Recently I noticed that whenever I open our front door wearing an apron, whoever I greet on the doorstep looks me up and down. A flicker of surprise crosses their face. It might be the postman, the plumber, or a parent of one of my kid’s friends. There is the same moment of surprise.

That flicker has made me think. What for me is totally normal, putting on an apron when I’m making bread, or tipping stock into a colander in the sink, is less normal for others. Wearing an apron to open the front door is as mildly provocative as opening it in my dressing gown. It isn’t what the person on my doorstep expects me to be wearing.

‘A perfectly-kept house is a sign of a misspent life’. For years I believed these words by Rose Macauley. Like every young woman I knew, I assumed that caring…

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