Chris van Schaick on the dominance of the scatter cushion

PUBLISHED: 10:16 17 August 2015 | UPDATED: 10:16 17 August 2015

Getty Images/iStockphoto

Getty Images/iStockphoto


This month, Chris van Schaick ponders the dominance of the scatter cushion and their slow take over of hotel rooms and homes across Hampshire

I’m engaged in a bitter and long running struggle with cushions. It’s a struggle in which I feel that I’m nearer to the end of the beginning than to the beginning of the end.

My most vehement objection is to the cushions on the beds in hotel rooms. They’re tiresome. They’re infuriating. They’re futile.

Any arrival in a hotel room now involves me finding the time and space to re-home four or five cushions from the bed. The process is then reversed in the morning. Surely not all hotel guests are as assiduous as me in returning their cushions to the bed. The sheer number of chamber person hours spent returning pointless cushions to perfectly good beds must be a major drain on UK productivity.

I always shudder when I hear the word scatter mentioned in connection with cushions. To me, it suggests impractical frivolity at its very worst. Where’s the unity of form and function when you need it?

Although - almost needless to say - Mrs. v. S. is a passionate advocate of cushions, I know that the cushion wars do not cleave along strictly gender lines. Neighbour Beverly, for instance, has told me that she too is irritated by hotel bed cushions. In the newly formed Meon Valley Anti-Cushion League, I will be chairman and Beverly the general secretary.

Cushions may - in extremis - have certain narrowly prescribed medical uses which are just about acceptable - when you’ve sprained your ankle, for instance, or been stung by a wasp on the underside of your arm.

But I can’t think of a single occasion when my comfort in an armchair or sofa has been improved by a separate cushion. And as for those cushions for people’s necks on long haul flights, well I rest my case.

The cushion count in our house seemed to rise steeply when the children were young. Well meaning elderly relatives would arrive with cushions which carried pictures of rabbits, Postman Pat or the moon and the stars. It’s only now the fledglings have flown the nest that I am going round the house, taking out cushions like a silent assassin.

I am prepared to make one further exception - the slightly different cushions on snooker tables. Now they’re useful - also wonderful in their hard and soft ‘feltiness’.

But for now, my condemnation of almost all cushions is uncompromising. I don’t mean it about being a silent assassin, by the way. The struggle, I have acknowledged, must ultimately be a non-violent one. I do not go around destroying cushions in Chesapeake Mill or any other Meon Valley emporium of interior design. I prefer to take the campaign forward by democratic means. In fact next week, I have an appointment booked with my MP to see if anything can be done in law to end the menace of this soft-filled accessory.



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