Category: Home & Garden

Ham House

Ham House Collage

You may have read in one of my previous posts, Petersham Nurseries, that my OH treated me to a day in Richmond, London. While there, as the weather was so lovely we had a bit of a walk around. Thanks to the power of Google we soon discovered that we were near Ham House. I love looking at old things. It’s the next best thing to buying old things!

Ham House CollageHad it not been so expensive (over £10* each) we’d have spent ages mooching round the house. However, we opted for the garden only. It was a lovely day so were happy to do that. It was amazing. Even from the outside the house was beautiful. I always like to imagine what it would be like to live somewhere like this & am always convinced it would be super cool! There were some amazing little huts in the garden which made me instantly jealous & demand that we have one in our (tiny) garden! The main gardens were for vegetable planting. This is something I’ve never really done but am desperate to do once we regain some kind of control over the garden. They had some lovely blossoms on the trees & some gorgeous & unusual flowers in the borders too. It was worth the £7 to get in, have a sandwich and get some ideas for the garden. A lovely little place & well worth the visit if you’re in the area.

Hungry HorseAfter Ham House, heading back to the car, we walked along the Thames. We spotted this cute little chap who was linked to the polo club near by. Naturally we stopped to say hello, pet his nose & offer up any minty treats (which we didn’t have!). He wasn’t interested in us at all. He was interested in eating my handbag, which after the encounter was covered in green horse saliva. Nice!

Ice Cream RewardMy reward for being brave & not freaking out about a horse trying to eat my bag was my first 99 ice cream of the summer. I loved it – Sat by the Thames, watching cute little dogs running around, eating ice cream with a flake after such a lovely day. A fantastic location with lots of lovely things to see, do & eat. Perfect!

*We’ve thought since that maybe a National Trust membership might be the better way to go about seeing places like Ham House, though I instantly remember my Grandad being a member & it makes me chuckle! Might add a membership to my birthday list tho.

Declutter Time

Recycle Bags

As the weather gets warmer the need to ‘swap’ wardrobes gets more important. I realise this makes me sound like I have way more clothes than I actually do! I don’t have that many but I do have a really small wardrobe which means that I now have to pack away winter jumpers, scarves & gloves and get out thin blouses, tops & linen trousers.

I’ve also taken this opportunity to organise my wardrobe, have a good clear out & use some lovely storage bags to help keep things tidy. I received about five of the Cath Kidston Under Bed Storage Bags for my birthday last year.
Tidy Cupboard PhotoI’ve finally got around to using them & I think they look great. They come with little cards to write on to catalogue the contents & a little plastic wallet on the outside to put it in. I think that this is genius as it saves you having to get it down, look in it to see if it contains what you’re looking for. They look like they will be easy to keep clean & are very generous. You should’ve seen my wardrobe before I got started. There were clothes all just piled up on the shelf, all a mess & no colour-coding insight! Now everything is organised, which is just how I like it!

I also took the opportunity to remove things that no longer fit or I know I’ll never wear again. This is quite painful as (like most women up & down the length of the country!) some things haven’t been worn & still have the label on ‘in the hope that I’ll lose a few pounds and fit into them next summer’! Oh well, there’s always next summer! These things I’ve kept but seeing that I  had about 5 black cardigans I thought a proper clear out was necessary. 5 bags worth is what I’ve collected so far & this includes shoes & handbags. 

I know that I’ll probably regret getting rid of some of these items in the future but for the moment it has to be done. Recycle Bags I feel a lot better for it & know that someone will be grateful if I’ve donated something that they buy & love. Next on my list to clear out is my DVD & CD collections. Now that it seems lots of charities/schools can make money by recycling these I feel that I can get rid of them without increasing my carbon footprint & chucking them into landfill. There are a number of places who collect & make money from the recycling of these items. I know that some charity shops won’t take things like this because they can’t store many of them & they often can’t shift them so I’m glad that I can help make a difference & get rid of some embarrassing titles!

Petersham Nurseries

Petersham Nursery Collage

Petersham Nursery CollageA few weeks ago my OH told me that he was going to take me on a surprise visit somewhere. He had been inspired by Domesticali‘s blog entry – many thanks for this! We went to the delightful Petersham Nurseries. If you have never been then you had better hot foot it over there. It is a lovely little place, full of vintage bits & pieces; plants and delicious brownies! I had one & it was massive! Washed down with tasty coffee – Lush. We could’ve spent all day there. There were some lovely plants, though less than I imagined there would be. There is a lovely shop too although many pieces were too pricey for me, but I did drool over most of what they had. Petersham Nursery Cafe Well worth the visit & I will definitely go back when our garden is ready for planting. They had a lovely range of plants that you don’t normally see in really big garden centres. I think this is mainly due to the way everything has been displayed. It’s all done using vintage bits & pieces which made me want to move in instantly! You can buy the chairs that you sit on for coffee & everything is very relaxed. We didn’t eat in the restaurant but did enjoy the wonders of the cafe. Even the toilets impressed with the lovely way they’d been decorated and the soap & moisturiser combo by the sink!

I’d never heard of this place until my OH took me there but I’ve since discovered that they’ve got a section at the London branch of Selfridges. Personally I’d rather go to the real place – if for no other reason than to enjoy another of the wonderful brownies & a pot of the coffee!

Crafty Nana

Nana Oil Painting

As you may have seen from my previous post, I was lucky enough to go to Cirencester last weekend. While walking around, we stumbled onto a fabulous shop called Sorted. It has a wonderful mix of new & vintage; clothes & furniture; art & jewellery. Just my kind of place! There were certainly plenty of things to spend your money on, not many of them cheap as they really are vintage pieces. They range from Victorian to 1960’s but all have clearly been chosen because they will sell well. And at least two of them sold well to me! 

Nana BroochMy paternal Nana died last year & left me a small sum of money. I wanted to buy something specific that would remind me of her & that she would approve of. I spotted the flower brooch first. I think that this would definitely have been something that Nana would’ve worn ‘for best’. I knew I couldn’t leave it in the shop because I got ‘the feeling’. This is the feeling that I get when I’m going to buy something that I hadn’t planned for! It was very reasonable at £50 and not something that you buy everyday. 

Nana Oil PaintingThe second thing that caught my eye was this beautiful floral  oil painting. I’ve never painted with oils, but Nana & Grandad always had very colourful oil paintings in their house. I used to touch them as a child because I was intrigued by the lumps! This was a bit more at £130 and really is vintage. It adds some brightness to my study & makes me smile whenever I look at it.

My purchases definitely reflect the style that my Nana had & I’m very grateful to Sorted as I’ve been looking for something for a while.

An interview with the owners of Sorted can be seen in the February edition of Homes & Antiques magazine.