It’s a Gift, I Tell Ya!

They say everyone has a gift or talent. Something they’re just naturally good at. Some people are great at sport, or singing, or playing the piano. Some people can run like the wind. Others can whip up a cake lighter than air or understand things that make the normal person’s brain want to explode. Others can make whoever they’re talking to feel like the most special person on the planet. All of these things make you stand back and go ‘Wow!’

But for some of us, our gifts are less amazing. Less impressive. A different meaning of ‘special’.

For me, it appears to be my ability to remember an interior. Faces and names I’m not so great with. I wouldn’t be able to pick out a criminal in a police line-up. But I could recognise the brickwork that was behind them at the time of the offence.

One of my favourite things for me about Boo modelling is the chance to have a snout around gorgeous location houses. I’ll make mental notes of features that I love, things that I’d like to translate into my own home. (Yeah, right. I’ll have to win the lottery and wait for Husband to die first.) I’ve also learnt to take sneaky pictures behind the scenes too, because I’ve found myself looking at catalogue and rather than looking at the products I’ve been drawn to the sets, thinking ‘Ooh, I’ve been there.’

For example, Graham & Green launched their summer furniture range. Lovely. Their stuff is gorgeous.


But, rather than thinking, ‘Nice furniture,’ I thought, ‘I’ve sat on that deck!’ The charcoal grey walls, the faded decking, it could only be the house where Boo shot for The White Company last summer. As the children pretended it was Christmas indoors…

…we chaperoning mums sat amongst the packaged product on the deck.


It’s a hard life sometimes. What can I say?

The same location also popped up as a backdrop to the Cox and Cox Summer catalogue.

The drop from the slender walkway was somewhat precarious beyond the shrubbery. Naturally it had been Noodles’ favourite spot to toddle along at the time. I recognised it in a heartbeat.

The fence panels had obviously attracted the Cox & Cox stylist…


…just as they had me.


Fair enough. It was a striking house. Set up in the wooded hills of Hartfield, not far from the location of the original Pooh Sticks bridge.

But it hasn’t been the only place. Last week an email from Bold & Nobel popped into my inbox. I opened it hoping it would offer me a suitable present option for Husband’s birthday. Yes, I liked the print…but I was more struck by the fact that I recognised the brickwork. Who recognises bricks?!


But without a shadow of a doubt, it was the same kitchen in a house in south-west London where Boo shot for The Little White Company’s Christmas range. Whilst she prepared for a fake Christmas Eve…


…I admired the kitchen.


Ok, they’ve photoshopped the sink in the place of the range oven, but the pots are the same. The radio is even in the exact same place on the shelf. It was very definitely the same kitchen.

The trouble is, there’s not a lot I can do with my gift. There’s no call for location scouts where I live. It’s just a party trick that’s not very party-friendly. (Because if people are sitting around reading interiors brochures at a party it’s not a place you want to be.)

Boo’s gift, mind you, seems to have greater potential for usefulness. You want someone to pick the best shade of nail varnish that’s also bang on trend? Then she’s your go-to girl. Her finger(nail) is very definitely on the pulse.

I needed a nail varnish to match my new Havaianas.


I’d like to congratulate Husband for his gift-from-Brazil choice…but as 75% of my off-duty wardrobe is navy and 0% is pink or purple, they don’t actually go with anything I own. D’oh. I hoped some varnish for my fingers and toes would help pull things together.

Contemplating the range of Essie shades I thought Bachelorette Bash would be suitable.


Boo had other ideas.

‘I think this one,’ she suggested, holding up Cute as a Button.


As she is cute as a button how could I argue?

‘Ooh, pretty colour,’ the sales cooed.

One affirmation and I hadn’t even left the shop. I got home and painted myself cute.

(OK, not MY hands, but the photo I took of my dry old hands wasn’t especially lovely, even if the nail shade was.)

Whilst letting my nails dry (cautiously, trying not to smudge) I flipped through my new copy of Grazia magazine. And there, on page 92, was my new nail varnish!


