Durdatha whye! (Good day to you) Don’t ask me how to pronounce that as I’ve only lived in Cornwall for 5 minutes and don’t know anyone who speaks the dialect yet, but I as soon as I do I’ll be asking if the Cornish are also known as Corns. Although on reflection, this probably isn’t the case and may cause some sour looks in my direction, but it would be kind of fun but unfortunate (for the Corns that is) if it were true.
So anyway after a week that was exhausting and sometimes harrowing we are now firmly enscounced in a little stone terrace cottage in a small Cornish village, and by small I mean there isn’t even a pub which is pretty rare anywhere in Britain, but luckily the local shop sells a wide selection of cheap plonk should the need to pour red wine on the situation occurs (which is does with some alarming frequency).
In the process of unpacking our joint collection of random crap, I’ve resdiscovered some of my precious treasures which have been in storage for the better part of the last year so I thought I’d share these today. In various parts of the world but mostly in the basements, lofts and garages of my family members, I have boxes and boxes of curios and trinkets collected during my travels however as I’ve pretty much continued a semi-nomadic lifestyle since then I haven’t had the chance to enjoy them all in once place. I’m hoping Cornwall will be the place I can finally do that….and then look out, you’ll be bombarded by batik wall hangings and ornate Nepalese incense holders but in the meantime, I’ll have to make do with my acquisitions of more recent years, and here are some of my favs:
Picked up at the overwhelmingly awesome Jatujak weekend market in Bangkok, this cost around £2 and there were a variety of groovy colours to choose from. I wanted them all! Jatujak is apparently the largest weekend market in the world and in it’s sprawling rabbit warren of stalls you can find almost anything you can think of, and quite a bit that you can’t. I’d highly recommend a visit, it’ll take you most of the day to get through and will be excruciatingly hot and humid but the sheer volume of stuff to browse is worth the trip alone. Oh a tip: if you are going to be in Thailand a while, leave this till the end of your trip as you’ll ineviatably want to buy way more than you want to carry around on trains and buses.
I bet you’re thinking what’s so great about coloured pencils, but you’d be wrong! Ha. These are in fact chopsticks that look like coloured pencils, of course. I haven’t told you yet, but I actually have quite an impressive chopstick collection, but as per above this is currently in a box somewhere in NZ so these are the only unique set I have with me in the UK. As far as practicality goes they are kind of slippery to eat with, but fun all the same and Squigglet loves trying to pick things up with them and play the drums too so multi-purpose points all around! From memory these ones came from Japanese department store, Loft, which is an amazing emporium of all sorts of cute and cool things you never knew you needed but have to own.
Lastly is my latest collection obsession, old teacups. I could be all right on and call them vintage as there’s no doubt that some of them actually are, but others are just sort of old and a little chipped so I’m not sure they warrant that claim. I started collecting these when I was pregnant with Squigglet as I’d decided that when me and Io get married some day, it’s going to be a woodland tea-party theme with outside lanterns and wild flowers and wine in teacups or maybe tealights in tea cups but probably not tea in teacups. Anyway, that’s how it started and it kind of still is the end goal but in the meantime I’ve become quite attached to them for their own decorative sake and recently my eyes have started straying to teapots as well, extravagant. Needless to say the first thing I unpacked in giddy excitement was my humble teacup collection, which now takes pride of place in the dining room displayed in a lovely old wooden cabinet we got on freecycle.
So now that I’ve suitably distracted myself from unpacking the rest of our stuff for another day…I’ll sign off and make myself useful. Arg.
Happy Treasure Box Tuesday! I’ve been on the ball this week and started writing this post on Monday, when I should have been packing boxes and sorting out our flat, but procrastination won over and so here I am.
This week I’ve dug out a book we bought or Squigglet last year at a poetry reading, don’t go assuming that we’re all highbrow and cultured and everything, as that totally isn’t the case, but a friend was hosting a local poet evening and so we popped along to support her and came away with this lovely collection ‘A Child’s Book of Poems: All Throughout the Year’ which features works from various Welsh poets and beautiful illustrations with a seasonal theme. I remember loving poetry as a kid, especially those of Australian poet Banjo Patterson and in particular his poem Mulga Bills Bycycle along with silly limericks that kept us entertained on long car journeys. I still like writing poems in secret but don’t often share them out of embarrassment, but perhaps I will get up the courage to some day soon. As we’ve just hit July, I thought I’d share one of the July poems in the book here:
Summer Storm by Phil Carradice
The night the storm came, dragons roared outside our window; their breath – bright lightening flashes – forked the far horizon. The old house trembled, flinching under each and every bang.
‘Come on’, said Dad and led us to the garden. We sat on the veranda, gasping as the rain fell in torrents like a waterfall.
‘Remember this’, Dad Said, It’s nature at her best.’ We sat on in the rain. Thunder crashed and Dad was never closer as summer slipped between my fingers.
The night the storm came and dragons roared outside our window.
As I was thinking back to the toys we used to play with as kids I suddenly remember hours of fun with Pick Up Sticks, such a simple premise but totally absorbing to the point it would stop me and my brother constantly bugging each other as we quietly concentrated on winning the game. I’ll have to remember that for when Squigglet gets to the ‘I’m bored’ stage. In fact, I reckon I might get a set for me and Io to play for evenings when Bananagrams are proving too challenging, which happens quite frequently after a glass or two of Pinot Noir.
