what a lovely house you have


I don’t know where I first heard the phrase “you have a lovely home” as a child but I can make an educated guess that it was an American movie or sitcom. It echoed in my head then, and still does, in a warm female voice with that neutral American accent that everyone on the TV has, lượt thích honey, sunshine, butter. It was said with a smile. With an emphasis usually on the ‘lovely’ but, lớn bủ, with the possibility lớn put that emphasis on every separate word.

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You: This is your home page.

Have: You possess it.

A: There are many lovely homes, of which this is one.

Lovely: This home page is lovely.

Home: trang chủ. trang chủ. trang chủ. trang chủ.

So I can’t remember where I first heard that warm blonde voice say “you have a lovely home” but I remember how it felt and why it sticks. Why the child I was fixated on it and the adult I now am still can’t let it go.

My house was not lovely. Nobody would ever pause in the hallway and smile and say lớn my mother “you have a lovely home”. Leaving aside the obvious poverty and low-key deprivation in the house, it wasn’t really home page. It was a place where we lived, but a place we knew, thanks lớn our landlord’s occasional threats of eviction, was not really ours. Was not really home page.

If a house is not lovely and a house is not a home page, it cannot be a lovely home page.

At some point, sitting on the hand-me-down couch whose cigarette-burned upholstery was covered with a throw that also happened lớn have its fair share of cigarette burns, watching a TV that was not ours but a rental, I heard that line: “you have a lovely home”.

It became part of my vocabulary. After that, whenever I would go lớn a friend’s house for the first time, I would always, always take a moment lớn look their mother in the eye and say lớn her “you have a lovely home”. And they did. They really did. They lived in homes with central heating, with bedrooms they didn’t have lớn share. With new carpets and old furniture that wasn’t grubby old but glowing old. With dining rooms and patios. Clean homes. Nice homes. Lovely homes.

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I would lie very very still at night and wish very very hard that I could live somewhere lượt thích Sarah, lượt thích Katy, lượt thích Nicola.

I left home page, and for a time I didn’t really care about having a lovely home page. I had university halls and student houses. They weren’t lovely, but neither was I, and neither was whatever it was I was striving for at the time. I didn’t care if my room (my home) was lovely; I cared if it was cool. I cared if the art posters and snapshots and torn-out Vogue shoots and fairy lights and jewellery strung about the walls said: this girl is a cool girl, and you are right lớn want lớn be her friend or have sex with her. But never both.

Leaving that phase behind with a long-term relationship in one hand and employment in the other, I started lớn care again about having a lovely home page. And the difference was, I no longer lived at the intersection of youth and poverty of my mother’s house. And I didn’t want people seeing my home page and saying “cool”. I wanted them saying “lovely”.

It snuck up on bủ, though. I didn’t consciously know I was doing it, building a lovely home page, until someone failed lớn tell bủ “you have a lovely home”.

Because since I built a lovely home page, a womb of comfort and low-key nice things in a thành phố that breaks bủ a little bit more every day, every person over the threshold has offered a variation on “you have a lovely home”. Well, except for a four-year-old, who offered up “it’s very small!” and I was lượt thích “no shit, kid” but on the whole, people were pretty nice about my home page.

Then, recently, after two years, someone new came lớn my home page. And they didn’t tell bủ my home page was lovely. Or nice. Or anything. They barely addressed that we were in a home page at all. And it pissed bủ off.

I thought lớn myself “how rude”. And then I thought lớn myself “get over yourself”.

Get over yourself because it doesn’t matter.

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I did not make this lovely home page in order lớn hear “you have a lovely home” from anyone else. I made this lovely home page in order lớn hear it from myself. After a lifetime of saying it lớn everybody else, and a couple of years of hearing it from other people, I realised I hadn’t really told myself.

And when I did, it wasn’t about telling myself I had chosen the right textiles, a good houseplant, the perfect bathroom wall paint. It was about telling myself I was safe.

It was about putting the sole emphasis no longer on lovely, but on home.