Comfort, comforting, comfortable. Are these the words that come to mind when we think about our homes? Or is it chores, cleaning, repairs, bills to pay, clutter to be cleared, painting and decorating?
Our home is our den, our space. It is the one place where we can really make our mark. What sort of mark do we want to make? Is it home-made and homely or is it all high-tech, high-fashion, shiny and new?
Our homes reflect our personality as much as the clothes we wear. Kimberly Bost tells us that Winston Churchill said,
‘We shape our dwellings and afterwards our dwellings shape us.’
As in everything else there are fashions in home decor, furnishings and design. As ideas progress we should be able to have homes that are easier to manage with surfaces that are hard-wearing and easier to clean.
We want our home to be presentable, firstly for our own sake and when people drop by we want to be relaxed with family and friends.
Our lives revolve around our homes and our families. Of course they do, just like people all over the world in different cultures and in different situations, just as people have always done throughout our history.
Each family has its own history. Sometimes when we stop and look at our own family, perhaps on a special occasion, a christening , a wedding or even a funeral, we can see the long generations stretching out behind us and in front of us.
We know that whatever happens the family will go on.
We could say that each family has its own personality. Just as each family is different and unique and special in its own way, each family home is special.
Are We Really Busy?
We like to talk about how busy we are these days but are we really doing more than our mothers, grandmothers and great-grandmothers? It’s unlikely isn’t it?
James Townsend gives us a glimpse of what life might have been like in an 18th Century kitchen.
While we are sitting on the sofa having another cup of tea and watching our favourite soap opera, they were still working. In a world where everything had to be done by hand there was little or no free time.
If they ever did sit down they immediately picked up their sewing or knitting or mending. They started early and finished late.
I am just reading a memoir by Nancy Astor‘s personal maid,
Nancy Astor, who was actually American by birth, was England’s first woman Member of Parliament and wife to the super-rich Lord Astor.
Perhaps when we think of people being less busy in the past we imagine ourselves as Lady Cora in Downton Abbey but we were more likely to be the scullery maid or the boot boy working all hours to make someone else’s life more leisurely.
Let’s be glad that we are living in the 21st century and have warm comfortable homes which with planning, organisation and our useful gadgets should be relatively easy to manage. Perhaps we should start thinking of ourselves as ‘The Manager’