Grandad is lamenting the contemporary makeover of his kitchen but I have to confess, I am an addict of lifestyle shows. I love Homes and Gardens, Backyard Blitz, Vasili's Garden, Changing Rooms et al. Even Jamie's Kitchen and subsequent programs get me hooked.
I want to write in and get them to do over my garden which is in dire need of a mega-prune and spruce up and make my 80's home look cosy and antique or snow white and minimalist. I had a friend who sadly was diagnosed with a brain tumour 4 years ago. His garden was overgrown, the kids hopeless and his poor wife, now The MerryWidow, struggling with the situation. We had a mad working bee one weekend and divested the scruffy mess of all the weedage and Kykuyu grass (a tough, ground spreading grass that you can see grow when it rains). It wasn't much but we made an impact. I wrote then to one of these backyard makeover programs, sure that his plight might be taken on board and that they might just show up and spruce up his tiny garden whilst he lay there, incapable of speech or communication. Nothing, niet, nada . . .not even a reply or 'he's not worthy'. That really upset me as each Friday evening, this particular show would do a mega rennovation of someone's small garden because they'd defaulted on their mortgage or they'd fostered a child or sponsored the local football team. Not that they weren't worthy causes but it did put me off a little.
Then I found out that when they do these garden renno's, the stars turn up and pose with a wheelbarrow or plonk a plant in the appropriate position, the pretty girls wear short shorts and slap a single brushstroke of paint on a wall, the tanned and muscled carpenter type talks measurements and weilds the latest power tool but then the friends and neighbours actually finish the job! The rennovation is so superfluous, so shallow, so surface that a downpour of rain often sees it ruined. Fuckem. I'd rather have my messy hedges and bald patches and damn shedding gum trees than a manicured plot . . . that's a lie . . . I long for a structured garden, an 'outdoor' room, a box hedge, a water feature and a sunlit courtyard . . . who am I kidding?
And they can throw in a good dose of nip and tuck while they're at it . . .I need an extreme makeover!