It was a very stormy night last night. This time last year I would have lain awake fretting, but this year I slept through it, enjoying the sound of the rain lashing at the windows, knowing I was snug under the duvet. Actually I love listening to the rain outside, it's beautiful.
Our kitchen isn't very big, but has a large table in it, which takes up a great deal of space. This week I've asked Missis if we can take it out (it's on our inventory) and I will buy a smaller one. Last year I wouldn't have had the confidence to ask. What I'd really like is some farmhouse chairs with the poles and the wheel in the back, as we used to have them in our old house, and I always regretted getting rid of them. She said that was fine, so I'll be taking the table out tomorrow.
There is a shop in Clay Cross called 'Pop's Attic' which, as you can imagine, sells second hand furniture. We went in, and the first thing we saw right in the entrance, was an old square wooden table, with two farmhouse chairs, exactly like I wanted. I was amazed. The table is smaller than the one we've got now, but it extends out so we can seat more people if we need to. The top needs to be sanded and varnished, but it's lovely, just exactly what I was looking for. It's being delivered on Tuesday.
More than happy with this, we continued our expedition into town, in search of curtain fabric for the kitchen. I don't know what it is about the coming of Christmas, but I get an unbelievable urge to buy things for myself! I think it's because most of the shops save their best items for this time of year.
We went to Dunelm Mill first. I have always wanted to go there, as I thought it was a fabric shop, but it turns out it sells readymade curtains etc. But most of the fabric was for sitting room curtains, so I gave up. We did find a wicker basket with a lid, which is going in the kitchen for Mr O to store his riding boots in. If he doesn't have this he will keep on putting his boots under the kitchen table as if this constitutes putting them away. I never in a million years thought he'd agree to buy something like that, so I'm thrilled.
We were just driving to the market when we spotted another fabric shop. We had a good look round, but I still couldn't find what I was looking for. I have decided not to just buy any old thing, I want something I will absolutely love and not get bored with.
We were supposed to do this last year, but at the time I didn't feel I could spend money on somewhere we might only live for a few months, but now I'm accepting that we'll be here for a few years at least (God willing!) so I am prepared to invest in something now. Besides which, it's simply too cold to leave the windows bare for another winter.
Next stop was the market, where we got the fabric for our bedroom curtains in the spring. She had a particular checked fabric then that would have been perfect, but of course there isn't any left now. She too has some beautiful materials, and will make the curtains for us, but there was nothing that I felt I absolutely must have.
We wandered on up to the Co-Op. We strolled along the racks of fabrics, in the furnishing department, but again I wasn't inspired. Disappointed, we decided to call it a day.
As we were strolling through the china section, I remembered about the placemats. Ours are very old and tatty, and we'd agreed it was time for some new ones, even though I am very fond of these. So a couple of weeks ago I started looking on the internet for something to replace them with. Many, many years ago I was very fond of Portmeirion china, especially the Botanical Garden and Pomona ranges. They are decorated with bold pictures of fruits and flowers, and I absolutely love them. I had some dishes when the children were small, but one by one they got broken and it seemed foolish to replace them while the children were young. I'd checked for stockists on the website, and to my joy, the Co-Op was listed, so I made a mental note of it, as you can imagine. I was thrilled to find the Pomona placemats and coasters, and have ordered a tea cosy to match, which should arrive soon.
So I came home very pleased with the table and chairs and the placemats, but disappointed about the curtain fabric. We have so much to do here I don't really want to be going out every weekend to source fabric, especially as we will soon have to do some Christmas shopping instead. As we sat drinking tea I began idly to thumb through an old mail order catalogue that I haven't used since we moved here. I turned to the curtain section and there saw exactly what I was looking for! If only I'd looked here before we set out, we'd have saved so much time and effort. They are just a cream check, but they'll be perfect, and they have a matching tablecloth, napkins and seat cushions, so I've ordered the whole lot!
So my quest is over, and now I can sit back and wait for everything to be delivered. I can hardly wait.
1 day ago