I’ve had my suspicions for a while now and it’s as I suspected. I’m fairly sure I have a fetish! I’ve just checked and this is what the dictionary says: Fetish: (noun) something about which one is constantly thinking or concerned. And that would be me alright. How about that? And here it is: My name is Gwen and I like nail varnish. Very much. There is something about those little pots of glossy colours that makes my heart sing. Nail varnish doesn’t care if my hair is dirty, my socks need changing or there’s nothing in the house to eat except Donegal Catch and oven chips. Nope, nail varnish exists just to make a little corner of my world a brighter place. I like them very much. I like the way some colours work on my toe nails only and I wouldn’t dream of putting them on my fingernails. I love the way they tidy up my hands. I love the way I come home from a shopping trip, a little bit despondent because yet again, I couldn’t find anything. Except nail varnish. The knowledge that I have one, two or maybe more bottles in my bag, makes the shopping trip worthwhile. Today I came home with no less than 4 new colours. I only went into the chemist to find the nail tip whitening pen my sister has. I wasn’t able to stop myself. Maybe it’s the names I like. I bought a Rambo No. 5, a Bohemian Brown, a Kinetic and something from a Nude collection. I picked up a Midnight Red and put it back down. I still don’t know why as it’s been tormenting me ever since. Especially as I’m not quite sure if it was called Midnight Red or Black Red. But, it is by Barry M and Boots carry it so I contacted She Who Knows About These Things, or on this particular occasion, She Who Works Across The Road From Boots In River Island On Grafton Street and instructed her to bring it home to me at the weekend. I’ve even cleared out a little place in my fridge for it, in beside its new sisters. Nail varnish is like a car. Forever destined to be a she, never a he. So you noticed I keep mine in the fridge then? This is the best storage place, according to some magazine or other I read several years ago and who am I to contradict them. My sister in law opened my fridge last week and commented on my little collection, neatly lined up where the eggs are supposed to be. Even though everyone knows that eggs are supposed to be kept at room temperature and not in the fridge. But I digress. I’ve got them all. Rimmel, Collection 2000, Catrice, IsaDora, Mavla, Essence, Barry M, Revlon, Bourjois, Natural Collection, you get the picture. The only ones I don’t have are Chanel. Another thing I like about a nail varnish splurge is it won’t break the bank. My nail varnish fetish does not extend past a tenner for a bottle of nail paint. Chanel does not tick this box. I find it also chips within 24 hours. I indulge in my sister’s collection every once in a blue moon so I have road tested the more expensive brand and found it seriously lacking. These days I find myself thinking about the next colour I am going to wear as I’m applying another. It used to be all about organising my wardrobe for the week. And I reckon that’s how this fixation began. One morning last winter, Screecher Creature No. 1 patted my arm and asked me if I loved my top. I’d been wearing it for four days in a row. Up to that point I had been thinking he had no interest in clothes unless Mario or a Power Ranger was on it somewhere. He also enquired of me another day, why all my clothes were black. At the time “all my clothes” consisted of 2 pairs of jeans and 3 (black) tops. This winter, I could not understand how I seemed to have no clothes to wear. Then it occurred to me that I have had three winter pregnancies and my maternity stuff was packed away (thank god!). It’s widely known and agreed that maternity clothes are hideous altogether. Unless of course you shop online where there are some fabulous pieces that cost so much you would have to sleep in them to justify spending those sums of money. So, in order to jazz up my very basic and limited pregnancy wardrobe, I used to buy “maternity” boots, “maternity” bags and “maternity” jewellery. And “maternity” nail varnish. I can’t wear the boots anymore as my feet have yet to return to their pre-pregnancy size. Well, one of them anyway. Plus I’ve also completely lost the knack to walk in high heels. I’m going to start practising in the New Year! The bags had to go as there simply wasn’t any room for a packet of wipes and a nappy after I’d packed my bank card, a lip gloss and house keys. I find kids like to destroy and then eat jewellery so I was forced to abandon my trinkets as well. It seemed the only certainties I had left were death, taxes and nail varnish. It only took 15 years to break my nail biting habit. I’m so glad I did! Now I have nice, strong healthy nails on which to paint all the colours of the rainbow. Let’s see, Monday is looking like a Las Vegas day. Maybe Wednesday I’ll go for Silver. A French manicure is always nice for the weekend. I swear, knee high oxblood boots never gave me this much fun!