My life was so simple before I discovered the wonderful world of lifestyle, food and fashion blogs. I was happy with my scruffy clothes and shabby house.
But now these bloggers dangle an impossible fantasy in front of my face, and I am completely beguiled. So here’s a brief imagining of the collision between fantasy and reality that now taints my life…
Fantasy: Awakened by sunlight streaming through billowing white curtains, illuminating my tastefully-decorated boudoir, resplendent with chic 40s-style dressing table and elegant wall decals (Cox & Cox, £73). My sexy, talented boyfriend has already got up to make me breakfast in bed, served in this chic crockery set (only £89 from Habitat – and that’s just the butter dish!)
Reality: Lurched into wakefulness by the mad woman next door screaming obscenities into the Hackney dawn. Boyfriend rolls over and farts. Bedroom (colourscheme – rental beige, with smudges of dead moth) festooned with saggy boy pants, laddered tights, cheap jewellery, abandoned craft projects and piles of junk.
Fantasy: I carefully select my outfit for the day – perfectly co-ordinating my designer silk underwear with a floaty dress and killer heels, c0mpleting the look with a few tasteful designer accessories (this Tatty Devine headpiece is so now, don’t you think? And only £62.75!)
Reality: What’s clean? Anything clean? OK – what’s least dirty? I can’t cycle in that skirt, it’ll have to be trousers. Did you actually wash my jeans or not? Why are there never any matching socks, godammit?! I scrape the worst of the mud/toothpaste/oh God what’s that? off my £10 ASDA tunic and cycling leggings, teaming them with stinky trainers and kirby grips. Don’t even ask about the underwear. If it’s all black, it’s matching, right?
Fantasy: I head to my friendly local bakery, where I sip a latte and nibble on an extravagantly-iced cupcake while surfing the web, looking for items to showcase on my lifestyle blog, Household Whores. Look at these shoes! (£97) And this bangle! (£207) And all these lovely shiny things! (£££££s) How did I live before the existence of designer egg-cups, door mats and teatowels? I bust out my credit card and make a few judicious purchases of key statement pieces that will carry me happily into next season and beyond.
Moving on to munch on a tasty brownie, I browse a couple of interior design blogs, noting the latest trends – white, wood, chocolate brown… This vase (£813) will look perfect in my tastefully-decorated, minimalist living room. Tres chic, non? I can almost picture it on the driftwood coffee table, nestling next to the chi-chi objets d’art and black and white photography books.
Feeling inspired, I head back home to laze on the chaise longue (and just how lovely are these scatter cushions – just £43 each from Graham & Green) and drink tea (£9.20 for 100g, but worth every penny!) while I do a bit of light blogging.
Reality: Have we got any coffee left? I asked you to buy some. Ah, never mind. I’ll have some of that dodgy Greek herbal tea that my friend brought back from Kos last year. Was that a mouse? Must buy some more traps. Who’s that bloke asleep on the sofa? No, I thought he was _your_ friend…
Shuffling aside a pile of pizza boxes, I slump on the badly-stuffed sofa, flicking through a copy of Heat magazine. There’s that funny smell again. It might be the bins, or it might be something to do with the mad lady next door.
The air is thick with the odour of stale cigarette smoke and male feet. On the wall hangs the Brighton Photography Calendar from 2008. The month showing is March. It’s now September.
Feeling completely uninspired, I loaf around on Twitter for a bit, then go and eat a bowl of cereal standing up in the kitchen, ignoring the week’s worth of festering washing-up in the sink. I buy some overpriced shoes and ill-fitting clothes from ASOS on my weary credit card. Who needs to eat, anyway? There’s that bloody mouse again…
Fantasy: Cocktail time! I head to my well-stocked drinks cabinet and select the ingredients for a perfect Cosmopolitan. Sexy, talented boyfriend and I relax on our balcony and watch the sun set over a perfect urban landscape, nibbling on chorizo and olives from the fabulous local deli. I shoot a few photos of the sunset skyline, which get snapped up by the local magazine.
Reality: Is there anything drinkable you can actually make with brandy and lemon squash? Let’s give it a go… Hmm. Actually, let’s just drink the brandy neat. Or there’s that peculiar purple stuff that Emily brought back from France. You go first… and hand over those Pringles…
Fantasy: We head off to a new supperclub in Dalston, promising pigeon breast on a bed of organic samphire, followed by free-range beef tournedos with locally grown veg, and oloroso sherry and mascarpone trifle for dessert. So retro! So chic!
The clientele are all super-stylish food bloggers, and everyone compliments me on my delightful charm necklace (£53 from a seller on Etsy that nobody knows about yet). I am so busy taking pictures of my dinner that I forget to actually eat anything.
Reality: Pizza again? Four cheeses with extra anchovies for me please. You phone them. No, it’s your turn – I phoned them last time. Go on then, let’s have another glass of that purple stuff…