Monday, April 8, 2013

Deco At Highwic

It was a great relief to see that the fish were all alive and swimming, though to be honest they leave a little bit to be desired in the pet affection stakes.  For some reason they spend all their time (as far as we have been able to ascertain so far) at the bottom of their pond, refusing even to surface to eat their fish flakes.  We have to put our faces very close to the water and peer into the depths, counting to see whether all are still present and alive.  They just flutter their fins very faintly and that is the only sign of life we can observe – they don’t even do a quick lap or two of their new luxury accommodations.  I fear it will be some time before they are leaping through blazing hoops above the water’s surface and they definitely aren’t in the market for a gentle tickle of their sides.  All in good time, perhaps they are just slowly learning to feel at home in their new environment. 

This week daughter number three gave me these two gorgeous pieces from the Salvation Army op shop near her work, one each for my green and pink glass collections.  She has a great eye for spotting treasure, in fact she can go into an op shop with you and come out with items you never even noticed and which would be perfect additions to your collection.  I don’t know how she does it because she never dashes in ahead or tries to elbow you out of the way –  she has some kind of treasure radar! 

The front door has its new glass in place and it looks more handsome.  It didn’t turn out to be a very economical project because the red and green glass was rather pricey, but the effect combined with the stained glass panels in the front porch is just what we hoped for.

Also the pretty etched glass above the door looks much better now that the old bits of paint have been removed from around the edges. 

It takes a lot to lure us away from Shoestring Cottage on a Sunday but this weekend we had to make an exception because there was an art deco afternoon at Highwic House in Auckland.  It turned out to be a wonderful event.  We went along with Senor and Senora Valentino (who provided the most scrumptious comestibles) and there was dancing, croquet, a fleet of magnificent vintage cars 

and fabulous glad rags to ogle.  A local bike shop had arranged a “tweed run” so some people had come on their vintage bikes.  There was a fashion competition (one class for the ladies and one for the gentlemen).
I don't know exactly what these competitors were discussing, but the gentleman in the centre was the picture of sartorial elegance and also a bit gangster

The ladies were very amiable, even though competing for the top prize

This lady did not compete but every detail of her ensemble was perfect!
A fine figure of a gentleman

 Senor Valentino was proud as a peacock when he won the dancing competition and Senora Valentino was relieved that she had not entered it with him as she had a modest opinion of her talents, but there I believe she was mistaken. 

The steal jam where dancers interrupt and "steal" themselves a partner

Highwic is in Newmarket very close to a motor overpass and surrounded by busy roads but it has a  peaceful atmosphere and is set in a hectare of grounds.  It was interesting to revisit the house and admire the way it has been preserved.  Mr Alfred Buckton, the original owner, had 21 children grow up there and it was added to over time.  The style is wooden Gothic and building began in 1862, and it was extended in 1873.   The boys all shared a room which being directly under the roof was very hot in summer and extremely cold in winter.

The girls had a more cosy bedroom and one of them (Florence) etched her name into the glass. You can just see it in the centre of the pane here.  

  This tea cosy with beaded swallows was one of my favourite things in the house, 

but this dolls’ house came a close second.  

And then there was the  crazy quilt dressing gown or robe - who could resist it?