I’ve just started listening to Things to Make and Mend by Ruth Thomas read by Finty Williams.
It’s a story about craft and friendship so I’m concerned that it might be twee. I have a highly developed (and perhaps somewhat arbitrary) twee-dar.
I first started dismissing people/films/art movements with this word after interviewing a potential housemate for a sharehouse. I had a vague sense of dislike for the girl, which became a pounding hatred when she said that she enjoyed riding her bike through a local park while drinking a coffee.
Riding a bike while drinking a coffee. Seemingly a lovely activity? NO. It is not lovely. Drinking a cup of coffee can be lovely. Riding your bike through a park can be lovely. Doing both of those activities at the same time is NOT LOVELY. Your lips would be burned while going over bumps trying to take a sip. You would spill coffee on your clothes. You may not be able to brake in time to avoid small children, Frisbees or dogs. It is a dangerous, silly activity.*
So either this girl was a liar or, my preferred theory, she did ride through the park drinking a coffee simply for effect.
So I vetoed this girl after the interview. Other housemates said, fine, but you need a reason. I said she was twee, they all agreed and we found somebody else.
Since then, I have always been on the lookout for people who do “lovely” things just to seem like someone who does lovely things. This is my personal definition of twee. Although, to be honest, I actually use the word twee to slag off anything nice that I don’t like.
Anyway, due to the title, Things to Make and Mend, I briefly toyed with the idea of making some muffins while listening to the story tape. But that would definitely be twee.
* Slightly worried that I might be wrong. Have not actually tried to drink coffee while riding a bike. If it is, in fact, a lovely activity, I am very sorry to potential housemate. I hope you found somewhere nice to live with a window box and gingham curtains.