Monday, 19 August 2013

A bit on the side in the bedroom!

Now that title got your attention didn't it!! Go on admit it, you thought my blog
had changed direction didn't you??
Ha ha, no sorry to disappoint, this is going to be a housey post.
I thought just lately my posts had been a little miserable and moany so I promise to be more upbeat in future - around here I don't have that "time of the month" I have that time of the year!
 (roughly April to the end of August)
I have been thinking for a while about those little arrangements we have around the house, you know the little clusters of photographs grouped together, the little groups of interesting objects d'art - a vignette if you will. I got to thinking after reading Mel's post here. Mel writes a wonderful blog about family life (and more) in Tasmania.
I used to spend hours arranging little things on the mantelpiece or dressing table, but that was pre-children.
We then progressed to moving all breakables out of reach (or on many occasions actually breaking them, just to save moving them!)
Out tasteful artwork was replaced with those pre school paintings you stick to the wall and admire, only to be told it's a picture of you and it's upside down!
This then made way for the massive amounts of school letters, timetables and important info which you pin to the wall or stand on the mantelpiece in the vain hope that this will help you remember said important date - it doesn't appear to be helping!
But after reading Mel's post I took a fresh look around and, although a bit disappointed that I seem to have lost all knowledge of interior design we do still have a couple of little "vignettes".
My favourite is on my bedside cabinet, it always makes me smile. It's only a really small collection but because it's in our bedroom it doesn't take a battering from the kids!
The cabinet I love; I spent an age looking for something that size and shape but had no luck. Then I realised we had the very thing in the garage, a set of three items from a house clearance which I'd bought on impulse for about £50.
They were mahogany and although lovely they just didn't fit with the style of our house.
A quick sand down and after undercoat I used some Dulux antique white satin finish (or maybe eggshell finish - are they the same??)
And I love the end result it's the perfect size and shape and holds plenty too. I say perfect but it's probably not quite that - I do get a crick in my neck trying to see the digits on the clock and I can't reach the lamp switch unless I get out of bed! But I love it all the same.
I like to have a few unread books from my must-read list on there as well as a little china ornament of my dear Grandmothers.
The little vignette I'm thinking of is this....
not the clearest photo I'm afraid!

It is only small but consists of a photo of the boys in the days when they hugged and kissed each other and smiled a lot and a tiny picture of Little Miss with a big beaming smile and clutching her first ever ballet certificate. And a straw wedding hat of mine - which comes with a story - you guessed there'd be a story behind this didn't you?
I love that hat and it was bought around 11 years ago to go to my husband's, nephew's wedding.
As most weddings are in the summer and this was, if I remember correctly, in August we have a problem. The builder will not miss a cricket match for anything or anyone!
I spent several years going to things alone but no one understands his commitment to the sport so quite often took offence that my RSVP said I'd love to attend but he would not.
They take it as a personal insult when he puts a match higher up his list of priorities than the most-important-day-of their-lives!
I then spent a few years refusing all invites during the summer as I got fed up with turning up and attaching myself to other couples I knew a la gooseberry!
I don't much like it but now I attend, although wedding invites are few and far between these days, when I feel like it and it's easier now I can be accompanied by children.
The most recent event was my best friends 50th birthday party which I went to alone and The Builder joined me there later, just before it finished!
Anyway back to the story of the hat.
I was very pregnant at the time, although it was August and Little Miss wasn't due until January I was still the size of a baby elephant (actually cross out the baby). I was huge in the tummy department but trundled along with two little boys and enjoyed a very glamorous wedding at the church.
I had borrowed a lovely wrap around silk dress by Nicole Farhi from a friend. The friend had come to my rescue with a variety of loose fitting dresses (not maternity) to try on, as I struggled to wrap it round my great girth she quietly mused that the last time she'd worn it she'd had a smoochy dance with
a very famous English film star!!
"What"!! I said - I never knew she had connections to that Hello magazine world where
 a good part of my brain lives!
Anyway I proceeded to interrogate her for details and she left looking a little shell shocked but leaving me with the dress and the line
 "oh this old dress? last time this was worn it was to dance with .....!"
 No mention that I wasn't inside the dress at the time it of course!

Anyway at the end of a lovely wedding ceremony we all gathered in the churchyard for the obligatory photographs. Various family members stepped forward when summoned by the photographer. I waited until he asked for the Groom's Aunts, Uncles and Cousins. Over I went with my huge tummy and two small boys and took my place amongst the others at the side of the Groom. The photographer looked up at the family group; then looked through his viewfinder and looked around the churchyard. He seemed to be looking for someone.
I encouraged the boys to show us their biggest smiles,
while the photographer looked around again.
There seemed to be a problem.
And then he spoke, he spoke directly to me. "Are we waiting for someone? Do you have a partner?"
I stuttered a bit and replied "No", whilst turning the same colour as an over ripe tomato.
The photographer then very pointedly looked at my face, then my bump and the two boys then back at my face. Then he took the photo but I swear I heard him "Tut tut"
It was difficult to hear over the sniggers coming from the other members of my husband's family though!

