I was flicking through the television listings the other day, when I noticed a programme called ‘I Have the Best Home in Britain’ and it got me thinking. Surely, we ALL have the best home, or should aspire to...the best home for us. My idea of the best home is probably a bit different from yours, and yours from mine. I didn’t watch the programme, but I really hoped that ‘best ‘ was not being used to mean biggest or most expensive. To me, our little flat is not my dream home, partly because we do not own it, but I still want to make it my best home NOW. The things I have in it, I want to be pretty to look at and lovely to use. I want it to be the best it can be for now, while at the same time happily dreaming about my dream home. Does that sound contradictory? It does to me, a little bit, but I know what I mean. I want to fully appreciate and love where I am now, but still know where I want to be.
My Aunty Dottie is an inspiration to me when it comes to the comforts of home. She takes care over everything, to make it as nice as can be, but this does not always mean expense. Her little grandson, who was only six at the time, was having a nap on her bed. He noticed that the great pile of soft pillows smells of her perfume, and said ‘Grandma, you have the NICEST things, don’t you?’ which I thought was just lovely.
This is a bit of a ramble, but it is just little things like knowing I have ice cubes in the freezer, made of coffee, so I can offer iced coffee without it getting all diluted. A tube of scrumptious hand cream in the bathroom so whoever washes their hands their can enjoy soft skin. A footbath of cool water at the end of a hot day, for a cool welcome home. A carefully angled lamp that casts a soft, peaceful glow in the bedroom, that is restful to be bathed in. All the little things that make home, home.
Now let me tell you a little bit about my dream home. My dream home has a little garden, with a tree that blossoms in the spring time, and I can have picnics under. There is at least one step up to the front door- impractical for pushchairs maybe, but perfect for standing a carved pumpkin upon at Halloween. There is a larder, which I am going to make pretty by lining the shelves with paper, and crocheting some pretty lace edging to go along the shelves. There will be at least one fireplace, with a proper fire, and a mantelpiece that I can make little seasonal displays upon. I am going to decorate one room, perhaps the living room, or maybe the bedroom, by papering one wall with flowery paper, and then painting the rest a pale colour, picked out from the paper. The window frames and woodwork will be painted a deeper shade of this colour.
Sometimes, when I close my eyes and think hard enough, I can almost hear myself turning the key in the door.