Jaqui's Daily Blog

Zebras, Home Decor and Avocado Bathroom Suites

After the Terrible Twins moment on my birthday celebration day, when the Youngest of the Darling Daughters and I managed to wear exactly the same clothes (see previous blog), things have just got worse.


For our last choir session, I chose to wear a rather smart black and white stripy top, in honour of the fact that we were all going out to lunch after our weekly sing-song and I needed to look at least half-way presentable. Imagine my horror when my friend Sue turned up in similar stripy attire. OK, she was wearing a dress and her stripes were a very dark navy and white where mine were black and white – but from a distance we looked just like a couple of zebras.  We met up in the Ladies loo and could not contain our mirth when we caught sight of each other.  Trouble is, we sit next to each other, too, so you can imagine the comments we attracted from our fellow singers. I think we may have sent some of our neighbours quite cross-eyed just to look at us.


I remember, years ago, decorating the small loo in our previous house in blue and white striped wallpaper. It was a bad mistake, using bold stripes in such a very small room.  Any visit to use the facilities risked sending you into a dizzy spin. Those were the days, of course, when we were all far bolder with our decor. None of these neutral colour schemes, no minimalist furniture, no plain white bathroom fittings. Oh, no, our walls were splashed with colour, orange, yellow and brown being highly favoured. Wallpaper with geometric shapes was much admired, wooden panelling was the stuff of domestic dreams and we nailed hardboard all over our panelled doors to stop them being a dust trap. We took down walls between living rooms and dining rooms (well, we didn’t, to be fair – but lots of people did) and those of us with the cash to spare proudly installed tasteful avocado bathroom suites.  I sometimes think how much more interesting “Homes Under the Hammer” would be if decor reverted to the Seveties and Eighties. (I have to avoid becoming addicted to this TV programme so I only allow myself to watch it when I am doing the ironing. Sometimes I make the ironing stretch out over a day or two or three...)


If you ever watch “Homes Under the Hammer” (whether or not you are engaged with iron and ironing board – I won’t tell, if you don’t) you will know that most properties are turned around to look almost exactly the same as every other featured property. Neutral is the Name of the Game. It would be interesting, indeed, to hear what the presenters would say if faced with our very first house, as lovingly decorated by Mr B and me. Words would almost certainly fail them. 


Mr B and I have often found ourselves left behind when it comes to fashions in decorating. It took us years to have each ceiling in our current house beautifully Artexed – then, just as the final room was decorated, everyone started going “Back to Flat”. For a while I tried to kid myself that this was all about down-sizing rather than ceilings...


Then we installed a rather special Villeroy & Boch (i.e. rather expensive) bathroom suite in a delicate dove grey – just before the current fashion for pristine white arrived. The sad thing is that if in the future anyone buys our house as a result of it going under the hammer they will doubtless rip out our rather special suite and instal a cheap white one. Maybe we’ll just have to stay here, Mr B?


The thing is, when you have lived to a Great Age, you understand this simple fact of life: that what goes round, comes round.  Plus, change happens imperceptibly. For several years now, almost every other car you saw on the road was silver – indeed so is ours. But silently, silently white has overtaken it as the colour of choice for new cars. When and how and why did that happen? I read somewhere that it was the influence of all those white Apple products. How easily we are swayed.  Mr B didn’t believe me (he is often disbelieving of my fancies) so I carried out a little bit of research of my own, investigating the number plates of every white car we passed on a recent journey and it was true – virtually every one had been registered in the last four or five years.  Try it out for yourself. Preferably – nay only - when you are not driving.


So remember when you scoff at the photographs of “ghastly” Seventies decor – one day it (or something approximate) will be back in fashion.  Geometric wall-paper. Wall panelling. Avocado bathroom suites.


Those were the days!

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Latest comments

23.04 | 20:15

lovely and heartwarming - an inspiration to us all x

09.03 | 12:07

Love this story told as ever beautifully.x

10.11 | 21:31

What a super account of a special event. I loved meeting you last night and seeing your creation come together. I’m so pleased you got so much from the activity

07.09 | 13:17

I have broad shoulders x

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