Sunday, 26 April 2009

All in the mind....

I think Blogs should come with their own Government Health Warning.... 'This blog can make you feel woefully inadequate'...!
I spent a solitary weekend.. boys off doing boyish things ... so my faithful Pickles and I have perused a few blogs together and it has not escaped my notice since I started this blogging business, that many of you have beautifully co-ordinated homes.. in pastel shades of this and that.. and are paragons of Fanny Craddock and Constance Spry virtues... Oops.. showing my age a bit there for those of you who remember those icons of domesticity.. everything was tweaked to perfection..
I am rather like a weather vane about my own abode ... veering from .."I love my home".. to " I wish I had a different colour scheme with different furnishing.. like so and so".. It is so easy to become complacent with our lot and the vast amount of choices we have on offer.... though of course it always boils down to money and what we can and can't afford...
However.. the human condition will thrive and the 11th commandment of ..." I shall not covet my neighbours patchwork quilt or French armoire"... will live on!
Programmes like 'Kirstie Allsop's Homemade Home' only add to the feelings of inadequacy if we are not able to knit a three piece suite or decorate the garden shed in our own hand-blocked wallpaper.... Oh dear am I sounding a wee bit bitter...?
Not at all... It is a great pleasure of mine to watch all the house improvement programmes out there.. Grand Designs, Restoration, Extreme Home Makeover.. but they do all contribute to my ongoing neurosis about the way I could have done things differently.. A true Virgo.. always the perfectionist but rarely satisfied...
I work from home every day and take my surrounding very much for granted.. but this morning .. with the recent feeling of unrest... I took myself around my home and garden and just snapped some of my favourite corners...
Starting with the kitchen which is my domain for 90% of each day... so a very important room to feel comfortable in..The Aga keeps me nice and toasty in the winter.. and slightly hot and bothered in the summer..
My mother gave me this needle-point pot handler many years ago and it is one of my most treasured possessions....it's the simple things in life...


Moving upstairs... I love my bathroom... small and bijou...but big enough to cram in some more of my vintage collections... especially these Victorian shell frames....The landing is one of my favourite spots in the house.. I always wanted a landing.. it was part of being grown up.. when I was young.. to own a landing.. meant I had made it to the adult world!!
My French chiffonier.. houses some of my rambling family of vintage teddies and toys..My bedroom is my haven of peace... I love the uncluttered space and pale blues and whites of this room... it is the antidote to the rest of the house which is heaving with clutter...Even this simple cupboard door.. pleases me..Of course no home is complete without a cat.... and even Pickles looks happy with his home..Let's go and get some fresh air.. it is getting stuffy in here..
This little plastic box at the back of our house was added by the previous owner.. I would love to rebuild it in wood.. but then it serves it's purpose and is a good place to sit when the rain is pouring down outside...This is the month that the garden goes bonkers. and I love the new arrivals that appear each day.. but more than anything.. I love my rose arch... It might not look much to you.. but it is going to be smothered in blossom this summer..
My father once called me a 'roses around the door kind of girl'.. I can think of no better compliment..and though these are not around the door... I am so chuffed that my rambling rose has smothered the arch and will be ablaze with colour in a month or two...Even Valerian which some consider a weed... pleases my eye as it fills the gaps...I have to admit to not being a big pink fan ( oooh I can hear you gasp!) but I do love these pink tulips..Now I can feel a bit of chill in the air so let's go inside for a cup of tea and some of these...
The following morning....
P.s.... Thank you for all your comments...
I must be honest and admit that this blog post left me feeling most uncomfortable and I was sorely tempted to delete it but that would be very rude considering your kind comments.
In hindsight I can see that it sounds as though I am complaining about my lot in life.. but that couldn't be further than the truth.... I know how fortunate I am to live in a beautiful home in a beautiful city and this truth is never far away when I think of the poor homeless souls who queue up outside the night shelter in town each night for some refuge..
My intentions for this blog post were to say that our dissatisfactions in life are fed by the society that we live in... and I am sure we all at some time are seduced by the shallow aspirations of a material society. I also realised by reading this post again that my garden gives me the most pleasure and nature does it all for free!



******************************************************************************************

55 comments:

LissyLou said...

your home is gorgeous xx

marble rose said...