Seeing the hat does make me giggle though!


  1. Your vignette is wonderful and carries such lovely memories. I always enjoy your wonderful stories.
    Sarah x

  2. Great story.
    Nice chest of drawers, looks good with the white paint finish and I love the lamp base.
    Lisa x

    1. The lamp is gorgeous, it's Laura Ashley and really expensive (for me anyway) but my Dad worked at the factory and got a slight second for next to nothing (and he got a pair!)

  3. Ha! You shameless hussy you! Turning up at a wedding in your state of shame! I bet the guy dined out on it for years.......

    But yes, having slightly different priorities can make for some interesting solo excursions. My other half isn't into folk music to the same degree as me, so he doesn't come to any of the Molly stuff, though he does enjoy a good session. It doesn't bother me any more, but it used to.

    Our home went through a very arid stage when the boys were little - you have different priorities there, too. One day you will be able to primp and arrange to your heart's delight!

    1. I know the rest of the family who know us well found it hilarious! Such a hussy!

  4. Your husband is dedicated to his sport ... you're a patient wife!
    Id have a hard time putting up with that! So I admire you.
    I really love your brick wall in the bedroom and your white side table xx
    Have a wonderful week,
    Tammy x

  5. You have made me laugh, but what a horrid photographer.. cheeky man! I hope you stuck out your pregnant belly even more!!LOL
    And as for the vignettes I used to have them on side tables, book shelves as well as small shelves in my hall... then I moved and stopped full time work so didn't have a cleaner any more. Was I going to dust all those little arrangements??? No way.... so now I only have my mantle with little arrangements, oh and my little sideboard and my big dining room side board and all along the cane drawer unit in the conservatory and my welsh dresser with its three shelves so I guess I still do have those little vignettes and who dusts them??? Well now and then I do... but only now and then!I must take some photos and post on my blog.
    Happy Days
    Chris xx
    Does dust show in photos????LOL

    1. If you don't move them no one sees the dust! And it shows far less on white than on mahogany - I'm all for not dusting!

  6. I guess that's what partnership is about, compromise. Well at least you looked very glam in your hat and dress (with history). PS can you not mention who?

    1. I hope I looked glam but suspect I was more akin to a beached whale! Not allowed to tell!

  7. Oh how I hear you ! Hoping husband will enjoy his 50th birthday bash at the weekend ( He should as it is all his sailing crowd invited )

    lovely hat !

    1. I'm back for a re read as you tell such a good story.
      I have loads & loads of nick nacks which went up high when great nephew came to stay though I left out my brothers' old dinky cars which Thomas loved playing with.

      Have to smile about all the letters from school piling up & the pictures ( I framed a few ! )
      I was enormous when pregnant with Joe & a friend's husband exclaimed " GOD, Your're HUGE !" Thanks, I know. I would have been reduced to tears at that wedding in those circumstances and angry that husband wasn't there !

    2. Ah thank you, I'm glad you enjoyed the story. I was angry with husband and we usually don't speak for the month of August (even after 30 years!)
      I was asked when the baby was due after I'd given birth to 2 of mine and that made me cry - I was enormous (before and after sadly!)

  8. Love it! The papers etc coming home from School are killing me!!! I love your hat story and I think it's more important for a Vignette to be meaningful, rather than purely a decorative thing, just like you've done with your lovely bedside Vignette. Yes, and now I'm curious about this famous person too. Do tell! Mel xxx

    1. I'm not allowed to tell! I did meet him some years later at their house but became incoherent with "starstruckness" and probably won't be invited again!

  9. You have a gift for making beauty in small spaces. I don't have that gift - my night stand is covered with stuff. I also don't have the gift for refinishing furniture. I like the look of the white against the brick wall.

  10. Lovely vignette - rude photographer!

  11. Love the little display, and the story behind the hat too. I have a cricket mad hubby, and son too, but he's never missed a wedding. Sorry to hear about the stress with the AS results but hopefully, the re-marks will lift them. I think lots of grades have been lower this year, Daniel and just about all his friends didn't reach the grades they were predicted.

  12. Cute little dresser--you did a nice job making it work out.
    That story is funny--I bet you were the talk of the night!

  13. My partner is the same but his love was football so any social happening in the football season was a no no or I would go and be a billy no mates. Unfortunately now it's golf as well which sadly isn't seasonal . Love your hat story x

  14. Love the story behind the hat. I'm feeling quite like an elephant now, myself!