The Contemporary Domestic Deity

I wasn’t telling the whole truth when I said earlier that I had no real creative output to speak of. In a way, the hellraising career of a liberal young woman swallowed up in the vastness of London has gone through a sort of hiatus for me: Little over two years ago, I found out I was 18 weeks pregnant, at the tender age of 23.

My indisputable masterpiece is a beautiful, bouncing 21-month-old boy. I guess it was so much fun making him that I find it difficult to take credit for the final product!

I certainly have a sizeable amount to share on the topic of postmodern motherhood, but for now I will touch upon the subject of the nesting instinct. 

Now, my poor mother spent the two previous decades trying to straighten me out, using every artifice known to woman to encourage me to become a more organised, houseproud, neat and tidy girl. What started off as innate messiness for me as a child became outright chaotic teenage rebellion in the charming-if-repellent guise of funghi farming in two-week old cups of coffee. One-night-stands probably felt their sense of achievement dwindle distinctly when confronted with the challenge of trying to tiptoe their way onto my bed through mountains of books and dirty clothes. My handbag was a microcosm within a parallel dimension tenuously linked to this planet through the Bermuda Triangle; I could hear my mobile phone ringing from in there and yet I could never find the bloody thing; occasionally, if I was lucky, something convenient would be expelled from there through a wormhole in time and space.

So imagine my surprise when, hardly a month after discovering I was sprouting another human being from my insides, I began to feel a strange stirring within me; and no, it wasn’t the baby kicking.  It dawned on me when I found myself in a semi-catatonic state, standing in my local newsagent, staring longingly into an edition of Country & Home – I was in the thrall of the whimsical-sounding nesting instinct.

The accidental nature of my pregnancy meant that I had not been exposed to the world of childrearing jargon; I had only begun to flick through Mother and Baby magazine in an attempt to catch up with my body. The whole nesting thing sounded like a straghtforward old wives’ tale, after all, I was a rational human being, in control of my decisions. The idea of suddenly experiencing a personality transplant on account of a vague instinct seemed absolutely ludicrous. Until this moment I had never managed to keep a single plant watered for as long as I had lived.

And yet somehow it was true.  Pregnancy definitely brought out the animal in me… I suddenly became an eager apprentice in the art of Domestic Goddesshood. Inspired by Nigella and Rachel de Thame I began to dedicate myself to baking incredible cakes and planting breathtaking herbacious borders. I spent countless Friday nights waddling around Ikea trying to balance my swelling womb while inspecting the ailes for the accessories that would make my South London pad resemble a Good Housekeeping article. I felt feral yet tamer than ever before, concentrating all my energy into creating a comfortable and pleasing environment in which to bring my offspring into the world, while simultaneously being prepared to rip the head off any fucker who dared to threaten the sacredness of my budding family. And thus I became a Professional Housegirlfriend.

I will leave the intricacies of balancing this illustrious occupation with my penchant for down-and-out Rock’n’Roll for another time.  For now this post will serve to explain a little bit more about myself. And I will also put up some of my favourite recipes!

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