Let it be noted that I’m a bloke of simple tastes. I’m aware that I’m a complex person full of contradictions and frustrating personality traits however and perhaps to contest this, it’s the meekest of pleasures that resonate within me the most.
This, I suppose, adds yet another layer of exasperation to those within my immediate circle who grapple with my peaks, troughs and especially gift choices at birthdays and Christmas.
When it comes to the notion of luxury it might appear to the casual observer that I have little or no understanding of the ‘so-called’ finer things in life.
It would be a superficial case of deduction more than likely based on my disdain for wearing labels, a trait that I equate with spruiking oneself as a walking billboard.
Perhaps my blue-collar up bringing might influence my would-be arbiters estimation that I might gleefully hurtle toward the gaudy, the ostentatious and the lurid should I ever come into lotto money often associated with the just-whitened-teeth and Thailand tan of the newly rich?
Should this occur, me winning the lottery that is, my driveway’s blue metal would not feel the crunch of a Ferrari’s tyres nor for that matter a Rolls Royce.
There would be little evidence of the excesses of a newly acquired wealth actually.
Yes, I would probably purchase the motorbike that might make me happy for a while. Of course we would have a trip overseas. Or two.
And we might consider the procurement of another family home to move into.
However would these purchases elevate us into the realms of a luxurious lifestyle?
Well it depends on what you consider luxurious?
This question reminds me of a similar question that is regularly posed to people in the glossies and that question is, ‘What would be your last meal?’
Their answers allow the reader sketch a picture, albeit a naive one, of how a person prioritizes the notion of luxury in a food context.
Amongst the requests I am intrigued by the examples of Bacchanalian excesses that are often at odds with the persons whom I’ve bee surprised and it must be added, disheartened to learn, might not have been as classy as I’d chosen to believe.
I’m also taken aback by the most dull and prosaic wishes where clearly not enough thought or panache was evoked in order to answer the question thoughtfully. Yes some could have tried to enlist a sense of irony into their answers but this can shape their response as glib and therefore not to be taken seriously.
One example that stands out for me which illustrates sublime appreciation of luxury and the undeniable authenticity of a bona fide aesthete is that of Phillip Adams who said all he would require in his last moments would be a pot of his favourite tea.
Now that is an assured final sensual and sensory pleasure from a man who feels not the need for one last extravagant flourish but that of a simple solitary cuppa.
I ponder this as my bread browns in the toaster. We were discussing luxury over bowls of Bolognaise last night and I woke up trying to make sense of the currency of what it means to me.
My toast pops and I juggle it from hand to hand onto the chopping board.
I let it sit for a mo, allowing the immediate heat to dissipate, as I’m particular about different spreads on my toast and their relationship to the action of melting butter.
For instance, if vegemite were my choice this time, I would allow the toast to be buttered immediately as I enjoy the melding of melting butter and the salty spread.
However this time jam is my topping of choice.
I cut the butter in wafer thin slices and place it on the cooling sourdough like one would a serving of cheese. Its edges blur but the solidity of its shape stays intact. Next I smooth dollops of strawberry jam over the butter in flowing strokes.
It looks pretty as a picture, the warmth of the toast lifts the aroma of summer toward my nostrils and I’m aware of the sound of the birdlife outside, the smell of the coffee brewing and the morning breeze lapping at the curtains.
A moment of pure luxury.