Safe as houses

This weekend was fairly quiet and largely enjoyable. Albiet from D’s weekly episode of ‘dad-mentia’. I really don’t know how it keeps occuring; other than to assume that he just ‘forgets’ EVERY week and has done so for the last few years. I think it’s a coping mechanism.

It’s the same story each Saturday morning and is particularly noticeable around the breakfast table. He sits there with a wide-eyed look of panic and sheer bewilderment with one eye on the door; thinking I won’t notice when he bolts for it. The table manners, bickering and general chaos (that have become so much the norm that even I look at him and say ‘what?’) throws him into fight or flight mode. By lunchtime he has thankfully given in to it and has the vacant look of submission – which is replaced on Sunday evening with an air of excitment and the anticipation of returning to work for a break.

This week the girls put on a show, complete with singing, dancing and costume changes. Sitting dutifully on the sofa with the rest of the audience, several dozen teddies and dolls, we were subjected to the ‘house rules’ before the performance began. This included when it was appropriate for us to clap and what to do in the event of the fire alarm going off – ‘go out that door and don’t forget to take your babies with you’ although I was told it was not scheduled to do so. So, it seems our girls are safety concious.

When it comes to decoration, many people also err on the side of caution. When flicking through interiors magazines I’m always drawn to to the darker schemes with bold wall colours and beautiful colour combinations – a favourite at the moment is bronze, coral and turquoise – yet when I look round my house I see a largerly neutral palette. No doubt because I became so obsessed by light last year that I literally painted everything a shade of white. Not that there is anything wrong with a neutral colour scheme – interior designer Kelly Hoppen MBE is famous for her love of taupe and beige, adding interest through texture and coloured accessories. But yet I often question why I don’t have the guts to paint the living room in F&B’s Arsenic that I love.

Perhaps its because I’m not sure if this is my forever house, and should I decide not, the safer colour scheme wouldn’t send potential buyers heading for the hills. And there I think lies the problem. People tend to decorate with others in mind. Rather than just going for it and following their hearts they see their house through the eyes of visitors, hoping for approval and praise from friends and family. So what if they don’t like the colour scheme you’ve chosen for a particular room? They don’t get to see it in different lights and if makes you feel relaxed, cosy and secure who cares? I’m pretty sure my choice of wallpaper and the aubergine painted roof in my downstairs loo is definately not everyone’s cup of tea, but that’s ok.

This leads me to another quote that has made it onto my blackboard this year ‘what other people think of you is none of your business’.

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