Lordy Girl - cheer up - your house is gorgeous, I covet it all x

Simone said...

You have the most beautiful home. I wish I had 'clutter' like you! The extent of my clutter is that I can't see the floor!!! I know what you mean though about being inspired by other peoples homes. I would like my home to be more like yours!!!

Lavender hearts said...

My goodness, what are you on about?! You have a beautiful home. I love your kitchen, far far better than that one Kirsty did. Hers was utterly rubbish! I just wish I had a spare 5k floating about to get that Aga. Instead, I have a horrid white freestanding electric oven.

Redwoodhouse said...

Hi Michele, I know just where you are coming from, I so often see what other bloggers have done to their homes and think, I should have done something like that...our house could do with a great deal of decorating and 'makes overs' in most of the rooms but at the moment 'I can't be bothered' and that does make me feel a bit quilty, well for a couple of seconds, it will all get done in time when we are in the right frame of mind. We are enjoying being outside when possible in the fresh air and sunshine at the moment.
Your home is beautiful and your homely kitchen looks most welcoming the perfect place for tea and a friendly chat which in my mind means it is a perfect room.
Jan

Felicity said...

your home is lovely!! and you have an aga, what more could you want!! he he!! xx

Professor Augustus Barclay Yaffle said...

Be content with who you are and confident in your choices in life
I too watch the programmes that you mention and I believe that there is a very clever ploy being employed where the directors and presenters of said programmes prey on ones feeling of insecurity and together with the marketing forces they seduce you into feeling that you MUST have the latest offerings
They will never allow you to be content because there is no profit in it. So that is where you have to be strong and confident in yourself.
Personally I do not care for your home or possessions, lovely as they are, because I care for something far more important...YOU a lovely human being...
PS Have you found my other needle yet?

Carol said...

Oh Michele! now come on...what has Mr P been tellin' you about blogging' emmm yep you know.
Stop looking.
Anyway you are talking rubbish you are doing very well at everything you want to, even ever so slightly burnt tea cakes taste good when you have buttered them for me. Your home is perfect...there nuff said.
Cx

ArtShades said...

I know exactly what you mean - and had to laugh at 'A true Virgo.. always the perfectionist but rarely satisfied...'. That's me too! I am so glad you have found so many corners of your home that make you happy - your photos easily match up to 'all those other blogs'. And I love your bathroom blind!!

CashmereLibrarian said...

you have a sweet house! I am particularly drawn to your Aga...i really want one for my own little kitchen!

April said...

your home is beautiful Michele - can i come and live in your kitchen please??

April xx

Kitschen Pink said...

Heaven save us from Kirstie and her handmade house - kerching!!!! :-)
You can't buy a home. You have to live in it and it grows around you - just like yours. I love it! Although I think the cat would have to move if I visited because I'd love to curl up in that fantastic kelim chair! t.xxx

Shabby Chick said...

How can you feel inadequate?! It looks beautiful to me. Perhaps we should all have a one day home amnesty where we photograph the worst bits to make eachother feel better!!!

I'm not sure about Kirstie's programme, I'll keep watching but I think she thought she would come across as normal and instead is showing up exactly the opposite!

Mel xxx

Rose said...

I am totally charmed by your lovely home.

Fluitenkruid said...

I love every corner of your home

Sarah said...

Hi Michele
What lovely photo's - I too have a green flour tin! what great taste we have!
x

flutterbypatch said...

The part in 'Wind in the Willows' where Mole returns to his old home says it all for me .... 'the mole soon had his head on the pillow and with great joy and contentment he let his eyes wander round his old room. It was mellow in the glow of the firelight that played or rested on familiar things which had long been unconsciously a part of him'.... Familiarity with objects, that is the key to contentment don't you think? Kirstie Allsop's new programme has me shouting at the TV. I think its a real missed opportunity. Your home is wonderful Michele and I'd choose in preference to Kirstie's any day. Happy homemaking, Eli

Mary Poppins said...

I think I need to sit down, have a good think and right down on some pretty paper what REALLY is important in my life.

I do find I never seem to happy with my home, though we are refurbishing and there seems no end to it ;)

I do wonder what all our homes would look like if Blogland wasn't here, I think we would be far more happy with our lot :)

You have a beautiful and happy looking home :)

X

Linda Lilly Cottage said...

