I suppose this entry should be about the interior world reading opens up... but really it's about how the latest copy of World of Interiors dropped onto my doormat last week, and I haven't managed to do more than flick through it yet. It gleams at me from my bedside table, insistent, inviting. In an ideal world, I'd sit immersed in it with a cup of tea and a pile of gingernuts, or a Kitkat straight from the fridge, beside me; on second thoughts, since this is an ideal world, perhaps a glass of champagne and a box of Rococo geranium creams.
It's the only magazine I subscribe to. For years I pretended I read Prospect, but after the boys appeared I couldn't keep it up any longer. Intelligent Life caugh my eye in the Gatwick W.H. Smith and I took a subscription as a present for my husband's stocking (I know, generous), but as a regular read I found it pretentious and smug. Nothing to do with the fact that they weren't interested in my article about the Museo Regionale de Oaxaca for their series on wonderful, little-known museums. Not intelligent enough, clearly. It still rankles.
But back to Interiors. Principally I use it for what I like to think of as 'practical' purposes: planning our dream house. Pictures of tiles or light fittings or fabrics are cut out and fanatically filed away. By the time we actually have a house - I estimate sometime around 2027 - we'll need acres of floor space and 7 bedrooms if I'm to put all my ideas into practise.
This is fantasy, of course, but it's not quite as hallucinogenic as the fantasy lives, or even just moments, one can inhabit in the pages of Interiors: life as a solitary poet, living in a cube of whitewashed wood and glass on a Brazilian cliff; entertaining sn old lover - or an old enemy - to a feast of dry martinis and caviar in an aubergine-lacquered drawing room. Actually the idea of an enemy sounded more glamorous in my head than it seems, really thinking about it. I wouldn't want to waste that sort of decadence on someone I didn't love.
I have several fantasy careers on the boil at the moment, all vaguely similar in that they're visual, rather than wordy, and fed by my Interiors obsession. I imagine myself a florist, an architect, a decorator. My interest in these alternative lives rises and falls as my faith in my writing, and my ability to make a living from it, waxes and wanes. At the moment seven years to train as an architect seems no time at all.