I’d never felt so effortlessly on-trend before! And all by taking advice from
A 6-year-old.

Mind you, I might stop at varnish consultation. Boo tends to make some dubious fashion choices when left to dress herself. I swear some days she just falls into her drawers and sees what sticks.

(OK, this was Boo styled for a shoot by Jonathan Malpass, but I think it’s where she takes her inspiration from. Double skirts featured heavily in her own fashion choices after that.)

Colours clash, she pulls her socks up in a way that can only be described as ‘geeky’, yet she seems to be able to pull it off most of the time in a way only few people can. Yesterday she pondered whether it might be OK to wear shorts over her jeggings as she couldn’t decide which to wear. I could neither pull off shorts nor jeggings individually, let alone together.

Still, maybe Boo’s gifts will lead her into a world of fashion styling or creativity. Or maybe she’ll be able to enjoy dressing without stressing and being an individual. If she retains that sense of self I’ll be infinitely proud.

If it’s the former though, can I volunteer as the location scout, so maybe my own gift can be put to use?

Do you have any ‘niche’ inherent abilities? Have you managed to put them to use in your daily life?


14 thoughts on “It’s a Gift, I Tell Ya!”

  1. The only niche ability I think I have is the ability to know my men here well enough to predict exactly what they’re going to say at a moment’s notice. Can’t say I’ve put it to much use other than saving myself the bother of conversations before they happened….

      1. And saves me from alot of waiting when I just want to make decision on major purchase (can’t help it if I find out he would’ve said something different when I get home now, can I?)

  2. I definitely have a talent for retaining useless information while instantly forgetting the important stuff. And I also notice and observe things if no importance, as in people watching in my local community. I can remember car number plates of local cars and faces of people I see around but don’t know. And the talent part is putting it all together and noticing a lot about strangers.

    Actually it sounds a bit stalker like now that I think about it…

    1. What is it with the ability to retain useless information at the cost of more useful stuff? I have it too, especially the loss of anything I ever used in an exam. It’s like ‘I’ve done with that now’ and ‘ppft!’ it’s gone! Which makes we look ridiculously stupid if anyone asks me about anything I’ve studied.
      I’m in awe of your stalker abilities. I struggle to remember my own licence plate, never mind anyone else’s!

  3. I hope she went with the shorts over jeggings. Shorts over tights are all the rage here (there?) – jeggings is just one step away, taking it slightly ahead of the curve.

    I would probably not like being at a party with everyone looking at interiors magazines, no, unfortunately, sorry. Hm. Good luck with that talent.

  4. I remember numbers, names, dates, the insignificant stuff. Where I was and what i was doing on certain days the previous year, or two, or three. Oh, and I know virtually every band (classic rock mostly). Friends will call to ask me “who sings this song?” Although not as frequently anymore with Google around. 😉

    1. I couldn’t live without Google, but it’s definitely spoiled some things. You can’t impress people with random facts any more or thrash everyone in a pub quiz because people just assume you’ve Googled it.
      I could really do with you around for names and numbers though.

  5. Wait. I’ve seen those “cute as a button” hands before. Oh, they may have added a polish color and photoshopped off the ragged cuticles, but make no mistake–those knuckles and nail beds are that of the homeless person who used to stand in front of my local Costco, holding up a sign that said, “I’m not looking for a hand-out, just someone to give me a helping hand.” And now you know my niche talent. I can retrace the history and correlate before and after photos of hand models. It’s an ability that’s been handed down thru the generations. 😉 ps. Your posting subject matter is wildly original, hilarious and memorable! Pps. Your children are take your breath away gorgeous. Psps. You’ve gotten wildly prolific–can you share that with me?

    1. I’ve got to hand it to you, Steph – you are too kind. I’m beyond flattered that you’ve bothered to read back through my random ramblings. *Blushes* I’m only prolific because I don’t take anywhere near as much care as you over what spills out of my brain with keyboard diarrhoea. I’ll swap some of that with you for some of your genius wit and talent. Xx

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