You know I know what you mean, being that I own a shop that sells all things pink and prissy and oh so chic, which I love, I am so often asked if my home is as beautiful as the shop. Um well no, my home decorating style is much brighter, much messier and with my little collections that I think of as 'oh so English' all over the place. I love to look at other peoples blogs and see their 'beautiful' houses but I always wonder where the children play or where they get out the glitter and glue or even drink a cup of tea. I do like the inspiration I get from these houses and there are other houses that are not so'perfect' that I love even more and I want to crawl into the computer screen and pull up a chair.
I love all these blogs and do have to remind myself often that although no one will ever photograph my house unless it is for a before and after, I love the quirkiness of it and also have my favourite places.
This was a good post, i am glad you wrote it!
Thanks for sharing,
Kiss Noises Linda

funkymonkey said...

I love your house Michele but you are correct - we are all programmed to want more than we've got and once we have acheived one thing we just move on to wanting the next.I hate my house at the moment but when I have a good day, I try to tell myself that at least I have a home. I know that we probably wouldn't get a mortgage on what we both earn now and feel sorry for youngsters just starting out.

Tracey

Making Memories said...

Just a quick note to say that your home looks lovely :) My boyfriend and I are in the process of buying our first house, and I hope that mine will be as lovely as yours is.

Country Cottage Chic said...

I know exactly what you are saying - I think the same when I look at magazines & blogs!

Anyway, I love coming in your front door & down the stairs to your lovely welcoming kitchen - it so homely & I feel quite at home!

Ragged Roses said...

I have grabbed a minute to leave a comment - Mrs C, I have had the pleasure of staying in your house and it is one of the most charming homes I have ever visited! Your home has evolved and is full of treasure that reflects all the people who live in it, it is a wonderful place.
Mx

Vintage to Victorian said...

Hi Michele

I know that covet feeling only too well, but your home is lovely. I know you know it is really, but every now and again ...

I certainly didn't see any clutter, although that of course might be because it was behind you in all the photos!

I have to say this house is the most cluttered of any we've ever had (and it's our 10th). It's the least friendly and cosy and has had the least done to it of all our homes, despite having lived here for nearly 3 years. I must admit I'm beginning to think about taking control of it, although it's all in the mind at the moment.

It's not a place I lik to invite anyone to which is such a shame, because I used to love having visitors. These days I panic and get in a tizz which is silly. But heyho ...

Sue x

Vintage Amethyst said...

Oh your home is beautiful, it looks like a really proper loving home to me, how lovely.
I just loved all your photos, so thank you so much for sharing them with all us nosy people! Tee hee.
Have a lovely weekend
love
Alison
x

...... Kristina ...... said...

Hi Michele,
Your chiffonier is painted and mine is plain old wood.....now you've done it... first i will have to convince him and second another job on my to paint list lol......i love your mums shell frames x
Don't feel bad for typing what a lot of bloggers are thinking ;) now and again.
Hope you are well
Kisses Kristina XxX

Tracy x said...

hey you x
i too have had a good old moan about my house and then thought about deleting the post as i sounded like a spoilt brat!!!
it is good to put down thoughts and get a response from a variety of folk - and as for your home?
it looks full of love, laughter, happiness, tea and cake - i can think of no better style x
hugs to you
t x

louise said...

I really enjoy watching Grand Designs, Relocation, Escape to the Country etc, and yes I yearn (if only for a few seconds) to live in such beautiful homes and surroundings. To have dreams and aspirations are so important, it is this that keeps us striving, and I aim to have my little home in the country one day, if I work hard now. I haven't ever been a follower of fashion as such, I mix old with new in my home, and a home is what we make it, what we can afford, not what someone else dictates. You have your home how you like it and how Pickles likes it, and infact, how I like it too! x

Clare said...

It's a beautiful house! We moved from a beautiful Georgian place which had a balcony off the bedroom, a roll top bath and a tree house in the garden to a modern place a couple of years ago and although it was the right decision (safer for the children and me able to work part)there seems to be so much to do here to make it seem right...one day...

Lavender hearts said...

