Clear skies on a winter's evening
Now that we have the little bolthole of Shoestring Cottage to escape to in the weekends I fear I am turning into some strange domestic creature who derives great pleasure from pressing and washing things, folding them up and placing them in their allotted homes. Even setting the table for two and putting out the pretty china gives me a big thrill, how odd. Going into my very own sewing room and inspecting its contents can keep me happy for a good while and sweeping the front porch also has its peculiar charms. After a bit of thought I have come to the conclusion that the reason for all this domestic happiness must be that there is no pressure to get things done in a particular time period; if I want to I can spend all weekend on these soothing activities. It is satisfying to have the time to spend on these tasks and enjoy the end result without having to dash on to the next job. And nice does matter, it makes everyday occasions more enjoyable.
Baby's tears plant happy in the window
Last Saturday night Mr and Mrs Peaceable came round for dinner and setting the table with a damask cloth, putting out the old napkins with their napkin rings and lighting the candles was a very enjoyable way of getting “in the mood” for entertaining. We use my mum’s old cutlery set. It does need replating but I like the slightly worn and battered appearance of the pieces and there is always the “good luck” knife to look out for. (One was lost when I was a child and the replacement was slightly different to the other knives. We children used to squabble over who got the “good luck” knife.) It only took a few minutes to set up the room but it looked so pretty and welcoming. Sometimes people remark to me that they don’t have time for “all that stuff”, but if we think of the amount of time we can spend lolling on sofas watching rubbish TV a bit of time and effort spent on making our surroundings more pleasant isn’t really wasted. And using old family china and cutlery is rewarding too. One of my friends has a special gravy spoon which has been used by generations of her family. It is worn down with decades of use but, that all adds to its charm and it has so many happy memories of shared family meals attached to it as well.
Cream jug cover with intricate crocheted tea cup - who went to all that trouble to decorate their nest?
This flower is from an amazing succulent we treasure which blossoms only occasionally; the blooms are enormous and have the most heavenly perfume.