This week has been one for talking about what makes our houses home. I’ve loved nosying at other people’s houses on Jelly’s blog here and here (Jelly is a real life friend but I’ve not visited her since she moved house). I had to laugh when thinking dear god, where the hell did she get that? only to see it had been a present from me. (And there I was largely hiding my love of kitsch from the world!). I found A Dirty Shade of Green through Jelly and enjoyed being equally voyeuristic about her house.  

I wrote recently about my house not smelling like home and in many ways it’s not quite home yet. There are so many plans in the making but I realised there were still plenty of things that make it personal to us so once I finish writing this I’ll run around with my camera and blog my response.   But for now I need to admit that my lovely house is in fact a well disguised bridge for I am a troll. I don’t mean this in the ugly sense although if I may briefly deviate...   

~ Wavy lines ~   

A couple are laying naked in bed having a sleepy conversation as they drift off. The man spoons up to the woman and circles an arm about her waist.   

Man: You’ve changed shape.   

Woman: (Pleased he’s noticed as she’s lost 3 inches from her waist since New Year) In what way?   

Man: Well... you’re less fat.   

He freezes, realising how utterly retarded a thing that was to say. He’s torn between maintain his close embrace and removing his genitals from their exposed location.   

~ Wavy lines ~   

... Anyway, assuming the slip wasn’t a revelation about my actual physical hideousness and merely the fiancé being his usual charming self (I’ve stopped asking him to tell me what a film is about because he is a true anti salesman and puts me off everything he describes*) I’m a troll on the basis of odious personality.   

“Grr, who’s that stepping over my bridge?”   

“Um, I live here. I’m your fiancé.”  

“Oh yeah. Hi honey, how was your day?”   

I’ve been ill but really there’s little excuse. I have a nice home with a lovely man, great stepkids and live in what has to be one of the loveliest places in the world. This made the news this week. How cute is that? I’ve become a bit obsessed with the This is Gloucestershire website of late given the high percentage of fluffy news. It makes me feel ever so cosseted. Of course, one has to bear in mind Simon Pegg’s excellent documentary on life in the West Country and the frightening undercurrent of the greater good but frankly after living in the North East I’ll take that risk. Anyway, we have hanging baskets so I’m sure we are on the acceptable list for now.  

I think I’m far too guilty of box ticking. Because I have the things I think I should want I think I have no justification for being grumpy or unhappy. Daft but hard to escape nevertheless.   I’m pretty motivated I suppose and by defining a series of goals I promptly achieve them and tend to be left with either a vague dissatisfaction or utter panic. Today consisted of three key tasks.   

1)    An interview for David Bailey’s afternoon show on BBC Radio Gloucestershire for this weekend’s Fire and Wood Festival. David is a lovely bloke but I still get nervous about doing radio. I had my notes about me but spent the run up to his call feeling a bit sick. No feelings of positivity about doing my job well, just fear that I’d mess it up. 

2)    My first commissioned piece of writing. There was a tight deadline so the work itself was focused and very enjoyable. Since submitting it however I’ve been stressing over it non-stop. The fiancé barely got the kids in bed before I was asking him to read over it to check that it wasn’t utterly retarded. The nature of the work was close to what I do at the Dean Heritage Centre, something I have done for nearly 18 months. In short, I was doing the job I get paid to do on salary but as a freelancer. I am absurd. 

3)    Creating a fascinator. I’m making it for the Bath and West show where I’ll be a fashion scout at Ladies Day. I commissioned an artist to help produce it with a view to creating a range of headwear. It didn’t go as fast or as perfectly as I’d have liked so I freaked out.   

The clue is in the first task. Today was my day off but I was working for my employer. I believe this is called being a workaholic but that seems silly. It was important and needed doing. It’s not as though I was bringing admin work home with me (that was um... last week). Is being a workaholic indicative of being a perfectionist (tasks two and three)? I think so.   

In theory I had a nice day. I got to be creative both in writing and by making some art. I’ll even get paid for some of it.** It makes me think of the scene in Pretty Woman where Stuckey says to Richard “We worked for a year on this deal. It's what you said you wanted. I'm handing it to you. Morse's jugular is exposed. It's time for the kill. Let's finish this” as Edward ponders the fact that his business doesn’t physically make anything.

While the credits roll at Edwards realisation that blah blah the movie ends but I reckon Edward and Vivien wouldn’t have lasted more than a couple of years. Edward would have thrown himself into his new venture and ultimately found himself in the same position a few years down the line.

Maybe that’s just the troll speaking. I am terribly grumpy after all.   


* For the record porn clips are rarely convincing either. 

** Well, assuming my client pays me!

A few things that make our house our home

I'd love to see some of your homes. I have a spare family ticket to the Bath and West show worth £40 (they gave it to me for being a fashion scout but I'd already bought a ticket) and will give it to a randomly selected person* who sends me a picture that they're willing for me to put up here. Even if you don't want the ticket, please consider sending me a photo as I'm really nosy! Email pics to kathrynalexaashcroft@gmail.com by 5pm on Monday for a chance to win (and to give me time to post them to you!).

* Not true. I'm going on Friday and am totally open to bribes. I like Pimms and scones. 



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