This afternoon, Lynn and I have been to no less than 3 places out of town that stock fabric. Such places represent her spiritual home, so I have to try to stay focused and look interested, reminding myself that she is doing this for me, and is genuinely excited by my order of new armchairs, fabric to have the sofa re-upholstered, and a vague wish to have new cushions for my team to ruin in many different ways. Lynn sews to a very high standard, and can't understand my stupidity in such matters, my inability to 'pin wrong sides together' and still have even a dim notion of what it was I was making, and my ability to go glassy-eyed at talk of facings and piping. We have an agreement: she sews for me and I put things together for her, as she turns into a helpless girlie at the prospect of assembling a lamp or an Ikea chair. This arrangement has worked well for years, and balances out our skills and deficits.
But our mission was not a success. I wanted a deep, rich burnt orange for some of the cushions, preferably in a deliciously-textured fabric. Not an easily-available colour; after turning down many shades of lurid Jaffa/terracotta/cheap brick, and finding one gorgeous velvet in nearly the right shade, I was told that it would have to be ordered, and only as a full roll, not 3 measly metres. At this point, even Lynn conceded defeat - for now.
So off we went to Jesmond Dene House Hotel for a cup of coffee. This is a truly wonderful Victorian + Arts & Crafts building, now a luxurious hotel with delightful staff - and, I should add, with fabulous soft furnishings. Some of us remember when it was a grimly hideous residential school for kids with educational and behavioural difficulties, and every time we pass it, we rejoice that it was rescued from council ownership and nasty blue paintwork.
On re-reading this, I notice that my adjective quota is running far into excess. I must try to recapture the simplicity of Plain English. I did a course in this a few years ago, and for some time it reined in my tendency towards overblown descriptions and very very long sentences....