Vintage as a pick-me-up
|Sometimes I've just got to retreat into an old magazine...|
The other week I found myself mired in the glums because a friend instagrammed a shot of her gorgeous midcentury kitchen. 'Why don't I have a gorgeous midcentury kitchen?' I thought. 'Why don't I have a gorgeous deco living room?' And you know what? That was stupid. I actually have a modern but 1950s-influenced kitchen, which fits into the very tiny space and which I chose precisely because it would be easy to keep clean. It's exactly the right kitchen for my house. And I don't WANT a deco living room! The sort of house interior I've always craved is, I suppose, Victorian Explorer, packed with all sorts of interesting things from around the world, and now Mr Robot and I are able to travel more, it's what we're achieving. There are paintings from Cuba and Burma, dishes from Barbados, Italy and Spain, a vase handmade in Wales, and I love them all. Vintage, I have to remind myself, is not a competition. You don't get points for having or wearing the right things. There's no certificate. You don't pass or fail. (Apart from in the eyes of a few purists who are probably best avoided anyway.)
|Not shown: kitchen chaos|
Perhaps weirdly, I also find my magazines from the 1920s-60s quite encouraging. Maybe it's because they're distant in time from me. Maybe it's because they're magazines, whereas blogs and photos on Pinterest are made by real people now. The magazine is only ever an ideal, something to aspire to, whereas if real people can manage to live a mess-free, picture-perfect existence (even when they've got kids) it says I'm clearly not trying hard enough, or am simply rubbish, if I don't manage it too. Sinking into the magazines is a wonderful break from the real world, and when I put them down I'm ready to take on the world again, cat sick and all.
Do you have a favourite vintage pick-me-up? I heartily recommend a daily dose of Rosie, but I'd love to know what fills you with WE CAN DO IT! confidence.