I consider our house to be a home. It’s where we live; we eat there, we sleep there, we talk there, we work there, we read there, we write there, we sometimes play music there, we talk on the telephone there, we watch TV there, and, perhaps best of all, we welcome people to visit us there.
Sure, we also keep our home clean. We try to keep it tidy as well, but that doesn’t always come about; there is just too much else to do to spend (waste?) time tidying up the place where we LIVE.
On the kitchen bench there is almost always some paper and a couple of pens as well as a mobile phone (or two) to add to the bowl of fresh fruit and the electric blender that is never put away. Occasionally there is also a vase of flowers.
On the other side of the kitchen sink, on the bench near the cooker, is a kettle and a toaster, which also are never put away.
Then there is the bucket style container that holds all the large utensils, like the soup ladle and the wooden mixing spoons. And - perhaps strangely for a house of only two people – there are two teapots, each on their own small marble stand (or trivet). One of us really likes green tea and the other prefers Earl Grey.
Well, that’s just the kitchen.
The living room has a sofa and ottoman, several comfy chairs, a dining setting, a book case, lots of cushions and several side tables and lamps. On almost every surface is a small pile of books. Some books are in the midst of being read. Some are waiting patiently to be read – perhaps fresh from a visit to the library.There are also books that have been taken from the book shelf to be read for a second time.
All of this contributes towards making our house a home.
But that’s just my opinion.
I have been into homes that are so neat and tidy I have felt ill at ease, afraid of ‘messing up’ the shininess and the order of things. Most places like this have one thing in common: there are no books to be seen; no newspapers, no reading matter at all. Where is it? Where are the books? Are there none there at all? is what I want to ask.
Once, when visiting a house belonging to people I did not know and for the purpose of writing a eulogy for a family member, we needed a necessary detail for the service. The‘lady of the house’ embarrassedly lifted up a seat cushion on a lounge chair to reveal paperwork and some magazines. It seemed that all papers and magazines had been secreted under cushions, as if there was something shameful about having such things on show. What was that all about? The house was ‘as neat as a pin’ but there was something missing. It was too neat. Perhaps if the papers and magazines had been included in the ‘décor’ that house may have seemed more like a home.
Or is that just my way of thinking?
I choose to comment on social issues and write creatively on a variety of subjects - for a variety of audiences.