The Spotlight catalogue arrived yesterday.  I glanced through and there they were, 750 thread count sheets made  by “Koo” at half price.   Now, you will wonder why I am getting excited about the 750 thread count sheets when there are 1000 thread count ones and, heaven forbid, 1500 thread counts!!!   I might mention here that at a community  party before Christmas 1000 thread count sheets were mentioned (sad lives we have) and a neighbour said hers were 1500 thread count.  I must admit I had never even heard of them.  (Obviously my life is even sadder).  Her husband joined the conversation then and commented that they were like sleeping in cardboard.  Enough said.  You can go too far.

As you are still wondering about the 750 thread count excitement, my son, in his forties, is having a wonderful time setting up house on his own with, on and off, three teenage children.  Among other things of course sheets and towels were needed.   He kept me updated on the progress and it was all good.  He had in his mind what he wanted and that was good as well.  All queen sized beds and all white sheets for ease of handling.  No sets getting mixed up. Great idea.

What I do wonder about and what I have to say here is, how come children sleep in queen sized beds these days?  They go from the cot to a queen sized bed.  In my day (I never thought I would be old enough to use that expression but the day has come) we slept in single beds and were happy to have a bed to ourselves.  If, perchance, there was a spare double bed in the house then two kids slept in it, or even three.  A single bed to yourself was luxury.  When I come to think of it though, all the sheets were probably 1000 thread count because they were all thick and heavy and white.  We just didn’t know about 1000 thread count because they were all the same so we didn’t really apreciate them, just took it for granted as we did our youth.  None of your 180 thread count around then.

Our lives are full of wonder and I still remember, years ago, coming across a king sized single bed and wondering about it.  Whoever would want such a thing?  Anyway, they all have been replaced by the queen sized bed so need to wonder no more.  Perhaps that is why we now have MacMansions.  Houses are built to fit the beds. 

Getting back to the sheets, he says he has been buying them gradually and now has enough.  Still, mothers can’t help themselves, you want your children to know and appreciate the small pleasures in life.  Children want it for their parents as well.  It was my daughter who said to me a few years ago “Do yourself a favour Mum and get yourself some 1000 thread count sheets”.  She educated me and I loved them.  See, didn’t appreciate them as a child.  Children and most men don’t turn their attention to these small pleasures as women do unless it is brought to their attention.  I am not being sexist here but women tend to like pretty things, beautiful fabrics which are a pleasure to touch and so forth.  Men just like pretty women.  It takes a while before they turn their attention to to finer details, if they ever do.

We had friends arrive unexpectedly one night and while the wife and I were making the bed I just happened to say “That sheet is on the wrong side”, so we turned it over and continued on.  The husband was watching this and said “What do you mean, wrong side?  They’re just sheets.”  We explained that the right side is smoother than the wrong side and therefore more pleasant against the skin.  He was astounded.  How do we know?  We were taught.  Boys were not taught these things and wouldn’t have listened in any case but small, everyday pleasures can be appreciated as we go about living, giving a layer of untold richness to hectic lives, a layer that makes us aware of the moment, a pleasurable moment.

Kevin McLeod has put out a little book which lists the things that make a home.  He should know.  He has been in hundreds of houses but the things that make a home, the things that give you pleasure each time you use them are the simple, tactile things that you appreciate all the time without really being aware of it.  The book is only small but it is obvious that the house doesn’t have to be a mansion or the things madly expensive, just have a lovely feel and give you pleasure every time you touch them, use them, everyday things:  your bed, taps, door handles, crockery, cutlery.

I am coming to the point.  The trouble is I am a Libran and Librans can be - are - verbose.

I have probably missed my vocation.  Should have been a politician.  Probably all the politicians we know are Librans.  When asked a question they go into wordy obfuscation when a simple “yes” or “no” would have sufficed.  You can’t blame Librans,  it is in their stars.

My partner and I ran a tea and damper business  in a resort at Mataranka in the Northern Territory and people used to ask for the recipe so I wrote out the recipe and instructions, copied it and sold it to all and sundry for $2.00.  (Had to value add you know).   The recipe is simple.  You only need SR flour, salt and water to make a good damper.  If no SR flour then use baking powder or cream of tartar and carb soda then you can add whatever things you want, chees etc., throw it in a camp oven on the fire and Bob’s your Uncle.  See, here I go.  Can’t help myself.  The simple recipe turned into an A4 page of instructions.  The bemused buyers would look at it, their eyes glaze over, thinking “I’m never going to make that!”   At one stage I had the bright idea of burning round the edge of the paper with a candle and making it look as if it should go with a camp oven.  I was very proud of that idea (that was about the extent of my artistic streak).  One girl with the bemused look asked could she have one that wasn’t burnt.  I was quite put out.  Disn’t she appreciate art when she saw it?

The sheets.  I was lying in bed thinking “Will I buy him a set?”  This catalogue only had 750 thread count but that might be enough to educate him and let him appreciate the lovely feel of them.  “Am I interfering? He is doing a wonderful job and is enjoying it so much.”  I wanted to tell him “Use these on your own bed, don’t give them to the kids to use.”  This sounds awful but the adage “Youth is wasted on the young” is so true.  I used to think that it meant that they didn’t appreciate their energy, their zest for life, their beautiful skin but I realise now that it is more than that.  The pleasure of the moment we are in, the knowing of the energy, the beauty of a lovely sleep, the zest, the excitement of life.  They don’t know, they can’t know, they take it for granted as we did ourselves.  Why should they know, they are young.  It is all there.  My Dad always said “You don’t miss the water till the well runs dry” and that’s the way it is.  As you get older those things are replaced by this knowledge, this appreciation of what we have left before the well runs dry.  The kids could sleep on satin sheets or a barbed wire fence and would barely know the difference.  I bought my children the best I could afford and my daughter still has a couple of sheets (single) that they used and her children used.  Good sheets last forever.

When I was a small child I had a cubby in the back yard of the house where I lived with my grandmother.  We were poor like everyone else during the war but someone built me a small cubby.  When I think of it, I was very privileged and would have been the only child in town with a cubby.  I could stand up in it and I have a feeling it had two rooms.  Not being into dolls and such (horses were all I dreamed about) I still played in it occasionally and had tea parties with my dog, a black cocker spaniel named Shultz.  (it was during the war and someone obviously had a sense of humour.  I had never thought about that before either).  What brought me to this was that when we were building our house about 16 years ago we lived in a shed for the first six years and I always had a notion in the back of my mind that what I was doing, and enjoying, was making a cubby.  When you have to fit everything you have into a double garage and live reasonably well you have to be innovative.  I was and I loved it.  You make a nest in a small spaceA cubby.  The house is not big and I have probably made it a bigger cubby than the shed but it is done.  I don’t want to intrude on his cubby, just appreciate it and what he has done when I visit.  Cubbies are personal.  Forget the sheets.