Susan Morrison: At least there’s a soft landing

Greta Garbo was famed for her pillows. Picture: contributed
Greta Garbo was famed for her pillows. Picture: contributed
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In accordance with the style guidelines laid down by Yes! Your House Can Look Like This! (terms and conditions apply – Condition 1: A lot of money; Condition 2: A professional interior designer, preferably with a name like Ranciede De La Poncie, or Tobias Traquincy), I have been updating our bedroom ambience.

Oh, don’t worry, this isn’t a racy reveal on the private life of him and me. That’s just one shade of dull grey too many, which, incidentally, is now the colour of the old duvet covers.

Not looking at anyone in particular, but who, I wonder, thought that white bedding would wash in perfect harmony with black school jumpers?

Hence the acquisition of glossies to advise on the latest trends in soft furnishings. Cushions, I note, have moved from the time-honoured position of the sofa to the bedroom. This is a good thing. I recall the magnificent Garbo languidly lolling about on satin. I felt I could manage a bit of languid.

However, Garbo looked every inch a thoroughbred in lace, whilst I have the general outline and tonnage of a small but serviceable tugboat and tend to brushed cotton. I do look like a movie icon, but unfortunately it’s a random Munchkin crash landed from Oz, with cushions to break the fall.

Well, I bought the cushions anyway, and, guided by the four-page colour feature Wow! Cushions On The Bed. Where Will You Put Them? I arranged them on the bed. At the top, as it happens, since that seemed to be the best option.

How they got four pages out of that is a complete mystery to me.

Inspired by this, I ran amok in the soft furnishing department in one of our finest emporiums then headed home clutching covers and pillows to arrange, rearrange and re-rearrange like a thing demented until that whole bedroom was ready for its close-up.

That’s when I noticed there was something missing in all my style guides, mood boards, helpful suggestions and four page colour pull-outs.


Clearly, he hadn’t read the glossies. He doesn’t know the correct pillow/cushion combination, or, indeed, how to disassemble soft furnishing minefield prior to actually getting into bed.

I fear many men are faced with this conundrum. So here, for those baffled chaps, is a handy cut-out-and-keep pillow management manual.

Greenhouse construction won’t be a gas

IN the midst of cushion frenzy, his Christmas present arrived. It’s a greenhouse. Yup, I thought that would be a good idea. He gave me an alarm clock, incidentally.

Online, it looked like a bonnie thing, totally suitable for the gardener who wishes to ramp up tomato and chilli pepper production.

On paper, and by that I mean the 15-page close typed instruction manual, it looks like a slightly more complex operation.

The most fruity thing the greenhouse has produced so far is language.

Cushioning the blow of those nightly outings

CUSHIONS, likewise, should always be removed. This is to prevent those nightmares about being attacked by marshmallows. We all remember what happened last time.

As prior, the management would appreciate considerate removal, unless under the white wine related circumstances outlined above.

Random removal is fraught with danger. Cushions released to floor level can and will become mobile, and have been known to move into position to trip the unwary semi-sleeper en route to other venues in the house – ie, the comfort

station or the kitchen for that late-night thirst quencher, following aforementioned drinkies with the girls and subsequent frivolities.

That karaoke can leave the throat a little parched.

Getting a head start on matters

THE instructions are quite simple, really. The new pillows, ie: the pillows which are to be used for head resting during sleep, are underneath the dress or decorative pillow arrangement, which is to be removed prior to commencing sleep/snooze/nap/light doze.

This is unless, of course, the pillow slip with the narrow blue embroidery has been deployed, in which case this, and not the under-pillow, is to be used. This is a slightly smaller pillow slip and creates a pleasingly plump appearance with the pillow which the others do not,


This will, of course, necessitate the removal of what is now the under-pillow, which for the purposes of this arrangement is now the supporting pillow.

Please be aware, that in the event of the white-on-white narrow pleat pillow-slip being used in any part of the array, this pillow must always be removed. They cost a fortune and they require skilled ironing.

Removed pillows, whether under, supporting or decorative, must be laid neatly to one side, not hurled like Godzilla chucking Tokyo real estate about.

Of course, if the pillow remover has been out on a night with her pals and imbibed a substantial amount of that really good white wine she drank the last time she went out with her pals, then she can pillow-chuck to her heart’s content.