Is it just me, or is anyone else slightly sick of blogs and lifestyle magazines featuring perfectly arranged interiors of vintage collections of this, that, and the other? I mean, I love an old biscuit tin or two, and I'll pounce on anything remotely folk, or handcrafted if it's knocking around in a bargain bin or an op shop, but do I showcase my pickings in beautifully positioned piles around the house? Do I artfully hang old white linens and lace in front of bright white window frames, stack pre-war china on ideally situated pine dressers, or fill up expensively tiled fireplaces with rusty old watering cans teeming with dried flowers? Er, no. I do have an old painted butterchurn in one of my fireplaces, but I also have three children whose chaotic trails of dolls, blocks, cars and books invalidate any attempts at tasteful presentations, even if we do clear up before bedtime. Not only that, but I also look around me and find that I have built up an utterly idiosyncratic collection of stuff over the years, from far flung places such as Mongolia, Iceland, Indonesia, and a variety of other continents and countries that are only characterised by fitting a folk description. There's nothing uniform about my tastes at all.
Now don't get me wrong. I do love vintage collections and often admire the displays I so often see inside, well, every single house, home and fashion magazine available (not to mention the blogroll). But I am beginning to think it's all (dare I say it) becoming frighteningly homogenous. Where's the individuality in all of this? And what about the constant emphasis on Stuff? Sure, we all like to decorate our homes and make them comfy and cosy and personal, but does anyone really need an entire room of vintage nightdresses, or a whole shed full of antique gardening tools? When do we draw the line and say - actually I have enough! And I am sick of shopping!
So - too much consumerism, too much materialism, too much old stuff which is, most of the time (if you choose to get your stuff from admittedly lovely, but frankly overpriced emporiums whose owners no doubt make regular trips to the tip shop and spruce up their findings...) simply superfluous. Not enough representations of real homes belonging to real people, with real messes and real lives. Not enough individuality. I really would like to see a change.... which is why I've posted the above picture of my distinctly imperfect, overly-cluttered, thoroughly chaotic workspace. Bring on the mess!
Recently, my children's school, Tasmania's beautiful Tarremah Steiner school, held its annual Spring Fair. With such a big emphasis on community, parents are invited to come on board to help create this magical event, and consequently Gingerbread houses have featured in my life for several weeks now. On the day, we secured this cute little dwelling for the wild things, who were seized with a bout of artistic gusto and set about decorating their confectionary as soon as they got home (5pm, after a good nap in the car...). Such anarchic flair is rarely seen after the age of five, so I saw fit to capture it. Everyone was terribly excited and terribly proud, and we began nibbling away at it today. I can see that this is one tradition that may continue for years to come....
After spending 22 years in London I packed my bags and crossed the world for a new life in Australia. Pregnant with twins, I landed up in Melbourne, together with my hubby and 18 month old toddler, and spent the next three years grappling with small children, belligerent drivers, and endless, faceless suburbs. Finally we boarded the ferry and escaped into the beyond, across the Bass Strait. Journey's end; an old weatherboard cottage set in the middle of a beautiful country garden, surrounded by paddocks, forests, and mountains in Tasmania's Huon Valley.... Now it all makes sense.
Thank you for looking in, and all comments will be gladly received!