Bless you, you didn't annoy me in any way. I just wanted to shake you and say 'wake up and look at how lucky you are'. :-) I used to go through these types of thoughts, but I try to put things more in perspective now. I mean, there aren't that many people with a flat my age, let along a cottage so even though it needs an overhaul, it's mine and I'm thrilled with it! :-)

THIS'N'THAT said...

Take heart! Your favourite corners look very appealing. I often say to customers that the 'clutter' in our homes in the wallpaper of our lives. Just enjoy it all:)
By trhe way, in the clutter stakes, I plan to get cluttering nominated as an Olympic demonstration sport and to go for gold!! XXX

hedda said...

hi,
that potholder really is lovely, sentimental and lovely all rolled into one.:)
H.

steelkitten said...

Nobody makes us feel inadequate but ourselves. Some people will look at your blog and see beauty and inspiration. Some will look and see inadequacy and be jealous.

I always remember when I look at blogs that I'm only seeing what the owner wants me to see at that moment. The pile of ironing under the bedroom window, the washing up in the sink, the clutter hot spots, the car fur on the sofa when people visit, the stack of magazines - they never usually get photographed but they're around somewhere!

I love your Victorian bamboo side table by he way. I have two waiting for the day when my conservatory is finished. Does yours have a rush matting top?

Lucy Bloom said...

Hi Michelle, I'm glad you wrote this post I think you're only saying what a lot of us are thinking. You have some beautiful corners in your home - that cupboard on the landing is to die for! I've noticed my own dissatisfaction with my house has increased since I started blogging and there are too many of these programmes showing wonderful and to most of us, unnattainable homes. It's just a tiny proportion and most people don't have those things. They should show some that aren't so lovely, but then who would want to see them. I mainly show only the best bits of my house, there's a lot more I don't like about it. That's one of the reasons I've cut down on my blogging, what I don't see can't make me feel dissatisfied. Some wise words from Prof. Yaffle there! See you in a few weeks at the V&H (panic stations here!)
Lucy x

Patchwork Harmony said...

echoing everyone else... your house is gorgeous!
but I do know what you mean... in the next few months we are moving in to our 1st 'proper' home, not rented but ours, and I am so scared of making the wrong decisions on what we do it, and what we choose to put in it!
there are just too many gorgeous things out there! I guess going with your instincts is all you can do isnt it?
xxx

Hens Teeth said...

Well Michele, you certainy opened a can of worms there! :-)
My take on it is that keeping a house 'up to scratch', i.e.freshly painted and arranged takes time, money and energy...all in shortage for most of us....(blimey, just keeping it clean is a task), so I wholeheartedly understand where you are coming from.

conversationpieces said...

hi there. just stumbled across your blog via Patchwork Harmony. What a brilliant post... I'm still grinning at knitting a three-piece suite... and thank you for showing pics of your home – it's really lovely.

Think we all have days were we want to change everything – just put them down to bad home days... sort of like bad hair days but house-shaped!

cocoa and blankets said...

I think your home looks lovely, especially your itchen...I would love an aga, and that chair...oooooh, I know what you mean about other peoples houses, I am dead nosey and always like to look around them on blogs, but I feel inadequate because all the homes look so clean and tidy...mine is always dusty and covered in remnants of mr Alfie Cat....plus you all make such lovely creative things...I think its human nature...have a lovely weekend...love H

gingerwine said...

um....can I come and live at your house?

:)

Southern Drawl said...

Beautiful and so peaceful. I not only love your kitchen but also the bathroom! Thank you for letting us vicariously vacation for a while in your lovely home and garden. :)

Valerie said...

A gorgeous home (and a gorgeous cat too!). I love this piece of writing as you're counting your blessings, which is something that we don't do often enough. Me included. We spend way too much time being gloomy about lack of money or bemoaning the size of our thighs, but for most of us life is good. We have health, enough wealth to house and feed ourselves however modestly, and friends and family.
Just watched the news and marveled at the guy walking (walking!) the London Marathon on crutches.
Count our blessings. Should be our national motto.

gingerwine said...

Hope you are feeling better now...

