3 ISSUES FOR JUST £3 Subscribe to Hampshire Life today click here

Chris van Schaick May 2014 column - A Pithy Problem

PUBLISHED: 11:51 20 May 2014

Puzzled by the obsession with fruit flavoured living space, Chris has come up with a compromise - but does it exude the right amounts of Gallic chic?

I was checking into a familiar hotel the other day and noticed something new - a building site next door. A steel frame was rising from a sea of mud. A swimming pool, I wondered? Or a new coffee shop?

I’m now at a life stage where I sometimes stop and read notices. This one said that under construction was the hotel’s new ‘Orangery’. ‘Book your daughter’s wedding reception now’, it said, or that was the implication, anyway.

I snorted. Nothing wrong with a hotel trying to better itself. Or the blessed union of marriage. I was snorting at the word.

Why is every glass extension to a building at home or at work now an Orangery? Especially when the nearest you’ll see to an orange in any of them is a one-litre carton of not-from-concentrate. With juicy bits if you’re lucky.

I can see what’s happened. The word conservatory has maybe become a bit passé. So the marketing men and women have had to come up with a new word for the glass-walled extensions we’ve all fallen in love with.

I have some sympathy with the marketers as they wrestle with the problem. You couldn’t have a Raspberryery. That’s already the title of a hit single by the artist formerly known as Prince. Pearery would be unpronounceable. And I can foresee the consternation in Bassett if the young couple who have just bought Number 23 applied for permission to stick a Kumquatery on their rear elevation.

But Orangery? Unless global warming is more serious than we thought, I can’t see Segensworth rivalling Seville for the production of oranges any time soon. Yet still the Orangeries proliferate.

On the stretch where I live, Dave and Pam have been the trendsetters when it comes to fruit flavoured living space. A few years ago, a handsome oak framed construction appeared at the back of their place. The term Orangery soon passed into the language up and down our road. But the twinkle in Dave’s eye when I ask him about the exact derivation suggests a bit of conscious irony on his part and that he’s been in on the joke from the beginning.

What David and Pam have done has certainly awoken a sense of yearning in Mrs. v. S. for the extension with the pithy new name.

At home, Orangery has begun to make the running as her most Frequently Used Expression, edging out Villa With Pool and Coffee in Alresford.

Part of Mrs. v. S.’s vision also involves pronouncing the word in a French sort of way, with a very fulsome O and a soft g. I think she’s in pursuit of Gallic chic and the opportunity to wear posh sunglasses indoors.

I am prepared to negotiate. I’ve suggested that our budget may be suited to something a bit more modest. Like a Satsumery. After all, as Jeanette Winterson nearly said in the title of her 1980s novel, Orangeries Are Not The Only Fruiteries.

More from Out & About

Fri, 10:31

10 of best photos of Hampshire shared on Instagram over the past week...

Read more
Tue, 09:55

This year Winchester’s Theatre Royal celebrates the 40th anniversary of its re-opening as a performance theatre

Read more
Mon, 15:30

Avon Valley, Beer and Cake is the ABC of why Ringwood, a busy market town on the western edge of the New Forest, makes a quirkily clever choice for a break away

Read more
Monday, September 10, 2018

Lego enthusiast Duncan Titmarsh has built his business brick by brick; from tinkering in his garden shed to internationally acclaimed sculptures

Read more
Monday, September 10, 2018

New Forest ponies are an iconic sight, yet modern-day pressures pose a constant threat to the traditional landscape. Viv Micklefield heads to Lyndhurst to take stock of what happens inside England’s oldest forest court

Read more
Tuesday, August 28, 2018

From Austen’s treasures to castles built by Henry VIII, Heritage Open Days (6-9 and 13-16 September 2018) allow you to step behind the doors of some of the county’s most iconic but hidden premises.

Read more
Tuesday, August 28, 2018

With the New Forest, South Downs and a picturesque coastline, Hampshire is an amazing place for a walk. We round up a few of our favourites

Read more
Tuesday, August 28, 2018

We round up some of the best events and things to do across Hampshire this month

Read more
Tuesday, August 28, 2018

If there’s one thing we love to do here at Hampshire Life, it’s to celebrate local produce! So here are a selection of some of the best farm shops across the county where you’ll find just that

Read more
Tuesday, August 28, 2018

With a vibrant local community, this is a shining example of a true Hampshire village

Read more
Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Coeliac disease affects 1 in 100 people, and many more are seeing the health benefits after waving goodbye to gluten. Here are just a few of the county’s cafes, pubs and producers who are embracing the gluten free way

Read more
Monday, August 20, 2018

Looking for some peace and tranquility this summer? Lose yourself in one of these wonderful gardens

Read more
Tuesday, August 14, 2018

The castles and forts around the county make for a fascinating ghost hunt by night, and a fun family trip by day

Read more
Tuesday, August 14, 2018

When Southsea’s South Parade Pier closed in 2012, derelict and a shadow of its former glory days, who’d have thought that six years on it would be Pier of the Year

Read more
 
A+ South & South West

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy


Latest Competitions & Offers

Topics of Interest

Food and Drink Directory

Subscribe or buy a mag today


subscription ad

Local Business Directory



Property Search