If you know my family in 'real' life, chances are you've heard the tales of diamond rings and bags of rubies being passed around the living room for us to 'oooooo' over before bedtime. Growing up with a gemologist in the household has probably given me unrealistic expectations of what jewellery should look like. I don't have much in the way of 'real' jewellery myself but it doesn't stop me lusting over a beautiful piece when I see one.Read More
It's bloody freezing isn't it? I'm trying to not let January blues kick in and stay cheerful on these cold on dreary days. I'm lucky enough to be working near Spitalfield's market at the moment. So every Thursday I make sure I take a proper lunch break and head over the weekly antique's market...Read More
For me Easter always used to be about how much chocolate I could cram into my mouth, a trip to the beach (it's still nice in NZ generally) and, later on, how much extra partying I squeeze into a four-day weekend. These days I only feel the need to consume a small amount of chocolate and as for the partying, well I can take or leave it. I must be getting old. Let's just not mention the beach again. This Easter I spent in Wales for the second year in row, staying with Mr Ukulele's family. They live just outside of Swansea in some village I can't pronounce. (No matter how hard I try I don't think I'll ever get it right.) And again like last year, they were only too happy to take us off on some day trips exploring gorgeous south and west Wales. First stop was two antiques shops in Llandeilo, a town in Carmarthenshire. I would've liked to walk away with half the stuff there. A massive range of old china, pictures, furniture and just about every old thing I could ever desire all. Unfortunately, there was just no way I would've been able bring it back with me on the train to London.
I'm still on the hunt for a perfect traditional blue platter. Unfortunately these were more antique shop prices than junk shop prices.
There was a grand selection of traditional Welsh blankets for sale. I'm still regretting not buying one as they were more reasonably priced than any you see in London.
Immediately next door to the antique shops (actually they are more like antique warehouses than shops) is the sweetest little garden centre. Again, I was tempted but sadly I couldn't see it being easy to drag plants back on the train.
All the spring flowers were putting on their best show. The tulips.
The grape hyacinths.
And especially the fritillaria. I've been besotted with this bulb ever since I saw photos of its little purple checked flowers in a book when I was just a wee girl. They don't grow in the Southern Hemisphere so I'm still quite fascinated by them. How are they checked? Just how? I did plant some bulbs last Autumn but sadly they don't seem to have come up unlike the rest of my Spring flowers.
I left the buying up to Mr Ukulele's mum, who came away with plants and a very sweet pressed glass cake stand.
I really wished we'd driven to Wales so I could have packed up a car with loads of plants and treasures from the antique stores. Maybe next Easter...