Even now they’re going over, to me there’s still a kind of shabby chic blowsy beauty to these faded peony blooms 🙂
‘The secret to happiness, you see, is not found in seeking more, but in developing the capacity to enjoy less’Socrates
If there’s one thing I’ve learned about myself over the course of this pandemic it’s that it is perfectly possible for me to be happy enjoying less.
Life has definitely shrunk somewhat over this past year and a bit, become smaller, more intimate and focused much closer to home, and I find I’ve got so used to it now I’m not sure I want it to be that different going forward into the future.
I’m truly enjoying spending so much time at home, especially in the garden, and there’s something timeless for me in sitting outside in nature, curled up on my garden bench in the sunshine, relaxing and reading and drinking a refreshing cup of tea… ❤
‘Life begins the day you start a garden…’Chinese Proverb
So now what do I do with my wedding china?
When I first got married to my kids’ dad, 39 years ago next month, I was a fresh-faced pregnant 18-year-old and we had a typical, traditional marriage ceremony with me resplendent in a long white bridal gown and veil, ‘given away’ by my dad in our local church. All the men dressed in kilts and the women wore hats, and afterwards a formal wedding reception meal and dance was held at a reasonably posh hotel.
At that time it was still the norm for the bride-to-be to choose a particular pattern for fancy china with the intention that people who wished to contribute could then choose individual items of that same pattern to buy as a wedding gift, as the idea was to end up with a full (or thereabouts) posh dinner service made up of a collection of smaller pieces each gifted separately by various friends and family members.
I wasn’t ever keen on the usual fussy intricate patterns available at the time, so chose this Masons Ironstone ‘Fruit Basket’ design in green. Plain enough to suit my taste, but patterned enough to look good as a set. For the first few years of my married life my fancy dinner service sat unused in the china cabinet, and when that marriage ended it was packed into a storage box where it stayed for a good long while.
Eventually a few years later I decided it was silly to have it and not use it at all, so it became my special occasion ‘good’ china (which was its original intended purpose), but after several pieces got chipped and broken through normal wear and tear I packed it all up again until… whenever… And in the three decades since then I’ve dutifully kept the remains of my fancy dinner service untouched, still wrapped up and stored in the same big plastic crate.
In the year and a half since we moved in here the box of fancy china has sat hopefully in the corner of our spare room, biding its time, and today I decided finally to have a proper look to see exactly what is left in one piece, what is still there but damaged, and what is missing altogether. The image above shows all of the pieces that remain intact – more than I remembered, actually – and now it’s all sitting uneasily on my living room floor I’m unsure what to do with it.
Typically all the cups and saucers – six for tea, and six for coffee – are fine, but I only have four whole dinner plates, and only two egg cups. One further egg cup is cracked, and one extra dinner plate plus the sugar bowl each have an unsightly chip on the edge. Although the pattern design is now discontinued (not surprising after all these years) the individual pieces still seem to be quite expensive to buy online, so it’s clearly worth far too much just to give away, but as it was originally a gift I’m really not keen to sell it on.
I’ve even seen this particular pattern and colourway appearing on period dramas on TV – it seems to be a go-to favourite on Poirot – and I must admit it always makes me smile to see it. For me it’s a real blast from the past, a memory of a long-ago life that once was mine, and surely the fact that I still have it with me after all these years shows it still has some sentimental value for me?
So instead of making the difficult decision today about what to do with my wedding china, I’m taking pictures of it and writing a rambling blog post! Yes I know it’s more than one line, but that’s because the question is one line and of course I had to give it some context…
By tomorrow no doubt my dinner service will be back nestled tight into its plastic crate in the spare room, where it will inevitably stay for another several months (or maybe even years!) until I actually find a new home for it out on display somewhere in the house… 🙂
We’re planning to redecorate our bedroom (a year and a half after moving in). I’ve already stripped off the old wallpaper, but underneath it had noticed some decidedly dodgy crumbling plastering above the door to the en suite bathroom with a rather big gap between the undulating plaster and the wooden door frame. Today my husband was re-plastering the uneven wall and we were discussing how best to ensure the door frame sits tight to the wall once we re-paper. My husband, wearing a dust mask for sanding the plaster, said:
‘We need to make sure we reduce the gap as much as possible – we don’t want any spiders, dust, or giraffes coming out from behind the door frame’
Or at least , that’s what I thought he said. The puzzled look on my face alerted him to the fact that I’d clearly misunderstood – it turns out we were discussing draughts, not giraffes – Oops! 🙂
Time for the 25th amendment to be invoked…
‘Even a happy life cannot be without a measure of darkness, and the word happy would lose its meaning if it were not balanced by sadness’Carl Jung
When kindness is shared, it grows ❤
We picked up a pack of 10 of these lovely postcards in our local Lidl supermarket and sent them out to various Scottish friends (those we inevitably haven’t seen for a while due to ongoing coronavirus restrictions across the country) for St Andrew’s Day on 30th November 🙂
Single mitt, seeking mate… 🙂