I’ve always had a bit of a thing for flamingoes. Unexpected. Because, on the whole, birds worry me. There’s no way of telling what they’re thinking. And a pigeon crapped on my head when I was ten. I’d be a fool to trust so easily after that.
There’s something kind of enchanting about them.
Maybe it’s that one-legged standing thing they do. Nobody’s really sure why they do this. Some scientists think that half of their body might go into a deep sleep. Personally, I like to think it’s birdy yoga. But, I have to stress, I’m not an expert.
They’re sociable characters, hanging out in big groups. You’d never catch a crow doing that. At least not without hassling the other crows and generally being an arsehole.
And, of course, flamingoes are pink.
Terribly good of them to fit in with the colour scheme in my flat, and indeed my life.
I’ve been in my flat for a year now. So, I did an animal stock take the other day. A bit like Noah’s pre-flood check, although I’d never be as OCD as Noah was about numbers. I’m all about inclusion, the more the merrier (note to spiders: this does not include you).
Well, it turns out there’s quite a few flamingoes who call my flat home. There’s my flamingo cocktail glasses (thank you, Sweden). My ornamental flamingo who pretty much just hangs out by the window (thank you, Paperchase). A very attractive cup (thank you, Sarah). A cushion (thank you, John Lewis). I’m not including clothes or we’d be here all day (flamingo trainers, dress, shorts, pants, socks…). Amazing, really, how many flamingoes are living under your roof when you stop and count them.
The thing is, I might be adding a whole lot more.
I’m on the precipice of a major decision.
A decision about wallpaper.
Years ago I lived in a big, ugly, modern development in South London. To get to my flat I had to walk through a maze of hideous buildings, and used to like having a good nosey in the windows of all the groundfloor flats. Most of them were Ikead up to the ceilings. But there was one wonderfully kitsch little studio with the most magical wallpaper. Pink and white flamingoes on an earthy grey background. The first time I set eyes on it I promised myself that, when I got my own flat, I too would get that wallpaper. You can see why, yes? Just look at it.
So I tracked the wallpaper down. Problem. The whole grey thing is just not going to work for me. No problem. They now make the wallpaper in other colours (clearly it’s a popular choice), including a straight-up, bubblegum pink.
I ordered a sample. I waited with such fizzy anticipation. And it arrived.
I never thought I’d say this, but, I’m afraid it’s too pink. What on earth am I supposed to do now?