I’m not sure how, why and when it’s happened (cough – Pinterest – cough), but I’ve suddenly become obsessed with interior design. I wouldn’t even say ‘obsessed’ is too strong a word. Mr T is finding it all very taxing, especially as the poor man is very logical, and can’t see why I, and everyone else, wouldn’t be happy simply to have four solid walls around us. Sigh.
Looking back, I think it might have started when I first got sick earlier this month. I wasn’t sleeping very well, so, I did what Momma P does, and mentally redecorated. When I finally fell asleep, and then awoke in the mornings, I would look around at our (lovely) flat and feel a little bit dissatisfied. It’s a very dangerous falling asleep tactic. Now our flat is rented, which means we are limited by what we can do (who am I kidding with this ‘we’ business?), but there were still a few changes that I (better?) could make.
I’m on a budget. A poorly managed budget, but a budget nevertheless, so while I fantasised about John Lewis towels (no, really, I did), I actually ended up at Matalan and Wilko. Wilko, for the uninitiated, used to be Wilkinsons, and I only found it when I moved to university in Newcastle. Once you banish your inner snob, it’s fabulous. It does everything – cookware, bedding, furniture, toiletries, DIY stuff, stationery – good quality (for the most part) stuff, but at lower prices than even your local giant supermarket.
And so began the towel saga. I think Mr T still has nightmares. Let me set the scene. We have a minute ensuite that’s tiled in white, with a patterned black line running about waist height. There fixtures and fittings are chrome and white, and, for some unknown and frankly baffling reason, it’s carpeted in sort of honey cream. Wouldn’t you think either black or white towels would fit the bill here? Absolutely. And fortunately, I already had white towels. Sorry, did I say fortunately? Hmmmm.
My problem is I’m a sucker for a great marketing campaign, and The White Company’s strategy is genius – all those gorgeous blonde models prancing around in silver and white cashmere in their pristine white homes with pristine big soft fluffy white towels. Oh how they tricked me! For white towels do not stay white long. Especially if you wrap your hair in one after showering, and then proceed to use it as a handy place to wipe off excess makeup…
So, white towels are OUT! I had some soft brown ones, but pah! Those towels no longer fitted into my sleep-deprived interior design scheme. And as for Mr T’s towels; suffice to say thin smelly blue ones had no place at all.
As you already know, research is a thing of beauty in my mind, so I grabbed my laptop and began searching for black (and possible graphite) towels. I narrowed my search to Matalan and Wilko, and here we are, only 200 words or so, back to the story in question.
Dragging a reluctant Mr T behind me, we went into Matalan, bought a set of black and grey towels – two bath sheets and two hand towels each – and left. Mr T couldn’t believe his luck, until I promptly went into Argos to look for a new set of curtains…
We got the towels home, but something wasn’t right. They weren’t fitting into my dream scheme. Were they soft and thick enough? Was the black the right black? And didn’t the grey look a bit greenish? And weren’t the grey ones softer than the black? I decided to nip back to the store on my next day off, and see if there were better towels to be had. And there were! Softer ones! Thicker ones! But at the same price. So I exchanged the old black for the new black, and left a happier person. Until I went next door into Wilko.
Their towels were the same price and they were much softer and thicker. And the black was a truer black. And they had matching face cloths. Gah! What to do? What did I do? – I bought two black and two grey sets, of course! Lugged them home, plonked them on the bed, and then, in the dim light of a winter afternoon, demanded Mr T pick the best. Fool that he was, he picked the grey Matalan ones and the black Wilko ones. Well that couldn’t possibly work as the woven stripes wouldn’t match. I was stymied. There was still something intrinsically wrong about both sets of towels. How could it be this hard? Was I going to have to resort to John Lewis after all, and live off baked beans and stale bread for the rest of the year?
Saviour came in the form of Wilko’s ‘best’ range. Slightly pricier, you could get your hands on soft thick fluffy towels in true black and grey, and they also had matching face cloths. Ever so slightly sheepishly, I returned the whole lot to Matalan, and, blaming Mr T (sorry, love), exchanged the normal Wilko towels for the ‘best’ ones. And what a wonderful decision it was.
I got home, and I just knew I’d made the right choice. I couldn’t wait to hop into a steaming hot bubble bath to hop right on out into the luxury soft arms of my new black towels.
‘Erm,’ said Mr T, in a cautious tone.
‘Yes, darling?’ I replied, as I snuggled up to him post-bath.
‘You look a bit fluffy.’
‘Your face and arms are covered in black fluff.’
I looked down at the unmistakable signs of towel ‘moultage’, which I’d been steadfastly ignoring, and said, ‘They’re worth it.’
He wisely said nothing. Good man.