There I was, crabbing at low tide like an idiot, at Blakeney Point in Norfolk, feeling like a bit of a townie. We had caught nothing and Kitty was glaring at me like it was specifically my fault. Particularly as the family next to us was yanking crab after crab out of the water like… like… I don’t know… fishermen. And the mum had on this brilliant small-repeat red gingham dress on while I was wearing something awful and my left flip flop kept blowing its toe post.
Then the mum swanned up to me in her swishy dress and said she read my blog and I thought: at last I can find out where that dress is from. “Randomly, Cabbages and Roses,” said Victoria, of the dress. “Ooh that’s so random,” I said. “Yeah I know. Really random. And weirdly expensive. I look like a picnic.” Oh, that’s the whole point, I said. Picnic chic.
But she didn’t look like a picnic from three feet away – that’s the beauty of a small-repeat pattern – it was just a very nice coral colour. She was also eating a doughnut and her hair looked on-purpose and I was pretty envious about the whole set-up to be honest.
Then Victoria discovered the thing about me that you will only know if you approach me in public, which is that I will never stop talking to you, possibly ask if you’re free for a coffee and you will be scared and think “What’s wrong with this woman?”.
At one point she said “It’s okay, you can go back to your family now.” Then when I wouldn’t leave, she lent us one of her clever crabbing basket things – this explains their amazing haul – and then I dropped our net into the sea and her husband, (a farmer of such immense wealth that his wife can merrily buy expensive random dresses), had to rescue it for me and my humiliation was complete.
In Norfolk, we stayed in this amazing house on Brancaster Beach, which I found through a friend. It has historically been available on one of those renting sites but is no longer there (did the Corens put them off the experience forever?) but I had my first proper experience of Norfolk and thought it was delightful.
The house in particular with its white carpets and gallery walls and pops of neon made me want to go home and throw everything away and start again. Or at least chip in my house in Gloucestershire for a seaside whatsit in Norfolk. Giles will not allow this but surely I can daydream? And if I had my seaside whatsit in Norfolk perhaps with all my daydream money I would do it up exclusively in Cabbages and Roses wallpaper and prints while wearing a small-repeat swishy gingham dress and eating a doughnut.
No but seriously Cabbages and Roses do a very clever thing where they have sets of floral and stripe patterns in wallpaper and fabric in tonal colours so in theory if you were doing up a house or a room all in one go, you could paint the walls like a pale blueish and then do curtains in a stripe and the cushions in a tonal floral thing. Or even very dark walls and on of their more masculine florals (they exist). You just check the colour you want on the left hand side and then it presents you with a whole load of options and you don’t have to worry about what colour goes with what.
Isn’t that clever? Or have I just got Smart House Rental Head. At the very least I will be buying the same room diffuser as that Norfolk House (True Grace Rosemary and Eucalyptus if you’re interested).
Now if you’ll excuse me, I need a doughnut – but alas it might have to be a daydream doughnut as in Norfolk I ate pizza and baguette for a week and now I’m fat.