I’ve been away in London showing off our wares at a trade show. When I get back from the big city, my son, Breon, hurls himself in my arms.
“Thank God you’re home.” Eh? When we left four days earlier, he had assured us that he would cope. “I’m almost 18! Go, I’ll be fine. I need the peace and quiet.”
So hubby and I went to the trade show confident of the wellbeing of Breon, the house and its contents.
Being the good mother I am, I called home at least three times a day and he seemed perfectly OK. So what dreadful secret had he been keeping from me, what hidden terror had he endured?
“I was so bored. The dog was bored, the cats were bored. We were bored.”
I’m confused. The last I knew, the husband and myself were, and I quote: “Middle-aged, bourgeois, olive-eating, wine-guzzling, Archers-listening, sweater wearers”. Surely our absence would have made his life less boring, not more so?
Maybe my habit of finishing work by 5.40pm each evening to catch the last 20 minutes of Pointless is the daily highlight of his life after all? And the husband’s varied and charming knitted jumpers may have added more pizzazz to Breon’s day than we realised.
After more probing, I discover that he, “quite likes talking to us”. Even if it is to wind me up with his new ideas for an anarchistic Cornish state.
It also turns out that he had not turned the heating on all the time we were away, scared that he’d burn the house down. I think he took our health and safety Powerpoint presentation too much to heart. Still. As long as he bends his knees when he lifts heavy objects, our time wasn’t wasted.
Weren’t you cold, I asked?
“It’s all right. I’m tough, I’ve got to get used to it when I leave home.”
I did point out that he was planning to go to Bath University, and not Outer Mongolia.
The animals, too, celebrated our homecoming. Our dog Maggie jumped and down for a quarter of an hour and bought us a selection of favourite toys. Stevie Piglet, the smaller of our kittens, was beside himself, meowing and nuzzling and poddling. He spent the whole night sitting on my head, purring into my ear. So much so I had many vivid dreams of myself in a speedboat driven by TV comedian, David Mitchell. (Why not Daniel Craig? I’ll have to investigate my subconscious but Mr Mitchell is a few years younger than me, so that makes me a dream cougar. Go me!)
In all, I felt oddly flattered to be so yearned for, to have our presence missed. Maybe we are the centre of the universe after all.
We’ve been doing some publicity photos for the business this week, taken by my old friend Mike Newman from Ocean Image. I enjoy these days, as Mike knows everyone who’s anyone in Cornwall and brings me up to date with the local news.
The new colours I’ve introduced to our furnishing palette are called Cornish Earth and Autumn Teal. I’m keen to show how all our fabrics can be used together, as they’ve been selected to complement each other.
Mike’s new photos include one of my favourite themes, Staffordshire pottery. I love the Staffordshire spaniel dogs. They come in various sizes and colours and work well in an eclectic vintage or traditional setting. They are an iconic part of the Victorian parlour and until about 15 years ago were quite costly. Now they cost from £15-£75 online and are becoming very fashionable, too. Keep that to yourself, though.
* Paula Nicholls runs Betty Boyns, an interiors and soft furnishings company, in her home village of Newlyn, West Cornwall. For more details call 08450 219550 or visit www.bettyboyns.co.uk