Saturday, 5 September 2009

Home comforts

- The dog is surprisingly happy to see me and won't take its bony legs off my keyboard.

He is even letting me pull at his silky ears and kiss the lovely smooth bits in the hollow of his slightly dusty doggy throat. Do I sound like a bizarre dog perv? Ah, well.

- If the dog is mildly positive, Fingers is ecstatic. He hasn't let go of me all day. I particularly liked the bit where he asked me, graciously, whether I had had fun in my two nights away, somehow managing to imply in a very adult fashion that his own distress would be worthwhile if I had. He is a very funny child. I love having his bony arms wrapped around me and they have been pretty much constantly. Also he demonstrated earlier that he can do a no arms somersault. I am overawed. Again, again! In return I had to commit to watching several hours of Snowball the dancing cockatoo, but I didn't even mind (though, Snowball, your musical taste is HORRIFIC. There are other things with a strong beat. Branch out! Join the 21st century, cockatoo).

- My giant marshmallow bed stuffed with live puppies. Or something. It was dear enough to be stuffed with live puppies (live diamond studded puppies at that. Or maybe giant sturgeon. Yes. Giant diamond studded sturgeon), but it's worth it. There is nowhere I would more like to curl in a foetal ball with my dressing gown over my head to sleep deeply and dreamlessly for 9 hours. Mm, there's a Pavlovian drool reflex going on at the corners of my mouth right now at the thought of putting my head into its puppy-filled depths and drifting off. Slurp, drool.

- Mamma Roma pizza al taglio near Place du Châtelain for its hangover healing properties and excellent take away facilities (they give you a bin bag to carry your pizza in! Welcome to Belgium!). Any and all kinds. There was even one with broccoli today and it was good. Who would have thought such a thing possible? How wrong does broccoli pizza sound? SO wrong. And yet.

- Miniature green tea macaroons from Fabrice Collignon, Belgium's answer to Pierre Hermé. And apricot/lavender, fig and cassis/violet in a box in the kitchen still to try. Unless the moths have got them. No, moths you are emphatically NOT on this list.

- The huge bath. Ok, the water is a mysterious brown colour and never gets very hot, and the previous occupants chose the most nonsensical Philippe Starck taps that simply do not work. But just the thought of lying in the lukewarm liquid peat bog in our bathroom with the view to the back of the house of trees and rootftops and just possibly the neighbours' escaped parrot, Paula, relaxes me instantly.

- Piles of as yet unread books falling off my bedside table and singing to me.

What, if anything, reliably cheers you about your home?


jojo said...

I quite like the sound of peat bog bath.

Own cheering things? Possessive, bony little arm of child#3 wrapped around my neck as I give him last goodnight cuddle in his bed.

View from my bed in the mornings: view across fields, sunny, or misty. Occasional rabbits and foxes, lying down sleepy horses a summer bonus.

Aga, with heap of washing drying on top of it. Sorry - why, yes, I *am* a middle-class country cliche.

Dog laying on flokati rug wearing expression that says he is transported straight back to womb. Either that or his imaginary PROPER family who will walk him for miles each day and not complain noisily about his smells.

Kate said...

my office. love it.

the color we painted the bathroom.

my bed and pillows and books and chocolates on my bedside table.

Inkey41 said...

Looking out any window and seeing sailboats...awakening to a sunrise sometimes with snowcapped mountains in the distance...books still to computer full of my Twitter friends...

Z said...

My own bath and my own bed - nothing else will really do. Cooking on my own Aga. I don't know how to use other ovens any more. Books in every room. My Mac, instead of a borrowed pc.

My dog perversion is loving the smell of my dog's paws. Actually, I don't often sniff Tilly's paws because she's a girl and boy dogs smell best. But it has to be my own dog or it's just weird, like sniffing my husband is fine but who wants to sniff a man she doesn't sleep with? Ahem.

I desperately want to try green tea macaroons. I'm glad you were so welcomed home.

Mwa said...

The kids
Cups of tea
My downy
The projector we've borrowed and which allows me to watch The West Wing so I can see the piercing hole in Jimmy Smits' ear.

Mwa said...

Oh, and my laptop of course. Duh!

Anonymous said...

Currenlty (in a studio flat) dreaming of the space in our new flat which we move into in 10 days will relax me magically!

Laura said...

- The relief at having made it up the stairs to the fourth floor without dying.

- My smooshy sofas which I can curl up in when I'm feeling a bit sad.

- Watching storms from my bed through the skylight.

- Proper tea with proper milk. None of the Liptons/UHT crap I get at work.

- Ben cooking me proper English food with ingredients sourced from proper English supermarkets. My interpretation of English food is broad - if I prefer the English version of something to the Belgian, it goes on the list.

Keith (kcm) said...

Hmmm .... sadly not a lot. Our house is a tip; it shouldn't be; it's silted up with years of our kleptomaniac accretions and there's no time to sort it all out at present. But I will say: two cats, lots of books and pint mugs of good tea.

