There are some things in life that one can save up for safe in the knowledge that they are perhaps a design classic (come back tomorrow for one of those) or just a designer piece that you will love for ever (hello Prada handbag) and there are some things that, even if you won the lottery, you would have a hard time justifying to yourself.
I have written on these pages before about my love of Fornasetti and his whimsical designs. I adore his wallpaper but that is probably as close as I shall ever come to owning any of his work. Well that and a scented candle, which I was given three years ago and which remains the only scented candle I have ever lit in my house (despite having, at the last count, 19 of them in the cupboard in the downstairs loo).
Last year I was invited to Paris with Amara to visit the exhibition of his work and I came away even more of a fan. There must be something I can buy I thought, as we rattled home on the Eurostar. I mean I know the chairs are expensive but there must be something… By this stage the rosé was flowing with abandon and I was pondering umbrella stands.
I’ve never owned an umbrella stand. To be honest I’ve never really owned an umbrella for more than about 20 minutes. These days it’s a choice between leave the umbrella at home so I won’t leave it in a shop and thus get wet, or stay dry on the way to the shop, inevitably leave it there when it’s stopped raining and never see it again.
By this stage we were in the tunnel so there was no signal. At least I assume there is no signal. I was drinking wine. I may have been too sloshed to press the right button. Anyway, when we emerged on the other side, I looked up the Fornasetti umbrella stand.
The cheapest one is £725.
Now I don’t know about you, but if I had the best part of a thousand pounds to spend in an utterly guilt-free, buy what you want, it’s completely fine, no questions asked, anything goes kind of purchase, it probably wouldn’t be on an umbrella stand. I mean I say probably. It’s 2016, stranger things have happened this year.
Then, the other day the husband came home in the rain. Now he’s good at umbrellas, he has lots. Well he does until I borrow them. “We need an umbrella stand,” he said. Proving once again that after nearly 22 years together, he still has the capacity to surprise me.
I showed him the Fornasetti stands. He was actually speechless. Which was the second time he surprised me in as many minutes.
And then I found this. And, while it’s clearly inspired by, it’s not a copy or a fake. And it’s £39. Reader I have added to bag.
Now I just need to buy an umbrella to put in it.