…But you can miss what you did have. I preface this posting with a reminder: I thought all our money was gainfully earned. I never knew our lifestyle was partly funded on stolen money. I say partly, because my husband earned a very large salary.
Ok, so where was I. I suppose this has come about because I still have a pink and brown bathroom and it is still on the ground floor. Every time I lie in my faded pink bath and admire the mould growing under the sealant and the chalk encrusted, rippled brown flowered tiles, I remember what my previous bathroom was like. It was absolute bliss to soak for an hour or so in a roll top, cast iron, free standing bath. Upstairs. I could leave my bath naked and wouldn’t have to tiptoe over five cat bowls at the same time avoiding giving a cheap thrill to passing motorists via the glass paned front door strategically placed opposite the bathroom door (conversely, passes the time of day if you’re stuck on the bog for a while).
The downstairs bathroom is shitty, at my previous home, I had a choice of two, one with roll top bath and one that I did the tiling all by myself whilst England slaughtered the Aussies at cricket. I had carpets too, no outrageous inch deep shag pile, just plain oatmeal, wool, but plain. Now I am the joyous owner of a 120% pure nylon, 0.0001mm pile and a vacuum cleaner that’s throwing in the towel. The 0.0001mm pile is tenacious and clings to cat hair like it’s its own. The (different colour) carpet that runs up the stairs is, I believe, made from recycled brillo pads. I believe this because I once slipped on the stairs and the resulting friction burn almost started spontaneous combustion.
At least we no longer have the original downstairs wall coverings. They were tasteful. Plastic effect brickwork on the lounge (no plum colour feature wall for me) and in the kitchen diner (kitchen/dining room) well, I’m looking at a small square we saved. It’s like wood effect flooring, only plastic and on the walls. Very confusing if you got slightly drunk. My old kitchen was vast, well I thought it was big. I didn’t have a middle island, it wasn’t that big, but I did have a breakfast bar (actually it was a piece of excess marble that just stuck out and we put two stools underneath). I had B&Q fitted cupboards, unlike my homemade affairs that are (and I’m not kidding) a full 6ft off the ground. To find anything in them I do have to climb onto the table, but they are capacious. I miss my cooker as well. I had a Stoves range, not an Aga, too hot in summer, but it did have a wok burner and a brilliant hot plate from which we scoffed homemade Scotch pancakes in winter. My current cooker came from a charity shop and has four coiling rings and one oven – actually it has two ovens, but didn’t come with a seal so the top one is not usable. I managed a perfectly good Christmas dinner for four last year, so it’s not that bad. And I’m back at the bathroom.
And I do have my furniture which I’ve had for a long while and comes loaded with memories. I know that I am still so much more privileged than the vast majority of people – I have food, shelter, safety. I own my own home and have a good job. But there are a few times I do, hand on heart, miss those little extras that money just can buy.