Sunday, 20 March 2016

Iconic Things

The sorts of things that you have known forever and have been with you in one way or another for life and which outlast the generations.  Things at first glance which you are never particularly enamoured of but which grow on you little by little.  When we came to sorting mum's out we found several such pieces my brother and I and we both have items of this calibre. My brother has my Grandmother's Bureau. 

I am pleased he has this as I did not really want it to go out of the family.  I would have loved this as my Dad used to use the desk to do his homework and to read his music however I just did not have room. It used to stand in the dining room against the inner wall (small room that it was).  It had a china cabinet either side of a central drop down lid (which was the desk) below that was a small drawer and below that a cupboard.

In my Nan's day the desk was used as a drop down desk and the china cabinet either side had choice pieces that my Nan had including her little liqueur glasses in green and amber, the cut glass champagne/wine glasses the silver plate acorn salt n pepper and mustard, the three glass salts all items which I have and which I was given after my Nan passed. It also held the Mandarin China teaset which was willed to me by my Dad however I let my brother have this as something lovely to remember her by but to pass to the boys in due course.

One of my first memories of the bureau is the drawer.  No one was ever allowed to go in that drawer - its where Nan would hide her 1/4lb of Extra strong mints that she used to buy weekly.  It was a big accolade if you were given one to suck on as they were clearly her treat for the week. 

I was introduced at an early age to extra strong mints and I am not sure whether they were given to us to stop us chattering 19 to the dozen but I got hooked and I still love them to this day.  Funnily enough my brother also remembers the Extra strong mints in the white paper bag.  Its funny what you remember.

Underneath the desk was a little cupboard.  Nan kept the expensive spirit in here and the whisky decanter and the tablecloth. 

The table was always laid for a proper meal no matter what time of day.  Her dining suite was a heavy drop leaf table made of sturdy oak with six chairs.

On top of the bureau was always a jug of flowers mostly grown in the garden by Nan although which flower vase or jug always varied. Nan had a lot of lovely vases and when fresh flowers were not available there would always be a pot plant. Dead middle of the bureau top was the big heavy fruit bowl that my dad made for them as a silver wedding present together with a little inscripted plate which I also have.  My dad made one for Aunty Ivy a smaller one and my brother has that one.

One of my memories is the big watercolour speckled jug which is marled in tourquoise with like gold touches.  It always stood out against the rest of the jugs and indeed I also have that.

However funnily enough one of the things I always remember first is the kitchen lampshade.  It was marled like marble in orangey yellow, green and a grey blue and hung off chains in the centre of the kitchen ceiling.  I was not particularly struck on it as a child but it was always there.  So when I found it in the cupboard in my old bedroom when we were sorting mum's I just could not let it go - I tried but I could not let it go.  Always in use until the latter years when it was retired to the cupboard.

Everything I have is usually bought with a purpose in mind to go with something or to be used with something. It has to earn its keep. The shade is made in glass and is known as a "fly catcher" because it has an open top. Need I say more!

I thought I would source a couple of more and put them up safely together with my other vintage style lighting (safely in a box until the time comes to use them). [I already have a set of pretty 1930s yellow tulip shaped light shades that I came across for £10 for six a little while ago, and a Art nouveau style lamp in the same colours but with two stems of flowers with decorative shades and a Tiffany style pendant and reproduction Tiffany lamps and also a brass hexagon hall lamp]. You have to source things when you come across them.  I tend to "squirrell" everything away just like my Nan used to.  Its not only food I do this with.

When I get my farmhouse kitchen I would like a worktop/breakfast bar that comes out in the middle and I thought if I could match them up I could make a practical beautiful feature of these shades for my kitchen over the worktop. I think it will work well because the colours match in well with what I intend to go for.  Its also keeping something that has memories and is still eminently practical in good use.  Just because something goes out of style doesn't mean you should not keep it times change and things come in again.

Right catch you later.  Have lots more tidying to do yet. 

Catch you later.




  1. A girl with similar feelings to me :o) I too have family things that have 'grown on me'
    Rose H

  2. Thank you so much for your kind comments on my blog, Patricia. I was very touched. We've not sorted out any of my mother's things yet. I'm glad you've been able to pass your mother's item on as you wish.

  3. Hi Rose, If they are around me there I something of the people who made them or owned them still with me. Daft I know but just the way I feel. hope you are keeping well.



  4. Hi Sarah

    Hope you are keeping well and are feeling far more stronger now. Things will happen in the right time and you will sort and either keep them or pass them on to give others enjoyment. When the time is right. You will know when that is.

    Take care.




Thank you for popping by. I love to receive comments and to make new friends so please say Hi. Pattypan

Meet the Moggies

  • Merlin (approx 18 months)
  • Squeak (approx 2 years)
  • Poppy (approx 16 years)
  • Tyson (approx 17 years)
  • Tinky (official name Clover approx 18 years)