In the library recently, I came across a book called Snoop. The author, Sam Gosling, is a psychologist who, for the past ten years, has been studying how people project (and protect) their inner selves though their homes, their work spaces and what they wear.
I am totally fascinated by this stuff - being one of those people who is always interested at what is in a stranger's shopping trolley or the glimpse into a lighted house from the train. While at the same time, somehow failing to control in any way the personal image I project.
Once in a while, I am aware that perhaps the signals sent out by my grubby car, with it's back seat full of children's abandoned reading matter, the occasional stray sock and a torn road atlas, might not really be sending the message I might choose to the universe. But on the other hand, it does clearly telegraph 'don't bother breaking in, if you are looking to find an expensive executive laptop in the boot'.
But as I was hanging out the laundry in the beautiful sunshine this week, I did take pride in my still-pristine kitchen linens, kindly sent to me by Al at All Tea Towels. Though I am not at all sure what my selections from his range say about me.
The red one is well within my comfort zone - cotton, bright, straightforward. The second, a nod to the acknowledgement of political trends (mixed with irony - surely one would knit one's own tea towel? Or boil the stains out of an old one and patch it). And the third? A very grown up linen choice (and yes, I do like oranges).
One day, I will grow up and develop a coherent personal style, where I know exactly what sort of tea towel expresses my personality best. But for now, it is enough to know that they are very very new, clean and unsplattered. What are yours saying about you?