CHRISTMAS OFFER Subscribe to Cotswold Life today CLICK HERE

Emma Samms: Function over fashion

PUBLISHED: 11:20 06 March 2018 | UPDATED: 11:20 06 March 2018

To boil it down (quickly and quietly like my new kettle) I like my men, my cars, my clothes and my kettle to be practical

To boil it down (quickly and quietly like my new kettle) I like my men, my cars, my clothes and my kettle to be practical

Emma Samms

‘The same could be said for extremely handsome men. They get away with less reliabilty and practical capabilities and you worry about leaving them anywhere.’

I got a new electric kettle in the January sales. Any British person would understand the significance of this event and the importance of getting such a vital piece of equipment right. Make the wrong choice and every cup of tea for the foreseeable future is tainted. I know this because that’s what happened four years ago. I bought a bad kettle. I bought one that was retro styled and the right colour for my kitchen. It looked good but I couldn’t tell how much water was in it and it was so noisy that all conversation had to stop till it had finished boiling. I cursed this kettle but I had only myself to blame.

So this time I went for function over form. I selected a kettle that had a water level window, and proudly and correctly proclaimed how quiet it is. There is nothing pleasing about the way it looks but I don’t care. I love my new kettle.

This got me thinking about the choices we make in life regarding aesthetics versus practicality. When does beauty overtake functionality as a requirement? For me, as I’ve got older, I’d say less and less. Clothing-wise, for example, I find myself selecting the most comfortable and warm clothes in my wardrobe and only when absolutely necessary opting for anything even vaguely glamorous. I’d dress head to toe in light, warm and easily washed fleece every day if I could. And flat shoes (no high heels) just to complete the look.

For a few years when I lived in Los Angeles I drove a series of delightful little sports cars. The last of which was a cream coloured Nissan 300ZX Twin Turbo. I could carry only one passenger, fit nothing in the boot and its powerful motor was entirely under-utilised due to the uppermost speed limit on California freeways being 55 miles per hour. It really was very pretty indeed though. At this point in my life however, I wouldn’t dream of driving anything other than an estate car. I like to have enough room for my dogs, my children, their friends and an ongoing selection of large pieces of furniture found at Wotton Auction Rooms. My current car (the second Ford Mondeo Estate that I’ve owned in a row) is treasured for its reliability and practical capabilities. I would actually prefer not to have an attention-grabbing car as I’d be far too worried about leaving it anywhere.

The same could be said for dating extremely handsome men. They get away with less reliability and practical capabilities and you worry about leaving them anywhere.

I’ve worked with so many good-looking men that I’m practically immune to the square-jawed, rippling muscles, movie star look. But if a man makes me laugh, if he’s thoughtful and kind, and if he knows things that I don’t know, then that’s the man I’d like to spend time with.

The one area that I’ve been totally seduced by aesthetics is my house. I could choose to live in a house that’s inexpensive to heat. I could have a house that allows a wifi signal to travel easily throughout. I could have a house that is easy to clean and into which I’d be allowed to install double glazed windows, but no, I have a house that is hundreds of years old and is beautiful. Despite its recent updates and renovation, no one could describe my house as practical. You probably couldn’t even describe it as sensible, but having lived in America for 13 years and therefore being highly susceptible to anything ‘quaint’ and ‘historical’, living in a modern house here in the Cotswolds would be anathema to me.

So I’m not entirely immune to beauty though, generally speaking, usefulness and efficiency are more pleasing to me. To boil it down (quickly and quietly like my new kettle) I like my men, my cars, my clothes and my kettle to be practical but I’ve got a bit of a weakness for a pretty, old house.

For more from Emma Samms follow her on Twitter! @EmmaSamms1


Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Cotswold Life visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Cotswold Life staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Cotswold Life account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

More from Out & about

Mon, 13:15

Tracy Spiers takes an impressive, if hypothetical, budget on a shopping spree in Cheltenham’s independent stores

Read more
Mon, 12:23

Get out and enjoy seasonal celebrations with a Cotswold twist

Read more
Tuesday, December 4, 2018

If you’re looking for things to do in the Cotswolds this month, we have gathered plenty of events for you to pop in your diary

Read more
Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Hundreds of participating National Lottery-funded visitor attractions across the UK are saying ‘thanks’ to people who have raised money for good causes by buying a lottery ticket, including a number of venues in the Cotswolds

Read more
Monday, December 3, 2018

“We’re looking forward to lots of festive fun this Christmas festival and hope to welcome lots of people to our town.”

Read more
Monday, November 26, 2018

“Faringdon upholds old-fashioned values through its traditional shops, personal service and shop owners who go the extra mile to make their customers feel at home.”

Read more
Friday, November 23, 2018

Home to some of the country’s most breathtaking architecture and picturesque gardens, the Cotswolds boasts plenty of beautiful stately homes you need to visit. We pick eight special locations that are made even more magical during Christmas time

Read more
Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Taking the classroom outdoors is fun, inspires fresh ideas, broadens horizons – and encourages a new generation to enjoy and care for the Cotswolds

Read more
Monday, November 19, 2018

Chipping Campden – once the meeting place for a council of Saxon kings – now offers the warmest of welcomes to all its visitors, from the humble shopper to the seasonal shin-kicker

Read more
Thursday, November 15, 2018

As well as three days of action-packed racing and tradition, there’s plenty to do away from the course at this year’s November Meeting. Neil Phillips, The Wine Tipster, shares his 14 suggestions on how to make the most of your time at Cheltenham Racecourse

Read more
Tuesday, November 13, 2018

The Warwickshire town of Alcester is considered one of the best understood Roman settlements in the country. Tracy Spiers digs below the surface to discover its hidden jewels

Read more

Thanks to the impact of ground-breaking comedy This Country, the quiet market town of Northleach has become one of the Cotswolds’ hottest film locations. Katie Jarvis is sent to investigate

Read more
Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Stephen Roberts walks in the footsteps of the Oxford scholar who enjoyed attending parties dressed as a polar bear, and once chased a neighbour while dressed as an axe-wielding Anglo-Saxon

Read more
Tuesday, November 6, 2018

I send this postcard from Cirencester, complete with the discoveries and viewpoints from four members of my family – both the young and not so young

Read more

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Topics of Interest

Food and Drink Directory A+ Education

Subscribe or buy a mag today

subscription ad

Local Business Directory

Property Search