During our second week in London we stayed with Thomas most of the time in what is basically my dream apartment. (Very different from a dream house. I also have a dream houseboat, a dream caravan and a dream yurt.) But for one night we stayed in a hotel, fairly pokey except for the included breakfast which turned out to be maybe my favorite breakfast ever. Why? A French press full of coffee and a toast rack.
Gracious living, you know? You sit down at breakfast with your own individual, steampunkish container of coffee (and the French press, surely, is the most elegant and interesting coffee receptacle ever designed) and a special piece of furniture for your toast. A toast rack. Mind blowing.
I think it must be possible to maintain this feeling in daily life, this gracious, Downton-esque, thoughtful-even-to-your-toast lifestyle. It begins, obviously, with breakfast. I already own a French press, and a toast rack is not difficult to obtain.
The question, I suppose, is whether this would hold up in a day-to-day manner. Is it more pleasant in this modern age to sit down, freshly showered, to one’s own breakfast table, with cloth napkin and china cup and interesting novel? Or is it better to sit down to one’s desk, still in pajamas, with a Disney-themed soup bowl of sugared coffee and breakfast still hours away, and frantically search the internet to discover everything one missed while asleep?
Perhaps I’ll try gracious living for a week and see how it feels, but having my morning cup without Facebook will be very strange.
And fortunately, as soon as I took my first step towards this lifestyle (shopping online for a toast rack), the internet stepped in to remind me that there is no escape from modernity and ridiculousness. “GOOD FOR TOAST BUT NOT FOR OTHER THINGS,” shouts one Amazon user’s review of this toast rack. What other things, I wonder? WHAT OTHER THINGS?