House envy is a terrible thing. One minute, there you are, loving your comfy pad, the next, you step into another person’s Instagrammable home and can’t quite see your own gaff through the same eyes again.
This usually happens, as it did last night, when I visit someone who lives on the riverfront. I would love to live by water and there was something so magical about standing on her balcony and seeing nothing but greenery, water and the odd boat glide past. It was divine. What’s more, the inside was clean, clutter free and beautifully styled.
When I got in, the stain on my office ceiling bugged me more than usual, as did the cracks lacing across my kitchen wall and the remnants of my son’s nosebleeds that make my hallway carpet look like a crime scene.
There are many reasons why I don’t live by the river. My husband doesn’t want to, it’s expensive plus it would be a lot of hassle to move. There’s also the fact that you can’t drive to some of these delectable islands that sit in the Thames, which makes shopping trips tricky. Given the amount my teenagers eat, I’d probably spend my entire time hefting bags and trolleying foodstuff back and forth across the bridge.
But there is no reason why I can’t improve my own home. It is sadly neglected. I’ve been reading bits of Jen Sincero and Denise Duffield Thomas who say that when it comes to prosperity, you’ve got to act like you are already rich. Nobody with lashings of cash to spare would live in a house like mine.
Don’t get me wrong. I can also see how lucky I am. I live in Greater London where a house like ours costs in excess of £1m and only yesterday, I was reading a blog by a lad who sleeps in a car and eats food from a dumpster. I’ve never had to do that thank God. I would however, like to live in a clean and pleasing environment. I don’t think that is too much to ask.
My first task is the dreaded stain. I am going to tackle this next week. I’ve called the roofer three times now and nobody has shown up. He comes highly recommended, so I am going to up the ante.
Then, I need to think about upgrading my life, in ways that don’t cost the earth, but make me feel a million times richer. I did this when I got my best bowls out of storage and ate Ready Brek from them. I also bought nice fluffy towels that were worth every penny. Next on my list is a paint job. It’s long overdue.
There is no reason why I can’t live in a lovely home. I do adore my house, but it needs some TLC. I’ve decided that this is what I want more than holidays, fancy clothes, jewellery etc. What I care about most is my home environment and I have a feeling that once it is fixed, I’ll feel uplifted and a whole lot more positive about life.