Wednesday, July 14, 2010


I am reading an interesting memoir at the moment: The Last Supper, by Rachel Cusk. A successful writer living in Bristol with her family, Rachel becomes frightened by the monotonous routine of life so they decide to sell up and head to Italy for a summer. I fantasise about this kind of adventure regularly; the need for new experiences and perspectives wrestling with the lure of home and ‘its shady labyrinth of memory and emotion’ as Rachel so elegantly writes. But more on that later.

What struck me today was a passage about home: ‘I often felt our life lacked beauty... I would put peonies in a vase, wash the floors, tidy up; but I never found much art in daily things. There was always too much reality, churning just ahead, mixing everything together into a grey, agitated mass.’

‘Reality churning just ahead’ – is there a more apt description of a home with small children?! Every evening when Lily and Ned were toddlers, I would put away all traces of toys and books to make the lounge room feel like adult space again. Now we are outnumbered and Louis is still a toddler, I find myself wondering whether there is any point in arguing with the children about tidying up when the room is only going to become as messy the next day. After growing up in a house where there was ‘art in daily things’ and wanting that for my own home I now wonder if I’m too tired to create it. Like Rachel, at the moment I think need to look for art ‘in the world itself’ or in reading books such as this.


Onto blog housekeeping matters, I have finally worked out how to allow comments more easily. Now you can make a comment without needing to sign in or be a registered user. Hopefully!

And, stay tuned for more interviews including interior decorator, author and media personality Shannon Fricke; author of The Young Widow’s Book of Home Improvement Virginia Lloyd; actor, singer and entertainer John Waters; illustrator Mandy Sutcliffe of Belle & Boo; and designer Marnie Goding of Elk Accessories. All with their own unique take on what ‘home’ is. I can’t wait to write about them.

Picture taken from Australian Women's Complete Household Guide Illustrated, Colorgravure Publications


Anonymous said...

I wanted to say that your house does have the feeling of adult space within the chaos of children - partly cause of your white cabinet on the rhs which gives you a double layer of family life - the children's toys below and some beautiful things above. I love your home - feels like a real home and somewhere life happens whilst focusing on small and gorgeous elements - like the small glass of lavender in the bathroom on Tuesday - simple, yet made it feel "finished".. oh to have a house of our own to play with!

Germaine Leece said...

Yay Claire! I think I've FINALLY worked out the comments problems. Sorry, cut and pasted your emailed comment to me as a test so thanks very much for both your comments! Mind you, I had cleaned up as you were coming over for dinner. Most evenings it doesn't look quite the same... gx


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