My mom hated flowers. No, that’s not right. She was quite fond of them, when she could grow them in her allotment garden. But she didn’t like them in interior decoration, or as decoration on things. She favoured those oversized, psycedelic patterns in green, brown and white that was the hallmark of the seventies – when I was a kid. I remember her huffing in dismay over my choice in wallpaper when I was twelve; a delicate pattern of violets on a white background with lace outlines. Neither was I hurt by it, nor could I understand what she found so ”ugly”. It was just clear that our taste was radically different.
Growing up in the seventies was growing up with bold and blotchy patterns, dark colours with the theme avocado green, brown and orange. You ate on clunky plastic plates and drank out of plastic cups in bright colours. Sometimes when I look back I just see dark coloured walls in silent rooms (despite the fact that our home always had light grey walls in different patterns). I think that created a void inside me – a void that craves roses, delicate china, violets, chairs with carvings, sweet peas, chrystal chandeliers and everything ornate.
As a grown-up I regard myself as a staunchly practical person. I won’t buy any frippery, instead I opt for things that can be heated in a micro, cleaned in a dishwasher or boiled. The desk in my study is covered with plastic cloth, so I can whipe it off when I absentmindedly put down a halfeaten chickenleg on the table (writing does this to you). Nothing enters without having a practical purpose.
Yet, when I look around I see ornaments and flowers. Everywhere. I keep my archives and artist materials in an old aumbry with carvings on the side and angels holding the handles. The plastic cloth is covered with tiny bouquets and the (washable) wallpapers are printed with ribbons and flowers. And the fun thing is I didn’t think of this untill I bought another flowery mug to drink my writing cocoa from. It’s as if my inner ten-year-old have ran amoch, waving my wallet at everything pretty in her way, ammassing tin jars, fabric and boxes.
You know what? I won’t stop her – and I have no regrets!