Mrs Jones said...

My sitting room now we've finally finished the decorating - it looks all proper and grown-up now and less like a student hovel. It's taken us 13 years to get round to doing it.

Going to bed before The Husband and hearing the fat boy cat come thundering up the stairs to join me. His favourite thing in the world (the cat that is, not The Husband) is to join whoever's in the double bed as long as it's only one person. You can also whistle for him and he'll come running (again, the cat, not The Husband).

My tame robin who will come and stare accusingly at me through the kitchen window if I'm late in the morning with its breakfast of live mealworms - yum!

Leona said...

My favourite things are: my lovely spacious sitting room, my pink roses in my nice vase, my cosy sofa, the view of chimney pots and sky from our windows, and the sight of my little boy's ruffly head on his pillow in his warm bed in his safe room. I'm a sentimental FOOL.

The City Road said...

The smell of the books in the library; faintly dusty with a hint of 'heap of old newspapers' scent that is immensely soothing.

The view, looking across the river. A friend once remarked that he couldn't live here because he would simply spend the rest of his life staring at the water, sketching and painting it.

The strange angled windows of the upstairs bedroom, with the industrial handrail of the balcony visible. It's like sleeping in the cabin of a cruise ship, or long-distance ferry.

Sitting on the stairs when people are visiting, because there are only two chairs in the library window bay, and guests get to sit there, not me.

Grit said...

the carpet in the bedroom which is not really carpet but a trendy reed type matting suitable for marsh arabs. i last felt it tickle my toes in 2006 but i still have fond memories. we haven't removed it by the way. it is still somewhere there under the dust ball mice.

fabhat said...

Our Jasper Conran chinoiserie tea cups, the copper beech outside the living room window that makes me feel like I live in a treehouse, our large windows and the soft soft carpet in the bedroom

GingerB said...

I love my bed, even with mansand, but I love it best with just washed high thread count sheets and my, MY orthopedic foam special neck pillow, and a jolly baby just over the edge in her own wee bassinet which soon she will move out of but for now I can see limbs wave about and sometimes she laughs in her sleep. I love putting my girls to bed, the older with her questions and answers and pats on my cheek while I lie next to her, and my younger who molds her baby body to my chest and sighs with contentment and utter peace. I love to drive by the front of my house and see it in its homey glory, then I drive round to the back to park in a less peaceful place.

One of you has to send me a picture of an Aga - I've been reading of them in Rosamunde Pilcher novels for years, but I need to know the magic. People, I need to know. I have never had an appliance that gives me such joy, and I need to understand.

Z said...

Ah, an Aga - here's a picture.

Mine is dark brown, a mere 23 years old - the originals are cream - they can go on forever and are constantly warm and welcoming. It cooks perfectly with one hot roasting oven and one warm simmering oven, with two (also hot and warm) hotplates. You can get 4 oven models too, but that's for serious cooking for a big household.

Kathy said...

Such an easy question, since it all has so recently lured me home...

The views! Even though I grew up here and know what I'm in for, they still take my breath away every day. Cresting a hill with no sight of what is to come (not being able to see beyond the bonnet of the car) to find water, victorians, big orange bridge, island prison and acres of the bluest sky.

Redwoods, the world's most majestic tree. If you haven't seen one in person, you must sometime. (Particularly fun if it's the one that you can drive a car through)

The salty smell of the air, and the foghorns that blow in the summer when the fog rolls in.

The food. Oh good Lord, the food! Unlike some parts of my country (and virtually all parts of my other country), the food here is truly fresh and incredibly appealing. I missed it so, and revel in it all, but especially the produce. Yum.

My squishy bright red velvet couch (which is newly re-covered, currently in storage, and which I yearn to touch).

My Very Special Tea Strainer which brings me wonderful memories of my other life.

The glory of my closet.

The twinkle in the eye of my family's under-10s when they greet me. The other adults are all boring, but I am Auntie Mame, and they can't quite believe a grown-up can be that fun.

The books, hundreds and hundreds of books, which I never discard unless they are truly embarrassing (hello, DaVinci Code), which chart the journey through my adulthood.

Peanut Butter and Chocolate ice cream.

It's good to be here.

Anonymous said...

Home Comforts:
no 1 most certainly has to be sleeping in my own bed. Never once have I regretted how much I spent on that mattress....
no 2 has to be a cup of proper tea. M&S Earl grey is my absolute favourite, I don't care tea purists, there is something utterly right about it, not too much bergamont, and much like the blend of assam and earl grey my friend Alex used to mix when we were students (she was terribly sophisticated)
no3 is my sofa and it's pile of wool blankets. It's a prototype of one of the many sofa's I designed for a well known chain of department stores. Long enough to sleep on, very very deep, and enough room for two adults and one terrier to sprawl out on, wrapped in said blankets. Bliss!

As for Aga's, my seven year old self and friend would feed the Aga in their huge family kitchen rich tea biscuits, convinced the Aga needed to be appeased and kept 'happy'

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