Saturday, 27 August 2011

On new things that feel odd...


Something incredibly odd happened today. I was in John Lewis (investigating mattresses with my husband, although that wasn't the strange bit) and happened to wander through the displays of bed linen. Out of habit, I headed for the shades of white I'm normally drawn to and found myself bored at the sight of them, but strangely drawn toward the brightly-coloured duvet covers and quilts on display nearby, where I found myself butterfly-stomached at the sight of them (had my pupils been measured at this point, I'm sure they would have been as large as saucers...or possibly even dinner plates!). Mmm.That's the first bit of strange.

Later, in the cushion department (John Lewis is like that: we may have gone there to look at mattresses, but it sucks you in and casts you off in different, unintended directions, until the idea of looking at what you originally intended to look at nags at the corners of your consciousness like an irritating fly that you wish only to swat away so that you wander around trance-like in a consumeristic state of 'wantyness' for all the other things in there)....anyway, back to the cushion department. Here, I suddenly felt desperately claustrophobic at the memory of all the rooms in shades of white and cream that we have at home and I found myself completely transfixed by the beautifully plump, squashy, jewel-coloured cushions that fought for space on the shelves. I started piling up my favourites and found them so delicious that I wanted to take great armfuls of them and run from the store with them (in a non-shop-lifty way, obviously), fill the boot of my car and take them all home so that I could cover every sofa and chair in our house with them....that's the odd bit: I don't like colour in my home.

Away from the strange vortex of John Lewis' home furnishings department, which had threatened to engulf my rational self, I'm left with two thoughts: the first being that I now have some clarity about exactly which cushion colour I really love, for I really would like things to be a little more colourful; the second is an awareness of what a strangely liberating thing it would be to buy cushions from a shop instead of making them myself. I can't think of anything I could do that would feel more ridiculously self-indulgent and foreign. I'm tempted.

Florence x

11 comments:

  1. I went into John Lewis today and also got drawn to many areas I wasn't there for :-) Love the description of your pupils, it reminds me of a story I read as a child about dogs that had eyes as big as saucers (I think it was dogs anyway :-)).

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  2. What a great post. Thanks for the laugh!

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  3. I think that amazing quilt you made as a wedding gift has got to you!! This might be of interest:

    http://cure.apartmenttherapy.com/2011/color

    Boyfriend recently said, in an exasperated moment, of our new flat that we have "imposed our organic beige chaos on the place". Well... not our fault that the previous occupant painted the whole apartment in a particularly uninspired shade of cream. But something needs to be done. My big turquoise cushions are a start!

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  4. Nina, I'm taking that link as a prompt to buy cushions...it makes it seem the only level-headed sensible thing to do. Thank you :-). I do like the look of the cottage you found in Suffolk by the way & also the clever thing you did with the zip covers on the make up bag.

    Robin - so pleased it made you laugh.

    Scented Sweetpeas - I'm pleased I'm not the only one. I think I may have had that book too, although I can't remember its name.

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  5. Saturday is John Lewis Day! I went there (the Reading one) today, for a new iron and bought a dinner service (it is white!)

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  6. Can't say I have had the John Lewis experience this weekend but I can relate to the need for colour. Maybe your urge for the cushions has a bit to do with instant gratification too?

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  7. The dog with eyes as big as saucers is from The Tinder Box by Hans Christian Andersen. My godmother is Danish and I have read or had read to me all of his stories hundreds of times and I still love them all.

    I have that colour moment too, but with clothes. Most of the time I am all neutrals and navy (and for some reason lime green!) but every now and then I feel the urge for layers and colours and go all gypsy!

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  8. That is the fantastic thing about having a blank canvas and accessories though. Depending on your mood, you can have madly bright extravagant days (and different colours for different moods!), or clear blank days that sooth the mind, all in a matter of a quick sweep around picking up cushions up and placing them in a box!! Next trip to John Lewis, cushions and box to hide them!! Best of both world without effort!

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  9. How I love John Lewis. And as there isn't one where I am (Ireland) I get sucked in badly every time I go to one. What a wonderful shop.

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  10. I was hanging on every word... You describe extremely well.

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  11. It is the last thing you say that struck me the most. The idea of buying things we can make. I have a scarf addiction and I love to make them. However, I am forever looking at scarves in shops and coveting them but not allowing my self to buy because 'I can make one'. Well I can't always as I don't know how it was made, can't get materials and it would be 10 times more expensive to make etc. But rules are rules and I will not buy. Perhaps a silly rule? Sounds like your cushion frenzy! Perhaps it was seeing them there all ready to go, no inspiration required, no imagining, or cutting out or sewing. Very liberating in its way. Just remember though; those you make will be even better!

    I am the opposite of you as I find white positively distressing, magnolia walls dampening my spirits instantly - possibly because I live in rented accommodation and the one constant is all that magnolia and white, symbolizing as it does uniformity and lack of freedom to choose. I always try to add colour in portable ways.

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I now tend to reply within the comments section, so please do check back if you've asked a question or wish to chat.

Florence x