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September 19, 2020

“What people are craving isn’t perfection. People aren’t longing to be impressed; they’re longing to feel like they’re home. If you create a space full of love and character and creativity and soul, they’ll take off their shoes and curl up with gratitude and rest, no matter how small, no matter how undone, no matter how odd.” I love this quote from American author, Shauna Niequist. This is the house I grew up in, a red brick Victorian in the heart of Chelsea with more character than Joan Plowright. It was very colourful, with a mishmash of art and ceramics and weird and wonderful tchotchke that my Mum had collected at markets, auctions and bazaars all over the world. Our sofa was the colour of Arizona turquoise and our kitchen was the colour of a peach. The house was always full of friends, young and old, who gathered for roast beef on Sundays, or a glass of pinot grigio any night of the week. As our adolescent years set in, the house became that soft place where many lost, drunk and tired teens landed. My Mum stocked the cupboards with Jaffa Cakes and Frosties, and became a sounding board for all our friends. They loved her, and they were a little intimidated by her, which proved a winning combination. She had to steam clean the carpets once a year, and things got broken, but all in all, they were good years. Christmas, Halloween, birthdays galore, our house was that home where you knew you could bring your best friend’s cousin to and she’d just fit in. It had a feel, it had an energy. It was happy. It was grounding. It was my Mum.

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