So lucky to have my friend Betty, guest blogging for me today!
This morning, when I should clearly have been doing something more productive, I was absent-mindedly browsing Pinterest, looking for pretty things.
I love Pinterest for this. It’s like an eternal, rolling lifestyle magazine, with none of the irritating text to obstruct your enjoyment. When I’m reading it, I become Julie Andrews in my head, wafting through great meadows of loveliness at the beginning of The Sound of Music, occasionally pausing to smile benevolently at some precious sight (a.k.a. pressing ‘like’).
Before long, I had clicked through a link to a recipe to make your own body butter, and thought, Ooooh. And then I took a brief look at a cute pixie hat for my little boy, and before I knew it I had dropped a fiver on the pattern.
And then I thought: what the hell are you doing?
Because, although I can knit, I am not a knitter. Yes, I have a knitting basket, but it’s basically a graveyard of unfinished projects, each one cruelly abandoned once I got bored. Currently, it contains three-quarters of a blue alpaca scarf, one solitary Fair Isle mitten and a baby jumper which is finished, but for the fact that I can’t be bothered to sew on the sleeves. (Actually, I started the jumper for a child who is now nearly two, but let’s not go there).
But now I’m starting a hat because Pinterest told me to. I have no time, but I am genuinely considering knitting a hat that I know I will not finish.
To the best of my knowledge, Pinterest is not yet sentient, so it’s not really to blame. But I do blame the inhabitants of Pinterest, just slightly.
Because Pinterest is the best of the web, but it’s also the worst. It’s a magnet for that particular breed of blogger whose sole aim is to bless the world with scenes from their utterly perfect life. You know the kind: angelic kids, whimsical interiors, healthy suppers and cod-philosophy that makes you think that they’re swallowing down a whole lot of things that they really want to say.
The problem with the internet is that it is not The Truth. It is a collection of thoughts from people who are trying to present themselves in a certain way. And I can’t speak for others, but I fall for it every time.
I flick through Pinterest and think, I really ought to be making my own bathroom-cleaner from baking soda and moss.
Maybe I should be hand-crafting Christmas decorations so that they can be family heirlooms.
I should be keeping little memory jars on the mantelpiece, so that we can empty them at New Year and talk about what a wonderful family we are.
And then, thankfully, I close my laptop with a shudder, and wonder how long it will take those women, with their perfect manicures and ideal homes, to realise that a perfect life isn’t the same as a good life.
And I gaze out of my window, wondering whether anyone would repin a picture of the rampant bind-weed that’s strangling my garden.
Probably not, on balance.