Sunday, 24 July 2011

The gig, a holiday and a carboot sale.

Firstly, an apology for my extended absence from the blog. Life has been full of lovely surprises and good times and not enough time!
We took part in a carboot sale a couple of weeks ago  a) to clear some old shop stock b) to raise a little capital for our holiday c)  to kick start our sun tan before our trip to Greece.
We were not disappointed. I had forgotten what fun it is to sell at a car boot. The day had not begun well. We set off early on a Sunday morning and headed to Nuthill farm carboot sale in Guildford (a 30 min drive) only to discover as we pulled in we'd forgotten half the things, so turned around to collect them. Having gone a whole  two years without a holiday, Steve and I had started doing this sort of thing a lot so the air was blue in the car as we broke all kinds of speed laws returning to Wimbledon for the cash tin and tables. Finally we arrived an hour late and set up our table in the last row. The dealers circled as we unpacked and we sold the bulk of our valuable goods in the first 15 mins the rest of the day was spent tweaking our stall and seeing who could sell the worst object for the most (I won - a bombed out kettle fetched a whole earth pound from a rather gullible gent..oops have I said too much.) All in all we had a great morning and went home tired but smiling.


Now here's a sign you don't see that often so when Steve and I set off for a day of music and sunshine at the Milton Keynes Bowl this raised a giggle or two.

The Foo Fighters, Steve's favourite band and his Christmas present- tickets to their 130 000 ticket sell out concert. An awesome evening.

Now for the holiday. Yes, you guessed it, we went to Santorini, Greece. A few years ago in another life a friend and I spent the summer Island hopping. The trip culminated in a two night stay on Santorini Island.

I was impressed by the sheer beauty of the vista over the caldera. Surely nowhere in the world could boast such an awe inspiring view.

So when a lucky three year overpayment on an electricity and gas bill ended in a refund we decided to head back to Santorini for a bit of sun and soul searching. Again, we were not disappointed.

Tomatoes. Fruits of the Gods. Strangely I do not eat tomatoes except when I am in Greece. They taste wonderful, like sunshine.

Kittens. Everywhere. Racing snake thin but each one with an owner who knows them by name.

Cuban Cigars. On lamposts advertising the open air cinema.

Bougainvillea. The fuschia against the sky blue an iconic Greek marriage.

Gates. Peeling and forlorn. Oh how I wished I could put one in my suitcase and take it home.

Repurposed. Nothing in Greece is thrown away. Oil cans brilliantly painted and planted up with hot coloured Geraniums.

Views. Views, views views.

Churches. Pagan sites were replaced by churches and shrines. Being a very superstitious island there are more of these than people.

 Serendipity. Speaks for itself.

Fishermen. Santorini still supports a thriving community of fishermen.

Transport. Mules for the hills.

Transport. Our mule.

Dogs. To warn the locals of coming earthquakes.

Tourists. Clambering in the impossibly romantic town of Oia to see the world's best sunset.

Bliss. The view from our cave room in the caldera.

Chihuahua. It was love. Steve found a friend who greeted him each night on our way out to dinner.

Sunset. The reason Santorini is believed to be the most romantic place on earth.

Food. Surprising, inventive, delicious.

Volcano. One of three craters dormant, but a huge active one lies just beneath the surface of the ocean  6 kms off shore. It's overdue.

 Prayer. Leaving a stone stack behind on the top of the volcano as an act of prayer and reverence.

Budgie smugglers. Too many on Santorini!

Oasis. Our villa in Imerovigli.

 Stand off. The photo says it all.

 Smiles. Thanks Santorini for your restorative power and space to live, laugh and love.

Friday, 1 July 2011


This week has been the second week at the Championships at Wimbledon and a furniture heavy one with lots of little projects finally getting their lick of paint and/or makeover. This little chair was painted to replace the chair we sold last week. These cane chairs are so versatile and easily fit in to so many different  styles of decor.

The chair was quite fiddly to paint but  it's very satisfying covering the many layers of paint which have been applied over decades to suite the taste of the previous owners.

This old beast has been maligned by my husband from day one, but I was determined to show him that it had good bones and just needed a paint job so....


A very tired old lion arm rest

After a good sand, the first coat was applied and already he looked better.

Finally the 1930's storage bench takes its place in the shop. Lovely!

This chair had a green velvet seat which I reupholstered with this fantastic newsprint fabric.

A vintage Rupert the Bear toy has taken a shine to it.

 Another lovely little Lloyd Loom piece which had a makeover this week.

 Meanwhile, another 1950's telephone bench was repainted by Steve for a customer

Other new makes in the shop....

More Peter and Jane 1960's book print cards

 Roses cigarette card notelets

 More up-cycled cheese dishes

 Cakes stands with some lovely new fittings which are good and sturdy.

 Bunting...more bunting........

 Bundles of pretty tea towels

New items which found their way onto our shelves

My art class also had a day out! We went watercolouring on a hot Sunday in Cannizaro park.

Also, a treat. This year we were fortunate enough to get tickets for Wimbledon Tennis in the public ballot so off we went on Middle Monday for a day of play and sunshine on Court one.
It was 32 degrees in the shade but what a day. A great time to relax and unwind after a busy few weeks.

What has been a week of doom and gloom on the high street has left us feeling a little shaken. With buyer confidence at an all time low we are facing the dilemma of knowing we need to broaden our net to include online sales but we feel passionate about our little shop and the community that it has already created. I worry that in time we will be made redundant in a falling footfall market, we desperately need support in this time. Please support your local shops. You will miss them when they are gone.