Thursday, June 6, 2013

Pretense

Photo courtesy Flickr

I am told that in French, the word “prestige” connotes hollow presumption. I have no French, but the skate term “poser” is dear to my heart.

It was my privilege to know a genuine princess when I was a child. Miss W. had fled Central Europe during World War Two, and as far as my recollections from age eight can see, every bone in her body was gentle and genuine.

When I was a young and ambitious householder, I read the many glossy shelter books marketed to the general public. English designer David Hicks put out a series of titles that reflect his decent, privileged sensibilities. His book on flower arranging includes the suggestion to arrange stems in the hand as they are cut and simply place them in a jam jar. The book on bathrooms recommends using only white fixtures, a guaranteed way to protect oneself from the shifting winds of fashion. Incidentally, Hicks includes an off-the-grid bath scheme in a stately home. 

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