They don't facilitate vanity, pull their punches or sit on the fence, and they're all, in their own way a pleasure to be around. You treat them with respect and kindness (they don't LIKE having to have me do things for them) and you get it all back and then some. They inadvertently make you question the principles that we all live by these days.
When it boils down to it, very little actually matters. Just health.
A generation ago, when someone started a home, they'd be given things, acquire bits and pieces and be saving in the bottom drawer for years. A home would be pieced together through a variety of channels, that was the point of wedding presents. Nowadays, it's all different.
I have to be honest, when I first had a flat, that was how I did it. Then when I had to do it again a few years later, I did it all again then. And it was really good fun and enjoyable. I've since come into contact with friends and family alike who have demanded that an entire home be bought brand new and sparkly, before moving in.
Housewares are now commodities like clothing and accessories. Once upon a time, something to be saved for, looked after and accommodated for the duration. Now, disposable, two-a-penny, high fashion, low quality. Designed to last a short period, until such time as they become unfashionable, then thrown out and new bought.
This just simply isn't sustainable.
We all like to live in a nice home, nice surroundings are important. But is the pinnacle of fashion the way to go about doing it?
My ladies and gents vary from having nothing to having, probably, a few quid, but they all have something in common. They aren't remotely worried about whether all their glasses match, if their wallpaper is "so last year" or there's a slight lightening of the outside edge of the curtain that's in full sun all day.
They have enough to keep them comfortable, to store their belongings, and to furnish a home. And they've probably had it for years and years. It may not be the height of fashion (although some of them SO are in the retro sense of the word), but it doesn't matter.
In the 21st century, we all are in such a rush and a hurry to "have it all". Couple of new cars, the perfect home, the perfect life, the perfect family. The cult of Hello! magazine and celebrity has clouded all our judgements, and we've lost all sense of perspective.
It doesn't matter if your sofa is from last year's collection, your carpet isn't exactly what you would choose now if you had to replace it, and your dining table has lost it's lustre. We could learn a lot from the previous generations as I've written about before. My lady with the ancient lino who insists on having it polished.
Buy less, better quality things. Don't replace it until you HAVE to (a change in fashion is not a good enough reason) and don't put your home on an OK! magazine pedestal. Essentially, it doesn't matter.
No one is going to like you any more for having a matching set of mugs, or less because your hall carpet has got a few marks on it.
And if they do either of those things, they ain't worth it.