Yesterday morning I toddled off to our little local station and caught the 6:48am train to London. I had booked the tickets months ago and was absurdly excited to be going. I waved goodbye to J and the Little People stood at the door in their pyjamas and had to stop myself skipping off down the street, I could feel the happiness bubbling up, the joy of a days freedom from being a Mummy and a totally self indulgent day of shopping.
It takes 3 hours to get to London by train from where I live and I slept most the way (embarrassingly with my head lolling and my mouth hanging open). I had a rough plan for when I arrived :: first stop Peter Jones at Sloane Square. How I love large department stores,the bigness of them, the huuuge quantity of lovely stuff available to purchase, all set out in beautifully tempting displays. And the thrill of riding up and down the escalators and looking down from on high. Doesn't take much to give me a thrill.
I stroked the bedlinen, fondled the table linen. Went dutifully to the childrens department to buy gifts. Skipped excitedly around the Easter department and bought twinkly flower lights and fluffy easter chicks. Expensive chocolates in a posh tin for J.
And then the Haberdashery department. Oh my. Some of you may know that I trained in art and textiles and so haberdashery has always had a fascination for me - even the word itself is great don't you think? I have long had a thing for fabrics,threads, ribbons, trims, buttons. But the Yarn thing, well this is a whole new ball game to me. I only learnt to crochet last summer and it has opened up a whole new world of creative possibilities. They had the full selection of Rowan and Debbie Bliss yarns for sale at Peter Jones. Oh, I really did fondle and stroke and gaze in wonderment here!
The stripes below are a table runner, the yarn to add some more zest to the ripple blanket I'm working on right now, and the chicken is well, cute and Eastery.
After my time in Peter Jones I headed off to Marylebone and was stopped in my tracks by these blooms at the entrance to the tube station. Talk about eye candy.
I went to Marelybone Hight Street to visit the Conran shop and Cath Kidston's shop. Both shops very different and I loved things in each. I bought this from the Conran shop, a rather extravagant and impulsive funky buy but hey, I was in full-on shopping mode!
A hop and a skip down the street to Cath Kidston...first time I have ever been in one of her shops and it was all quite overwhelming. To be totally honest I cannot make my mind up about CK. I don't really go for the vintage thing in my home, I would say my taste is more sort of modern country with a dash of handmade funky thrown in. But I do like these few bits and pieces I bought home - the background fabric is a teatowel.
The main reason I traveled all the way to London was to visit the Country Living Fair. I have been to this show for the past 2 years and way back in 1998 when I was newly in business I had a stand there under the Princes Trust umbrella and sold my textile work. So I know the show from both sides, as an exhibitor and a visitor. I have to say I was soooo looking forward to visiting this year but came away a little disappointed. There was a considerable drop in the number of craftspeople exhibiting beautiful, original handmade items. I was not after Gisela Graham mass produced accessories, or cheap shabby chic stuff and there was an awful lot of that there. I still thoroughly enjoyed myself though and I did buy a beautiful handmade necklace made with Venetian glass beads for myself.
And I will continue to get excited when the latest edition of Country Living magazine plonks through my letter box, I still love that day each month no matter what.