway and eschew contact with people lest we are discovered for the materially inadequate failures we truly know we are.

  16. Brilliant post, really enjoy your point of view. Love that human traffic clip too!! Great new look for the blog, Kat x

  17. wasn't that doctor price's house ?

  18. I love that house, it looks like a miniature windmill. I looked up your house on goggle maps, is that weird? :) I'm just so curious about where you live and what your life is really like. I really only avoid people when I am not all that happy, I hate putting on the fake happy I suck at it.

    I have bought a few things that I have always wanted and sadly the joy they bring is short lived. I bought some UGGS, never again overpriced and not worth it, my first house that I now rent out, I bought the best house in the worse neighborhood and I so regret it (at least I have tenants) but I have wanted an iPad for the last two years I really do like it but I'm kinda over it now. I have realized that when I spend my money on adventures instead of stuff I have way more fun with it, hence the trip to the UK. The trip to Peru was the best money I ever spent, so travel is my new drug of choice.
    I've missed you Lucy~

  19. I love that casita!
    I also hate to bullshit with people/visitors when I am not feeling it.
    You know i buy lots of little cheap stuff .. I have not purchased any regretful items yet.
    Talking heads is one of my fave bands.

  20. Great look and great post also!
    Thanks for sharing your point of view.


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