Tag Archives: interior decoration

Canterbury Cathedral

It was another beautiful blue sky day yesterday so Modman, Brewgirl and I headed into Canterbury for a wander through the medieval town…

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…and a visit to the famous 11th century cathedral of The Canterbury Tales. I’d always meant to visit (I’ve been in England over 20 years!) but never managed to. Here was my chance.

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The newly clean stone shone in the winter sunlight but nothing prepared me for its size. The towers are cleverly designed to make them look even taller when you’re standing directly in front of the façade.

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Inside, the cathedral seemed even more immense, the Gothic arches soaring to points overhead and fanning out like the branches of sky-scraping trees.

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We walked around the nave until we found ourselves under the main tower. Then we looked up…to heaven.

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Then through another archway, and the “newer” addition. more Romanesque than Gothic.

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The most touching thing is the candle lit to honour the memory of St Thomas a Becket http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Becket, the 12th century priest murdered on 29th December 1170 in the cathedral by knights of Henry II. I stood on the spot exactly 843 years later to the day.

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Every now and then my eye was caught by the swish of clerical skirts…

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…or a glimpse through a half-open door of life behind the scenes.

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The bright sun of the winter day filtered through the stained glass windows…

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…lighting corners and illuminating details.

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The sun wasn’t the only thing to sneak in.

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If you find yourself on English soil, do make a visit to Canterbury Cathedral. It is awe-inspiring.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canterbury_Cathedral

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Selling at a Vintage Fair

I phoned the guy, paid my £30, and it was done. I’d just secured my first pitch at a vintage and antiques fair. So today was the day. I’d sorted through the boxes of stuff I have in storage that I wanted to sell, and Tootsie and Henry valiantly got up at 5:30am this morning to drive me to Brighton for the fair.

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They dropped me off before heading off to Brighton for a Tootsie/Hankenstein day, and I set about organising my stall, filling it up with what I hopped would be tempting treasures for the show’s visitors.

A Victorian birdcage…

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…cushions embroidered by my own fair hand…

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…pictures and a retro clock and a rustic watering can…IMG_9078

…baskets…

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…1920s Chinese lanterns (so pretty in a garden)…

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… ten Art Deco advertising prints (sold to the man furnishing a cocktail bar in London!)…

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…and lots of vintage china and glassware.

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My friend Spicegirl joined me to help soften up potential buyers, and brought a delicious picnic to sustain us through the busy day.

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I said good-bye to some of my much-loved treasures, happy to see them go off to good homes, and, at the end, only a few boxes and bits and pieces were left.

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Back to storage for the next fair.

Settling In

Getting everything into place in the new flat.

The cosy bedroom full of my vintage Moroccan rugs lugged back to England in my suitcases (one’s even hanging over the end of the Victorian brass bed which I found at the back of an old antique shop in Ste-Genevieve, Quebec when I was 18)…

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…the light-filled kitchen with my 1970s table and chairs and an amazing view…

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…the tiny bathroom…

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…and the living room full of my vintage mid-century stuff (mostly bought on ebay and at flea markets) — I just need to borrow Wineguy’s drill to get my big flower painting up on the wall.

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…and the view is still amazing. Especially when standing on the balcony on a summer evening, sipping a glass of wine and listening to the Canada Geese and swans fly onto the reservoir to roost for the night. Hard to believe central London is only 15 minutes away on the Tube.

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Moving Day

I’ve been moving.

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Getting things out of storage, packing up suitcases, lugging, shifting, taping, boxing… all during the hottest week of the year…

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…aided and abetted by Vanman and his left-hand man Laughing Boy (that’s Vanman on the right).

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I’ve been living out of suitcases for over a year, so it’s great to reacquaint myself with the things that I love.

A cushion made from a piece of Chinese embroidered silk…

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…some antique Persian slippers…

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…a rope of turquoise beads…

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…a Berber farmer’s hat…

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…an Afghanistani rug…

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…an old Chinese workbench with its original paint…

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…a vintage Bitossi lamp…

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…a pirate’s chest…

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…an old fan, circa 1940 (it still works)…

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…an unusual 1960s Lloyd Loom chair…

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…a stack of vintage silk scarves, bought on ebay…

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…and Wendy Boston (given to me by my great aunt Dora on the day I was born).

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Now to put it all in place.

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Oh, did I mention the view?

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Glad Rags for a Posh Do

A great designer friend of mine invited me to a posh do last night in Chelsea — a big exhibition of art, antiques and design called Masterpiece www.masterpiecefair.com . I borrowed some glad rags from Tootsie (all mine are in storage)…

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…and headed into London to meet up with my friend and we headed off to the Masterpiece tent on the Chelsea Embankment…

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…where I was particularly taken with the sculptures made out of blue glass bottles.

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London’s movers and shakers were there, along with many visitors from abroad, eager to spend their money on beautiful objects (and if you have money to spend, I’m all for buying beautiful things you love)…

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…and champagne and canapés were never far away (which always makes me happy).

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We hobbed and we nobbed (well, mostly my friend hobbed and nobbed while I drank champagne and chased after canapés), and then we headed out of the tent, past the vintage Rolls…

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…and drove over to his flat (not in the vintage Rolls) where his partner had cooked us up a slap up meal of guinea fowl followed by home-made raspberry ice cream.

A very nice evening was had by all. 🙂