Yes, it's true that I could have found auriculas slightly closer to home than London. But these are very special auriculas, from Petersham Nurseries.
Where, after mustering the courage to drive into the big bad city, I met my Mum and sister-in-law, for a belated milestone birthday celebration lunch. Not my big birthday, I hasten to add. But that's no reason for me not to drink Rose Petal Prosecco and eat squid and clams on brushcetta with aioli. It's a tough job, celebrating!
We had an excellent time, wandering round the nursery, coatless in the early Spring sunshine. The best thing to me was that at Petersham, they understand about doing things with style. Take these Auriculas - they were the only variety there, but could there be a more lovely version to sell? And so, on my part, there was no hesitation at all in picking them up and bringing them home to make me smile every time I reach my own front door.
Do you sometimes find that when you buy something, it is less about the thing itself, than about trying to capture a little bit of the essence of the place you bought it from? And that somehow adds value beyond that of the object. That sense of place is so hard to define, but is something that good retailers understand instinctively.
And something that I would like to achieve in our home. A real sense of place. And hoping that little by little, these meaningful objects add up to just that.