My friend Carolyn is very often the voice of my domestic conscience. ”Hmmm,” she said the other night as we were having dinner, “how come the local Queen of Linen has such a chaotic napkin drawer?”
So I got up early this morning and turned out the whole drawer to start anew. Easy first decision was to put back the things we use, a no-brainer as I have a set of small Orkney napkins for lunches, a set of the large ones for dinner, and our personal ones in their napkin rings. A set of place mats made the cut too, and a bamboo trivet for hot things… but then I faced a wild set of shocking pink linen napkins, some of the first I had made, too close to my heart to face oblivion – and a wonderful little damask orphan monogrammed ”W 12 1898″ - then four of the softest, sheerest, most impractical linen napkins imaginable, falling apart at the corners but speaking to me of teapots and scones and hushed aristocratic murmurs, how could I demote these to the second rank?
It’s a harsh world in the linen drawer. I put all the white ones to wash to give myself some breathing space and moved onto the linen cupboard which is all of twelve inches wide. It was a massacre.