Back in France after my week-long visit to the U.K., still in shock as I didn’t have to take a jacket – no, not even a cardie. Baking in a heatwave, the Brits watched the tarmac melting, their children getting severe sunburn and old ladies getting stuck in deckchairs until, inevitably, it all got too much, there was a storm and the rain and wind returned. Oh, and a new prince was born.
As predicted, I went to Brighton but didn’t have time to go on the pier this time so, instead, I bought some cards from a lovely photographer lady, Ruth Thomas, who was selling them in the market. This one is my favourite and, although I sort of suspect the bright white light is a photography no, no, I like the way it seems to emanate from the old, destroyed Pier and shines through the deck chair canvas.The rest of the photos are mine and, because I was on a budget airline and too mean to pay for a suitcase, I only had room to take my teeny, trusty old compact camera so, sorry for the dodgy quality.
I couldn’t decide which fabric to buy so bought a bundle of coordinating tana lawn to make into a small, simple quilt – when I get a minute.
I went to an antiques fair and, as you do, bought an enormous vintage butcher’s hanging scale which can weigh items up to 200 lbs and is itself so heavy I don’t know how I’m going to get it back to France – hence the lack of photographic evidence! It has made its way as far as Mr. Tialys’ appartment as I thought he’d be able to bring it back in his cabin bag but he pointed out that Security might have a problem with the huge metal hook suspended beneath the scale. Who knew? Inexplicably, I also bought some vintage wooden crates which I have left at my parents’ house and is where they will probably stay until somebody decides to chop them up for kindling. I do this kind of impractical shopping sometimes – I get carried away in the moment and, if Mr. Tialys is not there to talk sense, which he wasn’t on this occasion, I end up with all sorts of things and then have to organise a courrier delivery.
I had arranged to meet my sister-in-law near London Bridge for drinks and dinner but went early to indulge in a bit of culture. I always find certain exhibits at the Tate Modern good for a laugh and there is a lovely view across the Thames from one of the balconies where you can go for some respite from the innovations in art or, if you are so inclined, and many were, a quick ciggie.
I had a traditional English cream tea (Oh, how I miss real cream) in, bizarrely, a tea shop just off Carnaby Street where I took a break from spooning clotted cream and strawberry jam onto warm scones to surreptitiously snap this framed French magazine as I have some of these in my vintage shop and wanted to demonstrate how good they look framed up.
What, I hear you ask, is the meaning of the title of this post. Am I proud to be British, proud of that rather good photo of the Thames even though I only had my compact, or proud of my vintage finds? Well yes, all of those things but mostly I am proud of my Mum. Now 80 herself , although for gawd’s sake don’t tell her I told you, she was nominated for a voluntary carers’ award for visiting a housebound elderly lady every week – almost without fail – for the past ten years . She wasn’t going to attend the ceremony as she is far too shy and modest but, as I said I’d go with her, she agreed to go. She received a framed certificate from the Lady Mayor and afterwards we had a traditional English tea (another one!!) in lovely gardens in the sunshine.
When I got home I had over 350 emails to sort out – who are all these people who have my email address? – and Madamoiselle Tialys the elder has truly caught the dressmaking bug and was waiting for some help finishing a skirt she had started so I haven’t actually finished anything myself for a couple of weeks. Still, plenty of mother daughter bonding going on while she is home from university for the summer so I’m not complaining just explaining the lack of ‘tadaa’ moments in this post. Maybe next time.