;0)
xxx

Garden Girl said...

we have just come back from a wonderful week away in Cornwall, where we stayed ina fabulous glossy new penthouse, with amazing views, pristine shiny worksurfaces and bright white woodwork everywhere. Yet as soon as I walked in our front door earlier this afternoon, and into the the lounge where I had left a pile of washing before we left, and into the kitchen where there were still crumbson the worktop, and into the bathroom that has seen better days...I sighed and thought how much I love our little house. You're so right, the society we are in has taught us that it's right to covet what other people have, to be able to do what they can do, afford what they can buy etc.etc. but really, as you and I know, Custardo, the simple things in life oftenbring the most pleasure. Apart from crumb strewn worktops, obviously...xxx

silverpebble said...

Michele, your home is an absolute gem. It was lovely having a peep I identify with the feelings of inadequacy that can creep up though x

The Vintage Magpie said...

Here Here! I love your house! x

ArtSparker said...

I am so curious about the branch thing growing out of the wall in the bedroom with little characters(?) on it, it looks a bit like a ship too. I once saw a home decor program originating from Britain which was one of those budget ones, the decorator took old cans and made curtain pulls - if that's the proper term- and made hideous stencils all over these peoples' bedroom, who then had to express their gratitude for the free design help.

Dana and Daisy said...

Michele, I think you have one of the most beautiful of all homes because it is the home of your heart.

Just today Steve and I drove through some very expensive new neighborhoods where everything is picked to perfection, not a leaf astray. I began to want one of my own. Until I realized what goes along with it, the expectations of perfection, the glancing eyes of neighbors measuring themselves against others. And the constant need to keep up. I said out loud, "The houses are nice, but this can't be what it's all about!" Steve exhaled and said, "I couldn't agree more!" lol!

But the bug almost bit me!

Deb said...

OH, don't you dare delete it. I loved the honesty and could wholly relate to your points! But, let me just tell you that your home is lovely and we often can't see the forest for the trees in such matters. Those shell frames and your landing are to die for! Everyone envies someone, so be happy!

Rosa said...

I enjoyed your tour. Thank you for inviting us in. (I do that sometimes too. But I have yet to delete a post, and I'm happy I haven't.)

Nostalgia at the Stone House said...

Hi Michele,
I have always loved that view of your kitchen that you have teased us with on your blog before...its perfect.

Kirsty would have been wise to have visited a lot of blogs before making that programme, me thinks...she really doesn't have anything very inspiring to say...although the cottage itself is beautiful, she's thrown an awful lot of money at it all at once...for most of us, it would take a lifetime to complete...

Hope you can enjoy some time in your garden over the weekend,
Niki x

Bobo Bun said...

I know what you mean about the landing - I'd love one too oh and bigger rooms. Cottages with ceilings high enough for 6ft and 6ft 5 people seem to make up for it by bringing the walls in. Pictures of your home were lovely, really cosy.

I didn't think you were being moany, just easy to compare at times and then look at the mess around us. Better go and clean up the dog poo now and attack the stacked sink. Reality check from world of whimsy.

Lisa x

Lyn said...

I love your house and what a veiw! Pickles is happy and I hope you are feeling a little better yourself. 51 comments means you touched a nerve in people, made them think about others and themselves. Now if you want to talk clutter...
Love
Lyn
xxx

claire Maraldo said...

I think your home is perfect! I feel disatisfied with mine a lot of the time. It is so untidy! But when I photograph it, I just sweep all the clutter to one side . . .doesn't everyone? Maybe the houses that are absolutely perfect are full of neat freaks who are scrubbing into every corner at 5 am. Maybe living in a house like that is like having a really high maintenance girlfriend?
you house looks a really lovely place to be!

Sweet Cottage Dreams said...

Sweet friend, your home is most adorable and I would love to live there. It exudes all of who YOU are - sweet, caring, careful and loving. I would give my front tooth to live in your home. That view of Bath is stunning as is your wonderful garden. Never ever be anything but content.

Ok, I must be honest with you. I am feeling the same way with my home but I do believe that the advertisements and decorating shows are only tempting to those who aren't good in their own skin. Time and money is my factor..more money...but in time I will get projects done.

I love your kitchen, too!!!

hugs from California,
Becky

Anonymous said...

I echo Niki (of Nostalgia..)Kirstie's hasn't done anything that we bloggers couldn't do given the money. What was missing was anything of her - she didn't complete any of the projects herself. What I love about all the blogs I see is the inspiration and variety - they have all made me feel that its ok to be me and live in the way I do - without trying to be anything or anyone else!