Katy Guest: Rant & Rave (25/03/12)


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The Independent Online


News that the average home contains £3,540-worth of unused, pointless stuff will not surprise anyone who has visited the Ideal Home Show in London this month. I was there for hours, and even I couldn't find any tat worth buying – but somebody must be.

Among the DIY and greener-living demonstrations, stalls with actual stuff on them seem to be divided between twee soft furnishings and ridiculously over-engineered technical solutions to problems that don't really exist. So, in one area you can buy a cushion made into the word "LOVE", or bookends spelling "H.O.M.E" (apparently it is not enough for our decor to say something about who we are any more unless it literally spells it out); and in another you can pay £15 for a battery-operated custard stirrer. I hate it when people divide neatly along gender lines, but all over Earl's Court men were dragging wives off those rustic, heart-shaped metal candle holders and pulling them towards ugly showers that double as baths, steam rooms, foot spas, discos and space rockets, and that cost about a million quid and then never seem to work. Unfortunately I do not divide along gender lines and am more excited that there's a sale on at Wickes, so it was a good job that I found the champagne tent and the roasted pig-in-a-bap stand before my head exploded all over the Wellbeing section. There were two purchases that didn't cause domestic warfare, and which will definitely not be left lying around my average home gathering dust.


Clocks-going-forward day is a mixed blessing for me, because it marks the end of all my excuses for putting things off. As of today I finally can start cycling to work – because I can then cycle home again before nightfall. I can Get Things Done in the evenings instead of watching repeats of Grand Designs, in which other people Get Things Done that I have seen them do at least twice before. I can even start eating fresh salads instead of the vat of chilli con carne, frozen in individual portions, that seems to have lasted all winter. Just because I can do these things doesn't mean that I will, of course.