I’m a millennial! The geriatric kind. Plus double dates, documentaries and Kate Silverton
Welcome to issue 12 of Nesting
If ever I’m feeling past my sell-by date, I like to remind myself that I am, in fact, a millennial. Officially. And therefore I Am Youth. My generational contemporaries include Taylor Swift, Harry Styles and at least three people from Made in Chelsea. How could I possibly be old with those spring chickens for company?
Easily, it seems. Because last week, with no word of warning, I got reclassified, and now it seems I am very much Not Youth.
It turns out that a new millennial sub-category has been identified. And the niche that I now fall under has been given the rather dispiriting label of ‘geriatric millennial’. More Beyoncé than Bieber, more Kim than Kendall. More… cardigan than Cardi B. I’ll stop there.
At first I was outraged, along with half of geriatric Twitter. But, I’ve given it some thought and I now realise that I have never felt so seen.
Being a geriatric millennial explains why I am young enough to spend most of my life on Instagram but too old to understand a reel. It’s why I have dallied with going vegan, but can’t quite stretch to a life without shepherd’s pie. It could be the reason that I am greatly motivated to make the world a better place, but just need a little lie down before I get started.
A few years ago, still a youthful millennial, I was nomadic, wearing my travels on the ‘gram like little squares of honour. Now, with my feet firmly in the geriatric camp (in the comfort of Converse), I am proudly hermetic. Home is where my heart is, hence this very newsletter.
I am more likely to remember my childhood friend’s landline than my login for TikTok. I still wear skinny jeans. I love Radio 2. And my avocados go into tricolore ciabatta sandwiches, not onto toast, thank you very much. I am teetering on the edge of mainstream millennial every day – right down to my coffee order: cappuccino (fail) with oat milk (pass). But when it comes down to it, I don’t quite fit.
Thank goodness. Being a geriatric millennial – straddling the best bits of two generations – is quite possibly the best place to be. And anyway, being older is a privilege; ageing just needs a rebrand. Actually, didn’t I write the book on it?
HOME COMFORTS WITH… KATE SILVERTON
Anyone would think that Kate Silverton had no time left over for nesting, given her various roles as BBC news presenter, journalist, child psychotherapist and now author of parenting guide, There’s No Such Thing as Naughty. But nest she does. Kate lives in south-west London with her husband Mike, children Clemency and Wilbur and new puppy, Gatsby.
How would you describe your home in three words?
Elegant, calm (mostly!) and filled with joy.
Current TV obsession?
My husband and I LOVED Succession and have been rather bereft now that we have finished watching it. I’ll admit we did rather enjoy Bridgerton too.
Best home comfort meal?
A Sunday roast followed by apple crumble and ice-cream.
Book currently on your bedside table?
A book called Patience, written by my former BBC colleague, Victoria Scott. It’s told from a very personal perspective about a young girl with a disability and her family’s dilemma when she has the chance to enter a trial for a new gene therapy.
Background noise in your house?
The sound of silence is precious to me in any busy day because it is so rare and so sweet when it happens! Other times the house is full of laughter, loud chattering from the children and of course the odd niggle from them too!
Bath or shower?
Bath – although these days I rarely have time. But a little bit of Jack Savoretti or Rag ‘n’ Bone Man and a Neom candle and I am in heaven.
Favourite house scent?
I utterly love diptyque’s Feu de Bois or otherwise Jo Malone’s Oud and Bergamot.
My garden is….
So small as to not really qualify as a garden. I wish it were five acres and full of organic vegetables, with a pond for the kids and a treehouse. I can keep wishing, right?
How well do you know your next door neighbours?
We have a wonderful street and pretty much everyone knows everyone, so it’s lovely. Now that we have a puppy we are even more sociable. It’s something I adore about living where we do.
Your favourite home from home?
Our bell tent! It feels cocoon-like and safe. I love being stripped back to basics, with the kids running across a field, while Mike and I cook supper on an open fire.
Kate’s new book, There’s No Such Thing As Naughty, is available here.
The Green Roasting Tin
So after I watched Seaspiracy and decided to try being ‘a bit vegan’ like everybody else, I ordered The Green Roasting Tin from lawyer-turned-recipe guru Rukmini Iyer. It is so, so good. Beyond the fact that at least eighty percent of the dishes magically appeal to my exact tastes, the beauty of only having one dish (or roasting tin) to wash up after a meal is not to be underestimated. Her latest book, The Green Barbecue, has just come out and is next on my list.
The Lockdown Garden
I find these homegrown mushroom kits absolutely miraculous. Who knew you could grow your own fungi right there on your kitchen counter? And look at them! Otherworldly and beautiful. Just take delivery of a kit, water it a bit and wait for the magic to happen. The founder has kindly offered Nesting readers a special discount – enter the code NESTING2 for £2 off any order.
Eavesdropping on long-married couples talking about the good and bad bits of their enduring partnerships? Yes please! I binge-listened to Ted Danson and Mary Steenburgen (so cute!), followed by John McEnroe and Patty Smyth, Sting and Trudie Styler and then Ray and Anna Romano. You see; binged. You will too.
I haven’t read a book since I replaced my bedside lamp with a Tommee Tippee machine, and I am so glad I chose this one to get back into practice. I used to work with the author, Tabitha Lasley, so I was naturally interested when she wrote a book and then even more intrigued when David Nicholls started bigging it up on Twitter. It begins as a study of the lives of offshore oil workers, but ends up becoming a gripping memoir about sex, drugs and relationships.
If In Doubt, Wash Your Hair
The title of this book grabbed me, as it is basically my life motto. Written by fashion designer Anya Hindmarch, it’s part memoir, part manual, packed with brilliant advice and lessons learned. And with FIVE children and a global business empire under her belt, she knows a thing or two. I loved it.
Stories We Tell
This documentary was made by Canadian actress Sarah Polley about her own mother, Diane, who died when Sarah was eleven. I can’t tell you too much without giving the game away, but suffice to say, mysteries are uncovered and family secrets are unearthed. I found it gentle and thoughtful and lovely.
I Hate Suzie
So late to the party on this, but it’s finally appeared on Amazon Prime and I’m already hooked, although the stress of watching it brings me out in actual hives. Billie Piper plays Suzie Pickles, an actress whose life is turned upside-down after her phone is hacked and nude photos of her are leaked online. It’s chaotic and claustrophobic but also very, very funny.
- A good friend of mine recently discovered she is peri-menopausal at 39 and she’s started this brilliant newsletter to raise awareness and get people talking. Pass it on.
- Loved this by Dave Sedaris for The New Yorker on why sleeping is the new sex.
- Joel Golby on how 2021 is shaping up to be an awful year for small talk.
- Raven Smith for Vogue on Gwyneth Paltrow’s recent claim to have gone ‘totally off the rails’ during lockdown by…. eating bread.
On that note, I’m off to eat all the carbs and drink a cappuccino, INSIDE a café, see you next time.
Who on earth is Dominique Afacan?
A very good question. Dominique (that’s me) is a writer, sausage dog owner, and solo mum, based in London. The idea for the Nesting newsletter came about because after ten years as a travel journalist, I wanted to share my new-found excitement about hanging out at home. I am also the author of Bolder – Life lessons from people older and wiser than you – a great birthday present, if I don’t say so myself – and available to buy here. You can follow me on Instagram here or Twitter here.
P.S The illustration for Nesting was created by my exceptionally talented friend Julia Murray in New Zealand.
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