Put on scent for your Zoom meeting, do some ‘tablescaping’, bejewel the tortoise… It’s time to bring a little glamour to life at home, says Eva Wiseman
I knew I was in deep when I found myself shopping on eBay for a tasselled velvet robe. Admittedly, my descent into Covid glamour has been slow, with makeup the last thing to arrive, just after soap. I started lockdown nine months pregnant in secondhand leggings – today I am writing in satin amid the smog of two scented candles. I tend towards glamour that is slightly lurid and vaguely obscene. A smoky eye that, rather than seduction and mystery, suggests burning buildings and a sense of inner chaos.
I think often these days of the decadent aristocrat in Joris-Karl Huysmans’s novel Against Nature, who buys a tortoise because he thinks a moving object will bring out the colours of his new carpet and defy the greyness of the world. Unfortunately, the browns are still too brown, so he covers the tortoise in gold. Which, can I just say, would have been enough for me, but alas Huysmans’s hero Des Esseintes is still not satisfied. He encrusts the tortoise’s shell with jewels, and finally its crawl across his carpet brings the creeping glamour intended. Except, the weight of the stones crushes the poor thing. Luckily, this being a book, a reader may close it before the metaphor kicks in, and be inspired instead by this sweet domestic fantasy. There is no need to ever go out when your carpet is home to a disco tortoise, its carapace glinting beneath the light of the telly. Along with the thrill of dipping a KitKat Chunky in tea for just a second too long, I’m finding glamour a satisfying way to manage existential dread.
Anchored to a sofa by both the threat of the outside world and a breastfeeding baby, I spend week-long hours now, gazing up at the problem of my home. It, too, has started to yearn for…
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