Lastly a bit of homeware eye candy that the Eden Project shop sells in our soon to be home of Cornwall. I’ve been coveting these lacquered bamboo and coconut shell bowls for a while now, they are stylish, fairtrade and come in a range of fun bright colours that will add flare to any dinner table or party setting. They are a little on the pricey side (salad bowls £34 small bowls £17.50) but I’ve spotted similar products in Sainsburys for about half the amount, although not sure about the fairtrade credentials of those ones.
I think these may be making an appearance in our new place at some point over the coming months, just have decide which colour!
Over and out for another Tuesday….
Fail! Sheesh I may have bitten off a little more than I can handle committing to a weekly Tuesday post as although I have plenty of things to share, I am struggling a little to get the motivation to sit down and write about it this week as I’ve just started reading 50 Shades of Grey by E L James and I must say it is consuming any spare attention/time that I have, quite a racey story ala modern take on Mills and Boons. Aside from that we’ve been pretty busy with various outings and meeting up with friends this week, as me and Squigglet will be off back down to Wales this weekend to begin packing for our move to Cornwall, fingers crossed our lease comes through tomorrow!
Anyhoo, another random assortment of delights this week so lets start with Sqigglets latest toy obsession: train sets!
These Bigjigs wooden train sets are all the rage in London toy shops and after browsing the catalogue it seems you can start with the basics and build up with additional bits and pieces or themed sets as your child gets older, its also compatible with Brio. Squigglet got the My First Train Set when we got to London and it has been a good piece of kit to keep her entertained every day and its pretty reasonable at £9.99.
This next treasure is a bit random but completely in line with our plans to move to Cornwall and set up a new home in the next month. I do a good line in obsessing about singular things I like/want and for some reason these coat hooks I’ve discovered recently from Oliver Bonas (a new find for me) are my latest passion. Perhaps it’s something to do with the thick stone walled houses we’ve been looking at renting, but I can just see these hanging on the back of the bedroom door or porch with our initials for jackets, dressing gowns or towels – I have a thing about people using my towel, just as Io who has been the bewildered victim of my wrath when he mistakenly picks up mine instead of his. I’m getting over it, slowly. Never mind essentials like washing machines and freezers, vintage style coat hangers are obviously the key to a well-appointed home….mmm see my perspective can get a little skewed when it comes to pretty things.
Last but not least is a little something frivolous that I bought on a whim at the Wholefood Market this week. I’ve been looking for a new summery perfume for a while now but not really wanting to shell out for a big brand variety, so I was happy to come across this lovely range of scents from Pacifica, which I’ve never seen before but strikes a chord with me being from Kiwiland way down in the Pacific Ocean. There is quite a range of smells from the flowery to fruity and they come in EDT or solid perfume style. I got the Tahitian Gardenia which is reminscent of a stroll through a tropical flower garden on a warm humid night…..mmmm.
Anyways, better late than never I guess Treasure Box Tuesday over and out till next week.
I’ve decided to start a new weekly post called ‘Treasure Box Tuesday’ to showcase some of the awesome toys, gadgets and ‘stuff’ I’ve come across for both the kids & parents, in fact families in general and also take a trip down memory lane to take a look at some treasures from the past, like Weeble Wobbles are they still around? I LOVED those as a kid, I think they still make them but the originals were the best as this retro blog I discovered shows. The Squigglet is now 20 months old and starting to really get into ‘building and making’ types of activities so we’ve acquired a few great toys along these lines recently, which have been a lifesaver as we are currently staying in London for Io’s work for a few weeks and have to keep busy all day living out of 1 room!
Needless to say we go on extended buggy marathons quite frequently to visit nearby parks, kids activities and shopping areas during which we have discovered some amazing little stores selling toys, gifts, furniture, pretty paper – all sorts – and after living in a small country town for the last few years my shopping sensors have gone into overload!
This combined with my slight obsession with internet window shopping has lead to quite a collection of things on the wish list and as I love to find out about awesome stuff from real people, I am going to share the awesome stuff I stumble across too – kind of like on Pinterest but in blog form. This won’t be limited to my London finds as by Mid July our little family will be new residents in Cornwall, which is very exciting by itself not to mention all the new and quirky adventures and trinkets awaiting discovery down there.
First up is an awesome ‘Soft Stuff’ Bumper Activity Jar I got from the Early Learning Centre. I’d never heard of Soft Stuff before and thought that Playdoh ruled supreme in the the world of kids squishy playstuff, but I was really thrilled to find this huge jar filled with all sorts of moulding tools, shapes, presses, rollers and a few sealed packets of Soft Stuff for £10. Squigglet plays with this set numerous times every day, usually starting at the crack of dawn when my enthusiasm for making dough spaghetti is not exactly brimming.
The only major downside to this kit is the actual Soft Stuff dough, as it doesn’t come with storage containers like Playdoh has, it dries out very fast so make sure you put it in airtight containers after each use. I cheated and bought Playdoh after the original stuff had gone dry but I will most likely use it with home-made dough in the future when we are back in our own place.
Next up are not specifically designed for kids but I was sucked in by their cartoon food character cuteness. I happened to stop by a Paperchase store in Islington the other day and was mesmerised by all the pretty colours, cards, giftwrap, random little things that reminded me very much of some of the amazing stationary and gift emporiums in Japan. It wasn’t humanly possible for me to leave the store without something so I picked up this great little food container set £7 which will be handy for picnics/beach trips/lunchbox/leftovers and a character drink bottle £4. Another happy outcome of this purchase is Squigglet loves to play with the containers and has spent hours happily taking the lids on and off and sorting them into sizes….see educational and cute kitchenware. Totally justified purchase….ahem.
Right, off to hunt out next Tuesday’s treasures……