Friday, April 9, 2010

You Know You're Getting Old When ...

... you forgo a copy of OK! magazine in the hospital waiting room for The English Home instead.  Yes, that's right, people - combined with my self-imposed bedtime of 9:30 p.m. (sometimes 10:00 p.m., if you're lucky), I think my real age is actually 72 instead of my to-be 27. 

I was waiting for an appointment with a consultant surgeon in the ENT department of the Royal Surrey County Hospital today (erm, don't really know why exactly I linked to that, it's just a nice little NHS hospital in Guildford down south that has knick-knack sales run by grandmas that I also somehow gravitate towards when I go) this morning when I needed some reading material, having finished Steinbeck's amazing Travels With Charley on the train.  On the table opposite, I spied an OK! magazine with some Z-list wedding featured on the cover.  I was about to get up and fetch it when something caught my eye to my left.  It was a copy of The English Home and I found myself saying (in my head, not outloud), 'Oooh, isn't that nice!' in reaction to the soft neutral tones and the fresh flowers featured in the interior pictured on the cover.  But as I flipped through the pages, I had to laugh: The English Home must represent the pinnacle of snobbery in Britain.  In fact, I felt as though the magazine itself was cringing at the thought of me defiling its glossy pages with my uncouth, American fingers.  But then it seemed to have a change of heart and thought it could teach me a thing or two about designer interior designers and Natural Hatley patterned canvas shopping bags (at £32 each) that should hang just so on the pegs of an entry way coat hanger.

I was most baffled by the salad/storage bowl in one featured kitchen labelled "cos lettuce" (I wish I could link to it but I can't seem to find it - I have a sneaking suspicion it's from John Lewis, though).  Omg, what would happen if you put any other type of lettuce in there - including (deep breath) ... ICEBERG lettuce???  Oh no, iceberg lettuce would never exist in the English Home.  Instead, kitchen ceramic tiles selling for £69.95 per square meter and Hunter wellies lined up just so outside a whitewashed door thrive in such environments.

The funniest advertisement came at the end of the magazine and caused me to choke on my own saliva (I'm old, remember?  If you're not choking on your own saliva by the age of 72 then consider yourself fit and healthy):  Have you heard of anything more ridiculous?  You can add some flair to your interiors with these individually sold letters and numbers (and other decorations) starting at £7.50 each.  And most importantly, it's posh, people.  You're not stooping to any kitsch level by buying these overpriced designs because they're defined as posh and therefore, are.

The second funniest thing I came across was an advertisement for AGA cooker cleaning services, which boasted the motto, "Take the palaver out of cleaning your AGA!" (and with an English accent, "palaver" sounds like "palava" which rhymes with ... you get it).  AGAs are cookers that are similar to ovens (see the Wiki link above for further explanation) but popular in medium to large country houses such as the ones featured in The English Home (John's dad has one, for example, in Peatling Magna).  Because of this, they are also, to me, a clear indicator of class and the ad was just fitting for the Le Creuset collecting (holla back, I'm guilty of this, albeit bits and pieces collected from T.K. Maxx) readership of the magazine.

Fascinated by the pages of this elite publication, I was reluctant to put it down when called in for my appointment and couldn't get it out of my head for the rest of the day.  AGA palaver, indeed!  *Cough, cough, splutter, splutter*

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