I've just had my back windows replaced. Not a metaphor.
These tiles had been on my old window ledge for two-and-a-half years, ever since I brought them back from a trip to Norfolk.
I found them in a skip in Burnham Market.
Why did you keep them, Miss Jones?
Wait a minute and I will tell you.
They're not even that nice.
Yes, ALRIGHT. I kept them because I wanted to be the kind of person who finds things in skips and turns them into quirky objets d'art for the home. There are people like that, and I want to be one of them. I think we can conclude, from this evidence, that I am not. HAPPY NOW?
I've learnt now that you can't fake it. Some people have the Sophisticated Skip-Rooter gene, and I am unfortunate enough to know a few of them.
'Oh, that's nice,' I say about some new feature, on visiting their home.
'Oh that?' they say casually. 'I just pulled it out of a skip and cleaned it up and now it is a quirky talking point that demonstrates my mercurial and unique approach to home decorating, and simultaneously what a laid-back, creative kind of a character I am.' I am paraphrasing. They are magpies who think sparkly is kind of common. And I am just jealous.
'From a French fleamarket' and 'on the street, left out with the rubbish' are other places these people find their trash/treasure. Places that I never do. 'Gave it a lick of paint' and 'changed the handles' are things People Like This do to refine their finds.
I am not Like That. I don't find those things in skips. Or on my street. I find KFC boxes and crumpled Red Bull cans and broken pallets and old toilets. I don't find those things in fleamarkets. I find push-button telephones and ugly china. I attempted to scavenge those tiles as an action of desperation. What was I trying to prove? And what exactly did I think I was going to do with three tiles covered in a pattern that was not as nice as I was trying to pretend?
That was my only option. The fact that I could think of no other use for them demonstrates how ill cut out I am for these acts of artistic rehoming. I couldn't even be bothered to scrape off the bumpy crust of dried tile adhesive on the other side which would mean my cup of tea would be resting on something of an incline.
I went off the tiles when I realised they'd probably lined the walls of the gents' toilets in a pub, which was now having a refit.
I am not that person. I am accepting it. I am putting the tiles in the bin. I am moving on.
38. QUEEN ELIZABETH OLYMPIC PARK, LONDON
11 months ago