Sunday, 23 November 2014

vintage shopping and kindred spirits...

"Farmers and village tailors stopped to watch the birds building their nests.They went on woodland walks. They recorded the days when the wildflowers opened. They observed the little tragedies of nature that no one  had noticed before....They gathered the first hepaticas, the trailing arbutus that had bled unseen under the boots of their fathers." The Flowering of New England, Van Wyke Brooks.

I lost a bit of the weekend in 1850's Concord, Massachusetts. A lovely, perfectly timed and cleverly eco-friendlily wrapped parcel arrived from a good blogger friend one day last week when I'd just witnessed the demise of the old pine tree from the garden. I had tried in vain. Everything but tying myself to it, to stop the amputation. Probably even that wouldn't have emancipated George. That was what I'd named him.

The hardworking builders eventually persuaded me that he had to go and so I braced myself and watched one of the things that had enticed us into buying this old house, being sawn asunder. It was surprisingly hard. I felt a lump in my chest and managed to suppress the tears that I could feel about to percolate. Reassured with the promise that everything else would be left just as it was. They showed me the drain pipe with George's limbs growing strongly inside. He really had to go. I was promised that there would be no more surgery.

They didn't quite keep their promise and that was when the parcel came, with the pretty crocheted pansy book mark inside the pages of American Bloomsbury. It was a personal copy from a lovely kindred spirit who thoughtfully sent it to me knowing that we have a shared passion for 19c American literature. Perfect timing.     

As soon as I had a chance I stole an house (whoops, that should be hour) and snuggled up by the roaring fire and was transported to another time and another world. 

Once I'd lost George, I didn't feel the same need to stay close by to protect him. The pressure was on to find things to fill our new kitchen as soon as it's ready because we'll simultaneously loose the old one. So we sourced a nice big strong cooker resisting the allure of an aga because of green issues (I'll explain if anyone is interested.) No more looking at nice pictures and reading reviews. It was time to make decisions. 

We managed to find some lovely old furniture very cheaply from an amazing den and a vintage shop a couple of miles away in our current favourite little village. A dressing last and an old pine set of kitchen drawers to keep all our pots and pans, an oak wall cupboard to house mugs and cups and boxes of tea and coffee, a vintage radiator, industrial lampshade and a coffee set. Along with pieces that we brought with us from Oxford and ones gifted by our new neighbours. I think that should sort out our new higgeldy piggeldy kitchen that I romanticised about all those months ago. 

Happy days,